Cooper Custom 004 in Rob Walker Blue

This is Han’s Cooper Custom 004 shot at Somerset House before being shipped off to Seoul. Being head of BMW South Korea, Han knows a thing or two about precision engineering. We met in 2018 whilst I was in Seoul getting ready to launch the MINI Challenge South Korea and I was amazed by his love of bikes. Having ridden all over the world, including the French Alps, he wanted a new bike that he could ride anywhere to add to his collection. A steel bike that was a mix of road and gravel geometry that he could tackle different types of terrain on.

We worked together from existing bike fit measurements to design a bike that brought the direct feel of a road bike but with some forgiveness for more harsh terrain using Colombus Spirit tubing. This was the smallest Cooper Custom to date and it was a challenge to bring the right feel to a smaller size frame. 

The bike was a labour of love that saw it designed and brazed in the Cooper Workshop in Sussex, then carefully transported to Surrey to be expertly painted by Gun Control. Working with Han we wanted to take the paint scheme of existing Cooper Customs but make it extra special. We came up with the idea to use the same blue found on the original Rob Walker racing Coopers in the 1950s and 1960s. This is the colour that was on Stirling Moss’ Rob Walker T51 Cooper that won the Monaco Grand Prix in 1958, Cooper’s first F1 victory and the first ever victory for a rear engined car. Working with Luke and Sam @Gun Control we managed to match the colour perfectly and it came out even better than we expected.

Gun Control Custom Paint

Finally, we worked with the incredibly knowledgable and expert bike engineer David Barnes of Wyndy Milla and Spoon Customs to build Han’s rocket. It seems fitting that we shot this bike in a historic British location before sending it off to Seoul for Han to enjoy. 

"I loved working with Charlie who has made a unique bike with modern technology but with elements that show the brand's British heritage. I can't wait to ride it."