The original Mini. Here is a car that became one of the most influential and iconic of all time, setting indelible trends from engineering to fashion. Designer Sir Alec Issigonis conceptualised a small car with far more space than one would expect, thanks to an ingenious chassis layout that utilised a transverse engine and front wheel drive. It is no understatement to consider this the template of modern, front-wheel drive, small cars.
The original is also an icon of 1960s British popular culture, bought and loved by everyone from the ordinary person to the extraordinary A-lister. Motorsport success followed and the performance versions, the Mini Cooper and Cooper “S,” became hugely successful rally cars, winning the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964, 1965 and 1967. It should have won in 1966 as well, and it certainly crossed the line first, only for the then governing body to disqualify it after the finish, under a controversial decision that the car’s headlights failed to meet regulations.
On introduction in August 1959 the Mini was marketed under the Austin and Morris names, as the Austin Seven and Morris Mini-Minor. The Austin Seven was renamed Austin Mini in January 1962 and Mini became a marque in its own right in 1969. In 1980 it once again became the Austin Mini and in 1988 the Rover Mini.
It became a worldwide success and was manufactured at the Longbridge and Cowley plants in England, the Victoria Park/Zetland British Motor Corporation (Australia) factory in Sydney, Australia, and later also in Spain (Authi), Belgium, Chile, Italy (Innocenti), Malta, Portugal, South Africa, Uruguay, Venezuela and Yugoslavia. The Mini Mark I had three major UK updates – the Mark II, the Clubman and the Mark III. Within these was a series of variations, including an estate car, a pick-up truck, a van and the Mini Moke – a jeep-like buggy.
The Mini Cooper S Mk III was introduced in 1969, although the first cars did not roll off the production line until May 1970. The bodyshell was slightly different but the purity of design remained. The Cooper S had the 1275 engine, twin fuel tanks and a 130mph speedo. It was a short production run which ceased in 1971, making the MK III a rare car.
RHD, Glacier White, 10 inch Minilites, Black Interior, Two speed wipers, rear quarter lights, Interior light, 130mph speedo.
Finished in a cool shade of Glacier White, this Mini looks fantastic, with a wonderful stance, hunkered down and ready for action. The bright hue shows off the Mini’s lines to perfection, with the chrome highlights adding to the effect. The paint presents very well showing few signs of wear, and whilst not concourse, is in good condition.
The interior of the Cooper S is clean and uncluttered. With no centre console and seemingly more space than one would expect due to the intelligent packaging, the driver enjoys a cockpit like view out of the car. The central speedo adds to the occasion, calibrated to a heady 130mph.
The interior of this example is presentable, and the seats still feel supportive and comfortable, it sports the aged classic car patina that can be enjoyed or improved on over time.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
Rorty and ready to go, the engine in this Cooper S starts on the button and is an enthusiastic powerplant. The 1275 engine produced 76 bhp and 79 lb ft of torque, more than enough to allow for swift progress considering the feather weight class of the Cooper S. This example has enjoyed some thorough mechanical work to keep it at its best, with a rebuilt gearbox and new clutch, plus a recent engine rebuild.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
The classic 10 inch Minilites grace this Cooper S and are in excellent condition all round, pleasingly free of any scratches or marks. The tyres show reasonable tread and are a set of Yokohama A-008s, sized 165/70/10s all round.
Originally a UK supplied car, this car has spent the last 10 years in the same ownership and within the warm and dry climes of Madrid. It comes with a various miscellaneous spare parts and a car cover.
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