1969 Austin Mini Cooper S Sports Saloon Registration no. CGJ 561H Chassis no. CA.2SB.1300957 Engine no. 53391
Considered by automobile historians to be one of the most important and influential designs ever, the Austin/Morris Mini was in production for 40 years and today remains the most enduring icon of the British motor industry.
To many though - its designer Alec Issigonis included - the notion that the Mini might have a future as anything other than basic transport was anathema, and the idea of a high-performance version was laughable. One man though, saw it quite differently. Racing car manufacturer John Cooper already knew quite a bit about tuning BMC's A-Series engine - he was running the company's Formula Junior effort at the time - and a test drive in a prototype Mini convinced him of the car's competition potential. The result, launched in September 1961, was the Mini Cooper, a car that offered a size/price/performance package that was nothing short of miraculous. The Mini Cooper soon established its credentials as a rally and race winner, and the stage was set for even faster versions. The first of these - the 1,071cc Mini Cooper 'S' of 1963 - took engine development a stage further and provided the basis for the 971 'S' and 1275 'S' of 1964. The ultimate Mini of its day, the 1275 'S' pumped out 76bhp while remaining exceptionally flexible and was good for a genuine 100mph - an astonishing performance at the time.
Described as in generally good condition, this example was purchased by the current vendor in 1990 and since then has been kept in a heated garage and not used on the road. In January 2011 the Cooper was sent to Mini Sport Ltd of Padiham, Lancashire for various works that included overhauling the braking system (new front discs, callipers, etc); replacing the SU carburettors with a new pair; fitting a leather trimmed steering wheel; and some minor body/paintwork repairs (see bill for £1,868 on file). Offered with expired MoT (January 2013) and Swansea V5, this lovely Cooper S, although not fast by modern standards, it is still just about as much fun as you can have on four wheels.