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Mini

Mini

The Mini came to be the greatest car ever made more by accident than design throughout its 41 year life. Born out of necessity from a austere post war Britain suffering badly from the Suez crisis of 1956, cheap. Economical transportation was the Mini’s chief priority when introduced in 1959. And yet 50 years on it’s better known for its classless appeal, cheeky image, fun driving a chequered…

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Mini Clubman & 1275GT

Fast Facts

  • Produced:
    1969-79
  • Bodywork:
    Two-door saloon estate
  • Engine:
    Overhead valve in-line four cylinder (A-Series) 998cc 39bhp; 1275cc 59bhp
  • 0-60 mph:
    Clubman 21 sec; 1275GT 13-14 sec
  • Top Speed:
    Clubman 77mph; 1275GT 87-90mph
  • MPG:
    28-41mpg

PAST: First major revamp of Mini includes new stand alone brand and two ranges with Clubman more upmarket, signified by squared-off nose (longer, less aerodynamic!), and doors from Hornet/Elf with concealed hinges and wind-up windows. Plusher trim includes new interior with dials now in driver’s eye line; 1275GT is first Mini to have a tacho as standard! Made to sooth insurance companies,1275 GT replaces much loved Cooper and despite boy-racer image and 1300 single carb engine is as quick. Dry set up for ’71, 12 inch wheels and larger brakes for 1974 (run flat Dunlop Denovo option for 1275 GT). Range facelifted frequently, with 1098cc option in ‘75 range dropped in 1979.

PRESENT: Seen by some a retrograde step although GT gives a Cooper a race!

FUTURE: Never caught on like trad Mini but 1275s will be collectable.

Mini Cooper

Fast Facts

  • Produced:
    1961-69
  • Bodywork:
    Two-door saloon
  • Engine:
    Overhead valve in-line four-cylinder (A-Series) 997cc 55bhp; 998cc 55bhp
  • 0-60 mph:
    14-15 secs
  • Top Speed:
    88-90mph
  • MPG:
    31-36 mpg

PAST: A motoring icon, instigated by F1 car constructor John Cooper and Daniel Richmond – although Cooper took the plaudits for slotting in a detuned 1-litre racing engine (rated at 997cc until late ‘63, then a shorter stroke bigger bore 998cc) with twin carbs, ’648’ cam, big valve head closer ratio gears, disc brakes and wider tyres in 1961. Entertaining. Revisions as per normal Mini but car killed off once 1275 GT was launched for two reasons; officially it meant cheaper insurance, but real reason was that BLMC didn’t like paying Cooper royalties!

PRESENT: A good Cooper still pack in more smiles per mile than any other classic thanks to its handling rather than outright pace, which is barely brisk these days. Rest of car is normal Mini.

FUTURE: Will always be worth more than a stock Mini but beware of fakes as they were rife when car was contemporary!

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