2006 Shannons Sydney Winter Auction - 24th July
1966 Morris Mini Cooper 'S' Saloon
|Engine||In-line 4-cylinder, 1275cc|
|Colour||Marine Blue/White Ro|
This lot is no longer available
When the respected English classic car magazine Classic & Sportscar ran a poll several years ago to nominate the car of the century, few were surprised when the Mini topped the list. If ever a car earned the term classic, it was Sir Alec Issigonis' remarkable design that went on to revolutionise the way we thought about small cars and more than forty years on remains as popular as ever. BMC, in partnership with legendary racing constructor John Cooper, launched a high performance Mini variant - badged the Mini Cooper appropriately enough - in September 1961 with a more powerful engine and tiny front disc brakes and these became devastatingly effective racing cars in the right hands. With their disctinctive two-tone paintwork, the original 997/998cc Mini Coopers were joined by the 'S' with a larger 1275cc A-Series motor developing 76bhp. In Australia, Minis were assembled at BMC's Zetland plant after arriving as Completely Knocked Down kits and Cooper 'S' production commenced in September 1965, with just 5,000 or so built before April 1969. These Australian Coopers differed from their English counterparts in having twin fuel tanks (of 50-litres capacity), laminated windscreens plus three-point seatbelts along with a revised floorpan to protect the Hydrolastic system and wind-up windows as standard from October 1965. As in the northern hemisphere, the Mini was soon dominating the race and rallying scene in Australia, routinely upstaging the local Holden and Ford opposition throughout the 1960s.