1964 Morris Mini Cooper 2-Door Sedan
Sir Alec Issigonis may have designed that cult classic of the Sixties, the Mini, but John Cooper, the renowned builder of successful racing cars for a variety of categories who helped Jack Brabham to his first World Championship, is widely credited for much of the sporting success that helped give the car valuable publicity and credibility.
Cooper took a standard Mini and installed a more powerful Formula Junior engine along with front disc brakes and created a high performance variant - naturally enough called the Mini Cooper - that was launched in September 1961. Initially powered by 997 and 998 engines, the classic Mini Cooper came with highly distinctive two-tone paintwork, a unique radiator grille and was soon terrorising both road and track, becoming a devastating weapon in the right hands.
With more power and disc brakes up front, the Mini Cooper embarked on a stellar motor sport career that culminated in outright victories in the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964, 1965 and 1967. The Cooper S, announced in September 1964, employed twin SU carburettors, two-inch big-end bearings and a Nitride-hardened crankshaft to allow the motor to rev more freely. The Mini was built in small numbers by BMC Australia at their Zetland facility in Sydney, including the original 997 and 998 Coopers from 1962 until 1964, although early Cooper S (in both 970 and 1071 guises) were all private imports. BMC Australia launched the locally-assembled Cooper S here in September 1965, featuring a 75 bhp engine and a number of features unique to our Antipodean version.