2000 Rover Mini Cooper Sport 500 Saloon
|Engine||In-line 4-cylinder, 1275cc|
|Colour||Solar Red & Platinum Silver|
|Interior||Black & Silver|
Announced more than forty years ago, the legendary Mini Cooper was a collaboration between BMC and John Cooper, the noted race car constructor whose eponymous machines scored back-to-back victories in the Formula One Championship in the hands of pilots Jack Brabham and Bruce McLaren. Cooper took Alec Issigonis’ Mini and added the necessary ingredients to properly exploit the inherent abilities of the superb chassis. Blessed with more power and better braking thanks to discs 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 original Cooper (and subsequent “S” version) remained in production until British Leyland rationalized the range in 1971 although a version built under licence by Innocenti in Italy remained on sale for several years. After a 21-year absence, the famous Cooper name was revived in 1990-1991 by Rover Special Products, using a 1275cc engine and was sold in three colours; Flame Red, Black and British Racing Green. Lavishly equipped by 1960s standards, the new Coopers boasted leather upholstery, a leather steering wheel, full carpets, a sunroof, twin driving lights, wide alloy Minilite-style rims under wheelarch extensions and an oil cooler. In 1997 the Cooper received new multi-point injection, plus a front-mounted radiator and several safety upgrades and numerous special editions were sold until production finally drew to a close in 2000, proving particularly popular in export markets like Japan. Celebrating the end of Mini production, the Cooper Sport 500 was a limited-edition model loaded with extra features including 13-inch Sportspack wheels, under specially enlarged arches, twin spotlights and twin driving lights, a roof-mounted aerial, Halogen headlamps, special badges, stripes and decals. Inside the Cooper Sport 500 was fully trimmed in black and silver leather, a special alloy dash, leather airbag steering wheel, alloy gear knob along with a host of other features. Although never officially imported into Australia, the combination of retro style, modern performance, safety and luxury features has seen demand for the Rover Mini Cooper remain strong.