West Coast Classics are proud to present a rare opportunity to purchase and enjoy this fully restored and a BMI certified example of this 1966 Austin Mini Cooper 'S' Mark I 1275cc 2 Door Hatchback; an original LHD built export car originally delivered to Guatemala in November 1966. As per it's 'British Motor Industry Heritage Trust' certificate of authenticity the car has it's original and correct 1275 cc matching #'s 'S' engine and was built on 9/1/1966. It's original color combination was 'Island Blue and Old English White' over a Gray & Gold interior and it's original factory options included a laminated windscreen, extra fuel tank, oil cooler, 4.5" wheels with 500x10 tires, dry battery, less heater.
This particular example has been stunningly restored in this striking color combination with a Black interior. It has no signs of any major body damage or rust and was obviously restored with absolutely no regard for cost and with no expense spared. The car is in fabulous driving condition with the original engine, clutch, transmission, suspension and braking system all performing well and the car's original matching #'s engine is very strong and the 4 speed manual transmission shifts smoothly through all the gears. The car was recently inspected at the renown classic Mini specialists 'Minicomp Racing' of Costa Mesa, CA and is reportedly turn-key ready for it's next owner.
The BMC Mini was launched in 1959 and proved to be Britain's most influential car of the sixties and seventies, if not ever! It defined a new genre. Other cars had used front wheel drive and transverse engines but none in such a small space! It was a marvel to behold both from its ingenious styling with staggering interior space in such a compact design but with handling better than almost any rival and indeed most sports cars of its era. It quickly proved to be both fashionable to own with virtually all of the British sixties icons owning one and it would spurn a huge variety of Mini derivatives.
What sealed the Mini's reputation internationally and among enthusiasts however was the legendary Mini Cooper launched in 1961. Grand Prix winning constructor/engineer and racing driver John Cooper persuaded BMC to begin extracting the most possible power out of the Mini's innate handling prowess by stroking the 848cc Mini engine to 997cc (later 998cc) and increasing power from 34bhp to 55bhp with 87mph now possible, fast enough to justify fitting tiny front disc brakes! In 1963 there was an 'S' model with 970cc and 1071cc engines and eventually 1,275cc with twin SU carburetors fitted which boosted bhp to 76 capable of over 100mph. John Cooper would go on to receive a $4 royalty on every car sold.
The 'S' became legendary after proving itself by conquering British saloon racing winning the 1962 Tulip Rallies, the 1963 Alpine Rally and then in the legendary Monte Carlo rally which it first won quite shockingly in 1964, despite being underpowered compared to some of the more exotic European competitors with the car's front wheel traction proving well suited for the icy conditions, even when driven to the absolute limit it would prove to still corner as if it were on rails long after the rear wheel drive cars were sliding sideways. It won Monte Carlo again in 1965 and it would have won in 1966 too, including both second and fourth positions, but officials shockingly disqualified the team over a headlight infringement and the French organizers controversially awarded the victory to Citroen! In 1967, this time with headlights inspected thoroughly before the start of the race, the Cooper 'S' won Monte Carlo again!
Sadly the Cooper 'S' was dropped in 1971 when BMC became part of British Leyland and the new company had it's own ideas of what a performance Mini would be and severed its links with John Cooper and 'Cooper Garages' to cut costs and replaced the car with the 1275GT model with a less powerful version of the 1275cc engine. Almost 50 years later the Mini Cooper still boasts as passionate a following as it ever did in the 1960's and early 70's and was recently voted 'Car of the Century' by motoring pundits. The Cooper had proved to provide cheap transportation whilst being both a technical and packaging triumph as well as a dominant rally car and as such was Britain's best selling car ever, a runaway sales success.
This is a rare opportunity to own a fully restored with no expense spared of a both internationally desired and respected true 1966 Austin Mini Cooper 'S' Mark I 1275cc with it's BMI Heritage Trust Certificate as confirmation of it's provenance and original specs in quite simply the most striking of color combinations.