RE: Mini Cooper S: Spotted

Wednesday 6th March

Mini Cooper S: Spotted

Small electric cars are the future. But the past is more fun



We won’t be the first to compare Honda’s e Prototype to the classic Mini; both are designed to tackle urban transport problems in a lovable and quirky way. Mini’s current bosses have even said they believe Issigonis would have used electric power if he were to have created the original today, so you might argue that Honda’s little EV is a truer spiritual successor to the formula than BMW Mini’s own contemporary line-up.

Honda’s electric model and its rear-drive, short wheel base platform is being developed with fun driving as a priority, too, so perhaps we’ll soon be proclaiming how it offers Mini-like handling on city streets. If you’re not too enthused by electric power, however, nothing will ever come close to the original car. As demonstrated by the red, white and blue Minis of the Italian Job back in the day, the little Brit is as chuckable as they come.

In the right hands, the Mini has also had its fair share of success in motorsport. Paddy Hopkirk’s 1964 Monte Carlo Rally win proved that a tiny, darty city car can take on far more serious machinery. The Mini’s role as David in a battle against Goliath has continued in the years since, as is evident at the Goodwood Revival each year, where Minis have always spent the best part of their laps four-wheel drifting alongside V8-powered muscle cars.


Later variations of the Mini maintained the character of the original right the way through to the 1990s, but while the following BMW-engineered hatchbacks have all been great – the latest and largest included – their ever-growing sizes, bulbous designs and a line-up that bears little to no resemblance to the original means they’re barely more than homages. Plus, there’s just nothing quite like that original Mini design, is there?

Which is why we’ve spent the past few days since the e Prototype was revealed perusing the classifieds for a lovely example of the classic. Have you seen the prices Mini’s go for now? There’s a stunning example of a ‘66 Cooper S on PH for just shy of £50k, while even a 1980 1275 GT will set you back nearly £15k. Mini Vans are sought after as well, like this one that won’t leave you with much change from £16.5k. There’s seems to be no shortage of enthusiasm for the original Mini, put it that way.

Today’s Spotted is an example that slots into the upper realms of the aforementioned pack with an asking price of £34,995. But that does buy you an effectively new 1964 Cooper S that’s covered only 550 miles since being completely restored. Among those to have worked on the car was a retired aircraft engineer, so it’s probably safe to say all the bolts and screws have been done up correctly. According to the ad, every part has either been replaced or refurbished.


That includes the engine, gearbox and suspension, as well as the brakes, wiring loom and exhaust. The wheels, tyres and paint are, of course, also brand spankers, while the interior has been overhauled by a specialist. Since it’s practically a new car, the Mini’s odometer has been reset to zero miles, although there’s also DVLA authentication to prove that this is indeed a 1964 car.

The cost of restoration is said to have totalled £22,000, meaning the mark up applied to this car and its current owner amounts to just under thirteen grand. As far as fun-to-drive city cars go, however, this has to be one of the very best out there. And one we suspect would have no trouble out charming even Honda’s lovable new EV.

SPECIFICATIONS - MINI COOPER S

Engine: 1,275cc, inline-4
Transmission: 4-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 77@5,900rpm
Torque (lb ft): 79@3,000rpm
MPG: N/A
CO2: N/A
First registered: 1964
Recorded mileage: 0 (reset after restoration)
Price new: N/A
Yours for: £34,995

Click here for the full ad.

Author
Discussion

cuda

Original Poster:

411 posts

179 months

Wednesday 6th March
quotequote all
Lovely but would break on London’s crappy roads...

Gruber

6,201 posts

153 months

Wednesday 6th March
quotequote all
It's a lovely example. It went through the ring at ACA in January (just under £30k) and really did look absolutely spot on 'in the flesh'.

Titan2

18 posts

35 months

Wednesday 6th March
quotequote all

Did it sell at that ACA auction for that amount?

Limpet

3,258 posts

100 months

Wednesday 6th March
quotequote all
£35k for a car with an offside door that's a completely different shade to the rest of the car...

LateStarter

25 posts

17 months

Wednesday 6th March
quotequote all
Fond memories, my first car was a tuned 69 S.
Although it had twin fuel tanks, maybe that was a later addition?
Anyway great fun every drive
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GranCab

1,397 posts

85 months

Wednesday 6th March
quotequote all
Limpet said:
£35k for a car with an offside door that's a completely different shade to the rest of the car...
Trick of the light ... look at the next photo in the sequence, its all the same colour. smile

Kolbenkopp

1,564 posts

90 months

Wednesday 6th March
quotequote all
Gee had not realised they are *so* expensive nowadays. Had the (stupid) idea that prices in the UK would be better with potentially more survivors than in any other Country. But demand must be even higher... Would love another one though. Are there any specialist dealers with know good stock worth checking out?

foresterlad

151 posts

124 months

Wednesday 6th March
quotequote all
A trip down memory lane for me. In 1966 I worked for Marcos cars who had just developed the mini-Marcos
using Cooper/S running gear. We had a Downton Engineering 1275 S with 100+BHP which still rates as
the best customer delivery I ever made

molineux1980

1,045 posts

158 months

Thursday 7th March
quotequote all
I miss having a Mini in my life, having owned 3 in my life.

An original Cooper S has always been my dream 'affordable' classic. Not anymore. :-(

aeropilot

17,280 posts

166 months

Thursday 7th March
quotequote all
LateStarter said:
Fond memories, my first car was a tuned 69 S.
Although it had twin fuel tanks, maybe that was a later addition?
Twin tanks was became standard on the S from Jan 1966, was only an optional extra prior to that.

The 1275 S wasn't introduced until mid-1964, so a '64 made 1275 S in Surf Blue must be quite rare?

Lovely colour combo for a S biggrin

unsprung

2,678 posts

63 months

Thursday 7th March
quotequote all

a sort of "the way we were" moment crosses my mind

it's worth reflecting on the differences -- both UK v UK (then versus now) and UK v US (contemporaneous)



shalmaneser

3,538 posts

134 months

Thursday 7th March
quotequote all
77bhp in a car that light must be fairly nippy. Was that the standard output for a S?

aeropilot

17,280 posts

166 months

Thursday 7th March
quotequote all
shalmaneser said:
77bhp in a car that light must be fairly nippy. Was that the standard output for a S?
1275 S in standard trim was always quoted at 75bhp as far as I can recall?



DKL

3,348 posts

161 months

Thursday 7th March
quotequote all
I thought it was 76 for the 1275S and 55 for the 998. Not sure about the others.

My first car was an island blue 998 cooper, subsequently sold, rallied and crashed in Italy. Always fancied an S but the prices are just mad these days.

Edited by DKL on Thursday 7th March 22:36

WD-40

87 posts

71 months

Friday 8th March
quotequote all
"among those to have worked on the car was a retired aircraft engineer, so it’s probably safe to say all the bolts and screws have been done up correctly. "

The irony of that statement, my Granddad was a retired aircraft engineer and he used to tinkle on my original Mini. Unfortunately he failed to connect the track rod end correctly (I think he failed to connect a pin), resulting in it collapsing as I flung it round a corner, sending me up a bank and nearly rolling it!

So not exactly a selling point to me...

DerekRO

1 posts

Friday 8th March
quotequote all
I saw this car at ACA too. It had problems. The first was one of identity. It looks like it had been built up, and somehow the owner had convinced the DVLA, with the Mini Cooper Register, to register the car as a Cooper S. In other words, it is not a genuine factory car with a full history, but a retrospective build up. This is reflected in the price, a UK car with history would have been a lot more. Secondly there were problems with the quality of the work, particularly the paint. It was full of blisters, could be solvent pop, particularly on the roof, and it looked like it hadn't even been tack ragged down properly prior to painting as there were signs of dust in the paint, particularly in the gutter rails. Paint application was uneven, orange peel in some areas, and puddling in others. In all, a really third rate paint job. Not surprised it went to a dealer. It didn't fool any of the experts there.

P5BNij

3,053 posts

45 months

Friday 8th March
quotequote all
I wish I still had my Mk1 S... November '65 built and February '66 reg'd in Island Blue & Old English White, never restored, factory fitted recliners in grey / gold brocade, twin tanks, went like stink... what the hell was I thinking when I let it go...










If I'd have kept it at some point I would probably have had to restore it, still, I've got a Mk2 1275 S now which keeps me happy.