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1967 Austin Mini Cooper S 1275

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1967 Austin Mini Cooper S 1275

Background

The classic Mini Cooper needs no introduction. Famous for the integrity of its engineering, handsome looks and giant-killing handling, it slew all before it, winning praise from drivers, vanquished competitors, pundits, and spectators alike, all of whom have kept it close to their hearts ever since.

The original 1961 version was humble, taking the standard Mini’s 848cc engine, albeit with a slightly longer stroke, to create the first dedicated Cooper engine, the 997cc. With twin SU carburettors it developed 55bhp, or 21bhp more than the engine upon which it was based. This, along with its miniscule kerbweight, close-ratio gearbox and disc brakes on the front axle, enabled it to humble far more powerful machinery.

A shorter-stroke, higher-revving 998cc Cooper engine arrived in 1964, shortly after the introduction of the high-performance Cooper 1071S, the version that is possibly the most revered Cooper of them all.

Only the cognoscenti will spot the relatively discreet ‘S’ badging front and rear – until the driver hurls the Cooper S at the horizon with unlikely fury on its way to a top speed of 95mph.

Its 70bhp and 62lb/ft of torque had only to haul 686kgs, which means that not only is it surprisingly quick but its front disc brakes, cooled by ventilated steel wheels, are stunningly effective. But the real reason for its success in the hands of folk like Paddy Hopkirk was that most corners could be taken flat…

Two new Cooper S models were introduced in 1964. Aimed at discrete motorsport classes, they had either a 970cc or a 1275cc engine under the bonnet. The smaller-engined car wasn’t a huge hit and was discontinued in 1965 after fewer than a thousand had been built, but the 1275cc model lasted until the entire range was binned in 1971.

The Vehicle

First registered in October 1967 and showing just five previous keepers since then, this wonderful 1967 MKI Mini Cooper S 1275 had only recently been restored by marque expert Henley Classic Minis prior to the owner buying it.

Finished in Almond Green with an Old English White roof and a Porcelain Green and Dove Grey interior, it has been in the care of the vendor for the past three-or-so years, a period in which he has only gently used it.

A genuine right-hand-drive car, it is only being sold because he’s shrinking his collection down; like so many of us, he’s accumulated too many cars over the years to be able to keep them all in regular use, and the Mini is just too nice to languish in his barn.

On the Outside

Originally beige, the Mini has been resprayed in Almond Green with a contrasting Old English White roof and matching white wheels. The panels are in great shape, neatly aligned, and boasting ripple-free flanks.

Utterly solid, the new paintwork is generally in a very good condition and has withstood the intervening four years or so very well, something its storage in a dry barn will have helped enormously.

The chromework is very good too, including the neat little front and rear bumper over-riders. The light lenses, badges and glass are also in a good condition, and the black and silver number plates are an attractive touch.

The tint, 10-inch steel wheels are in a good condition too, and are fitted with lightly patinated chrome hub caps. Importantly, they’re shod with matching 145SR10 Dunlop SP Aquajet tyres, all of which have good tread although we suspect they might be age-expired by now as they seem to have been manufactured in and around the mid-noughties.

As we will never tire of explaining, our experience shows that matching high-quality tyres are an infallible sign of a caring and mechanically sympathetic owner who is prepared to spend the appropriate amount in maintaining their car properly. Their presence does not, of course, preclude the need for a thorough inspection - something the vendor would welcome, by the way – but do give you a shortcut into their attitude towards maintenance.

Problems? Well, the most obvious one is a small patch of discolouration to the paint where a bird has left its mark on the offside front wing, but we think that might buff out. There are also three small indentations on the boot lid between ‘Austin’ and ‘Cooper’, and the fit of the bonnet could probably be tightened up a little.

Other than that, there is the odd minor car-park dink and scratch but there’s nothing really to worry about and anyway, isn’t it a bit of relief when your freshly restored car gets its first blemish, leaving you free to drive it guilt-free thereafter?

On the Inside

The centre binnacle in the dashboard is especially nicely done; fresh and beautifully presented, every single detail is clean and bright. Even the odometer has been reset to show only the mileage accrued since the Mini was completed.

And, just take a look at the Porcelain Green and Dove Grey upholstery, which is utterly glorious in its retro charm; the Mini’s entire ethos was to liberate as much interior space as possible within a tiny footprint, so it’s great to see that the previous owners have gone to the time and expense of refitting and restoring the inside of this car to such a high standard. This means the door cards are also good, as are the carpets and headlining, even if the latter is a little stained.

And, while it’s easy to get carried away with the clever use of space and practical, utilitarian interior there are some real gems in there too, like the emerald-tipped indicator stalk, the protective chrome plates on the capacious door pockets, and the beautifully engraved gearknob.

A Mini isn’t overburdened with electrical goodies, but what few there are have been tested and they all work.

The boot is home to the battery, spare wheel and twin fuel tanks and yet, despite all this, there is still room for a couple of suitcases on top of the neatly trimmed carpeted cover. The inside of the boot lid is trimmed in grey vinyl too, and both the boot floor and cabin floorpans are free of rot and corrosion.

Of course, as you can see from the photos, some of the seat covers are starting to sag, and it has received some localised repairs to the fabric over the years so the patina is variable. The seat brackets have a little surface rust to them too, and the trim panel on the C-pillar is starting to curl.

Still, these few imperfections mean that the car won’t be as expensive as it might otherwise be, which means the new owner has the chance to add value as they continue the interior refurbishment over the coming years as and when funds allow.

Underneath

The engine bay is very neatly finished, and having test-driven it we can confirm that it drives as a good Mini should; it starts on the button and ticks over and revs nicely, as you can see in the attached video.

The engine itself appears to be lacking an engine number, which leads us to the conclusion that it is almost certainly a replacement rather than the original.

Fitted with twin fuel tanks and filler necks for additional range, the underside of the Mini is solid and very well protected with underseal. However, if we’re being critical, then the join between the new sills and floor pans could be neater, so we can see that the new owner might want to take care of that at some point.

History Highlights

The Mini’s MOT certificate expires in May 2021 and it was, as might be expected given its recently restored status and low subsequent mileage, gained without a single advisory point.

Sadly, the majority of the car’s paperwork has been lost at some point, and so it only has a V5 registration document in addition to the MOT certificate. This means potential bidders will need to set their bids based on its current condition rather than being able to rely on a paper trail to gauge where to pitch their budget. The vendor confirms that the chassis number displayed is a genuine Cooper number.

So, if you’d like to inspect the car prior to placing a bid – something we would encourage – then please use the Contact Seller button to arrange an appointment.

NB. We know that many of you will be limiting your social exposure over the coming days and weeks, so if you’d rather not come to see the car in person, please give us a call and we can shoot a personal video of the car honing in on any areas you’d like us to concentrate on.

Or, even better, why not contact us with your mobile number and we can set up a WhatsApp video call? You get to direct us in real-time, giving you a virtual personal viewing experience while maintaining the lockdown. We like to call it ‘The Market’s 2020 Vision’…

What We Think

Everyone loves a 1275 Mini Cooper S. The embodiment of the British underdog spirit, iconic cars such as this weather financial storms and social uncertainty better than most; when the market gets twitchy, it defaults to what it knows and loves – and few cars are as beloved as this.

And, despite having been restored only around four years ago, this example’s few imperfections mean that it isn’t going to fetch top money. This is a win/win situation for potential bidders; someone else has done all the heavy lifting, leaving the new owner in the enviable position of having only a few minor, non-urgent jobs to complete – or a usable car to go out and enjoy.

If it was concours we would be suggesting a guide price of £40-50,000 but as it isn’t we think this one will sell for somewhere between £27,000 and £33,000, which is spectacular value for a very solid, well-sorted MKI Mini Cooper S 1275 in this condition.

Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; to arrange an appointment please use the Contact Seller button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

If needed, please remember we have a network of trusted suppliers we work with regularly and can recommend: Classic & Sportscar Finance for purchase-financing, Footman James for classic car insurance Thames Valley Car Storage for storing your car and AnyVan for transporting it.

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at the vehicles delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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Seller

daisy may

  • Location: Abingdon
  • Odometer Reading: 00081
  • Chassis Number: CA287/1012041A
  • Engine: 1275
  • Gearbox: Manual
  • Color: Green
  • Interior: Green

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