Hi I Live in Shannonville Ontario Canada K0K-3A0 I really don't have any pics of the car except for the ones that the body was just painted in 2001 and its is a Right Hand Drive car right down to the insterment... View car
John Cooper took the compact Issigonis machine and tweaked it so that its performance and stopping ability matched its natural handling abilities. Launched in 1961, the Mini-Cooper progressed through several incarnations, to its ultimate 1275cc S form. The dormant title resurfaced again in 1990, and lasted through to the end of Mini production in 2000; however it’s the true legends – from 1961 to 1971 – that we’ll concentrate on here. Mini-Coopers are very much sought after now, with prices to match, but beware imitations and fakery.
Cooper or Not?
In the space here, we can’t give every single way of identifying a Cooper, and if alarm bells do start sounding, we suggest getting a specialist in. Some variations from standard Mini spec include a boot board in the boot with four support brackets riveted to the floor, plus remote gearboxes, bumpers with corner bars (MkI) or overriders (MkII or III) and twin fuel tanks on the MkII version. MkI Austins have their chassis numbers beginning with C-A2S7, while Morris ones start with K-A2S4. On the MkII, the prefix is C-A2SB (Austin) and K-A2S6 (Morris), and on the MkIII Coopers, it’s just XAD-1.
Rust can break out anywhere with a Mini. Vulnerable areas are all the roof channels and the seams (especially at the front, under the headlamps). Also check the rear of each section of each front wing and where they meet the screen panel. Sills often corrode, and should be scrutinised from inside and out. While you’re down there, look around the rear-subframe mounting. Door bottoms rust easily, along with the A-panel between the door and the wing. Check subframes carefully.
A-series engines are quite tough, but lack of working space in the engine bay means that things can often get missed or bodged. Look for oil leaks, noisy tappets, a rattling timing chain and smoke from the exhaust or from under the oil filler cap. Look for signs of over-heating, as the cooling system can get clogged up.
Gear changes can become imprecise and slipping out of gear means attention is needed. If there’s crunching when moving through the gears, the synchromesh is weak; it usually happens around second gear first of all. Listen for clicking driveshafts on full lock, as well as clonks when accelerating, something that signals worn universal joints.
Interior & Electrics
We haven’t finished with the rust yet; look under the carpets at the floorpan, which can rust anywhere, but especially adjacent to the sills. Check under the rear seat too, where it corrodes heelboards. Interiors are fragile and some of the trim such as the dashboard liner can get misshapen. MkI Coopers came with two-tone brocade and black vinyl on top of the dashboard. By the time of the MkII, upholstery was just plain black. Electrics are basic, but check everything; supplementary items may be wired in badly, to a loom already prone to contact problems.
Why should I buy one?
Because they are a true British legend. Austin and Morris Coopers offer a level of driving fun out of all proportion to their size and sum of their parts. They need care to be made reliable, and few classics rust with quite the same relish as a Mini. Look for good quality weldiong backed up by a photographic redcord. Spares are often cheap, plentiful and the vehicles are easy to work on. But a Mini is all about the driving experience, and not much on four wheels is so utterly entertaining and enjoyable as an original Cooper, either in Mks 1-3 or ’90s onward spec.
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