The original Mini was conceived in response to the 1957 Suez oil crisis. The British Motor Corporation (BMC) tasked Alec Issigonis with creating a small, fuel-efficient vehicle. Leonard Lord, President of BMC, was also keen to see that a safer alternative to the bubble cars that were popular in Germany would be built and sold in Britain. With the insistence that the design, be no more than 10ft long and would devote an unprecedented 80% of its footprint to passenger and luggage space, Issigonis took his tablecloth sketch to production reality in under two years.
Launched in 1959, the Mini was a radical design of its time. The transversely mounted engine with its gearbox-in-sump arrangement drove the front wheels, this ground-breaking technology allowed room to house four adults. The Mini’s frugality, practicality and performance were immediately obvious, making it an instant success. Issigonis’s friend John Cooper, owner of Cooper Car Company and designer and builder of Formula One and Rally cars, saw the potential of the Mini for competition. Issigonis was initially reluctant to see the Mini in the role of a performance car, but after John Cooper appealed to BMC management, the two men collaborated to create the Mini Cooper. The Mini Cooper was launched in September 1961 with an enlarged engine, twin SU carburettors, close ratio gearbox and front disc brakes. The new car proved instantly successful in British saloon car racing and rallying. The Cooper S was introduced in 1963 with its more powerful engine and went onto win the Monte Carlo Rallies of 1964,1 965 and 1967.
The Austin Mini Cooper S offered here at Autostorico is an original RHD Home market 1964 built example finished in the iconic colour combination of Tartan Red with a Black roof. Purchased by its current Mini enthusiast owner in 2010 the car underwent a no expense spared nut and bolt restoration.
The owner entrusted the car to renowned Mini specialist Downton Engineering in Reading. Work started with the engine and running gear being removed from the body with all panels being made good prior to a bare metal respray by Thames Valley Restorations of Maidenhead. Attention then passed to a full mechanical overhaul including the Cooper S engine, being rebuilt to fast road specification (engine output 100 bhp) This included; Power Max pistons, Big valve head, Lightened forged rockers, Kent camshaft, Dyplex timing gear, Twin SU carburettors. Other notable works included overhauling the braking and suspension system, full re-wire, wheels and tyres and a full Newton Commercial interior.
Supplied with a history file including a current V5 registration document, Buff logbook, Numerous invoices, Heritage certificate and other related material.
A perfect opportunity to own such an iconic British classic, which will certainly appreciate over time.