1964 Morris Mini Cooper Sports Saloon Registration no. APR 684B Chassis no. K-A2S4/566994
To many - its designer Alec Issigonis included - the notion that the Mini might have a future as anything other than basic transport was anathema, and the idea of a high-performance version was laughable. One man though, saw it quite differently. Racing car manufacturer John Cooper already knew quite a bit about tuning BMC's A-Series engine - he was running the company's Formula Junior effort at the time - and a test drive in a prototype Mini convinced him of the car's competition potential. The result, launched in September 1961, was the Mini Cooper. Enlarged to 997cc and suitably tweaked, the revised A-Series engine easily met its 55bhp target. The extra power endowed the Mini Cooper with an 85mph-plus top speed and to cope with this increased performance Lockheed developed special 7"-diameter disc brakes for the front wheels. The new car soon established its credentials as a rally and race winner, and the stage was set for even faster versions. On the racetrack the Cooper's prodigious roadholding and excellent power-to-weight ratio enabled it to compete successfully with larger-capacity rivals, and on tight twisting circuits the car was often a candidate for outright victory. Indeed, Warwick Banks won the European Saloon Car Championship outright in 1964 driving Ken Tyrell's Mini Cooper.
This 998cc Mini Cooper was sold to its first owner, a resident of Beaminster, Dorset and later moved to Sussex, remaining in that county until the present (fifth) owner purchased the car and brought it back to Dorset. 'APR 684B' appears in a Haynes DIY restoration manual (copy available) and the car also comes with its original logbook, a BMIHT Certificate, MoT to July 2019, a V5C document, and a quantity of bills and MoTs accumulated over the last 15 years. It is understood that the engine was reconditioned in 2002, though there are no supporting bills, but that otherwise the car is original and un-restored apart from necessary repairs. The only notified deviations from factory specification are the Minilite-style alloy wheels (original steel wheels with car) and some upgraded engine-bay components: starter solenoid, brake master cylinder, etc.