1968 Austin Mini Cooper

S MK2

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1968
  • Mileage 
    90 150 mi / 145 083 km
  • Car type 
    Coupé
  • Drive 
    RHD
  • Condition 
    Used
  • Interior colour 
    Green
  • Number of doors 
    2
  • Number of seats 
    4
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Green
  • Gearbox 
    Manual
  • Performance 
    76 BHP / 78 PS / 57 kW
  • Drivetrain 
    2wd
  • Fuel type 
    Petrol

Description

The Mini is one of the most iconic cars in automotive history. Head of British Motor Corporation, Leonard Lord, disliked the bubble cars that were prolific during the Suez fuel crisis so much that he vowed to rid the streets of them by designing a ‘proper miniature car’. His brief to designer, Sir Alec Issigonis, was for a car that could be contained within a box that measured 3m x 1.2m x 1.2m, and the passenger compartment should occupy 60% of that length. The engine had to be an existing BMC unit, and therefore superior to the motorcycle -engined bubble cars.

The Mini was the result and was introduced in 1959. Badged as both Austin and Morris, initially called the Austin Seven or Morris Minor, the Mini was powered by a transversely mounted 850cc four-cylinder engine producing 34 HP powering the front wheels and only weighed 600kg. The Mini was the first successful small car with the technical makeup being the formula for all compact cars to follow. Three stages of development can be noted for the “Classic” Mini divided into MK1, MK2 & MK3 versions. The MK 2 featured a larger rear window and cleaner front end design with the MK3 distinguished by concealed door hinges and wind up windows.

In 1961, John Cooper, a successful Formula 1 racing car constructor, noted the potential of the Mini as a performance car. He gave the 850cc engine a longer stroke, twin SU carburetors, front disc brakes and a closer ratio gearbox. The Mini Cooper was born which went on to win numerous international races including the Monte Carlo rally three times. More powerful Cooper S models were introduced too which saw success in closed circuit motor racing. The appeal as a performance car was enhanced when three Mini Cooper’s starred in the Italian Job movie which used the Mini Coopers in a bank heist.

This Example:
This Austin Mini Cooper S is a MK 2 example assembled in South Africa in 1968. The South African produced examples featured differences to other markets as local content targets had to be achieved in order to lower import duties. Interiors in particular were different to UK Mini’s with some Cooper S examples featuring bucket seats plus South African and Australian versions featured wind up windows in MK2 Minis prior to them being introduced in the Mini MK3 in the UK.

It is believed that this Austin Mini Cooper MK2 is a three-owner car. The first two owners of this example were friends and both owned Cooper S’s (one a Morris badged 1071 and the other this Austin Badged 1275). They used these two Mini Coopers on road trips together as seen in the photos below. When the first owner of this example died, his friend bought the Austin Cooper S and owned it until the current owner bought it nine years ago.

At that time, it required a restoration and the braking system and engine in particular were rebuilt. Surprisingly the pistons were still the original size which suggests that the 90150 miles on the clock are original. Nine years on, the restoration has aged and this car is graded between good to excellent condition with a few items noted on our technical report for rectification.

This is an opportunity to secure a numbers correct example of the iconic Mini which has received countless accolades and this Mini will be a key addition to any serious car collection