"Designed by Alex Issigonis in 1959, a new concept in car design was born. With a monocoque shell, transversely mounted engine and front wheel drive, the new 'Mini' soon became popular across a broad spectrum of the population. The potential for competition use was soon seen by John Cooper; he eventually persuaded BMC and the two worked together culminating in the birth of the Austin Mini Cooper and the Morris Mini Cooper in 1961. Victories in the 1964, 1965 and 1967 Monte Carlo Rallies set the Mini on the road to fame but probably the greatest publicity was gained from their, somewhat unfair, disqualification for lighting irregularities in the 1966 event after coming in 1st, 2nd and 3rd. A more powerful Mini Cooper, dubbed the 'S', was developed in tandem and released in 1963.
Despatched from the factory on 27th March 1968 and sent to Wessex Motors Limited, Wiltshire, this Morris Mini Cooper was registered soon after on 30th March. An original UK example supplied in Island Blue, this Mk.II led a relatively sedate life until 1989 when the then owner purchased the car with the mind to undertake a classic car marathon. The car, which was to be part of an Italian job recreation when in Turin, was thus painted red and has the additions of bonnet straps and removable light clusters. To ensure his Mini was capable and roadworthy for the 10,000 mile marathon, he decided to have the car professionally restored by B.H Nichols Car Bodies of Swindon with invoices and photographic evidence of the work. The car was then mechanically reconditioned but for reliability and ease of motorway driving the original 998cc was replaced by a freshly reconditioned 1275cc unit with a 2.9 final drive added to aid the motorway cruising.
The car has since been purchased by our current vendor who has used it for club meets, hill climbs and local rallies enjoying the Mini's extra power and impressive ability to keep up with modern day traffic. Having been set up by Aldon Automotive on their rolling road this Mk.II Cooper looks every bit as cool as it was when new and is accompanied by an MoT test certificate until March 2019, a fabulous history file and user handbooks. A great looking, fun and capable Mini and priced, we believe, very competitively."