1964 Morris Mini Cooper 970 S 'Taurus' Sports Saloon Registration no. COY 4D Chassis no. KA2S4 550737
According to its British Motor Industry Heritage Trust Certificate, this Morris Mini Cooper 970 S was built in October 1964 and first registered as 'GPD 727C'. This made it one of 397 similar Morris Mini Coopers built for the home market out of a total run of 963 cars, built specifically to homologate the model for circuit racing by BMC for the under 1000cc class.
The car was purchased by the current vendor in 1994 and restored over the course of the next several years, including a full body restoration using the finest-quality panels supplied by Mini Machine. All other components were either refurbished or replaced as circumstances dictated; the sub-frames powder-coated; the underside Waxoyled; and a new electrical wiring loom installed. With the exception of the carpets, the interior is believed to be original.
This car incorporates various modifications made by Taurus Engineering, which in its day was in direct competition with Mini tuners such as Downton and Speedwell. In November 1964 Autosport magazine test-drove a Taurus-tuned Mini Cooper S and described the car has "having few equals".
Fitted prior to the vendor's ownership, and almost certainly in the late 1960s, the Taurus modifications included the installation of a modified transmission from a Mk2 Cooper S as well as an upgraded engine block. This has the advantages of a four-speed all-synchromesh gearbox and a more robust cylinder head casting. Other Taurus modifications include improvements to the cylinder head and inlet manifold; 1½" SU H4 carburettors; cylinder block bored out to 999cc; Salisbury limited-slip differential; and an extractor exhaust manifold. Other notable upgrades include a Benelite grille with spotlights, a Taurus Contour driver's seat, and Rosepetal wheels with Dunlop SP Sport Tyres. A full list of the Taurus (and other) modifications is available on file.
According to the vendor, this Cooper S would certainly not be described as a 'shopping car' as there is relatively little pulling power below 3,000 revs. However, on twisty roads on a Sunday morning with the rev counter nearing the 9,500 mark, this car's 80bhp (up from the stock 55bhp) really makes its presence felt. This exciting 'pocket rocket' is sold with the cherished registration 'COY 4D' and comes with a V5C document and heritage report.