Here we have one of the most iconic versions of the Mini the Mini Cooper and in one of its most evocative colour combinations Peony Red with a black roof.
Leonard Lord, the head of the British Motor Corporation, had a thing for German "bubble cars" – he hated them. He vowed to rid the streets of them by designing a proper miniature car. A team led by Alec Issigonis created the budget-minded 1959 Austin Seven, a unit-body, front-wheel drive, two-door saloon with a transversely-mounted 848cc four-cylinder motor and a four-speed manual transmission. By 1962, it was rechristened the Austin Mini, and would go on to be built into the millions. More significantly, it served as the template for the modern compact car.
Starting in 1961, in a collaboration between Issignonis and race car builder John Cooper, the sporty Mini Cooper hit the streets. Featuring a stroked, race-tuned motor, twin SU carburetors, and front disc brakes, the Cooper was destined for Group 2 rally racing. Two years later, an even more powerful Cooper S debuted, which was built with several different motors depending on the homologation requirements of different rally classes. Alec Issigonis’ friend John Cooper, owner of the Cooper Car Company and designer and builder of Formula 1 and Sports Cars, saw the potential of the Mini for competition. Issigonis was initially reluctant to see the Mini as a performance car, but after John Cooper appealed to BMC management, the two men collaborated to create the Mini Cooper, and the Austin and Morris Mini Coopers debuted simultaneously in 1961. Some six years later, the Cooper MkIIs appeared and were more refined without diluting the out and out fun of these amazing little cars.
Our car was exported to Spain in February 1969 as a complete knock down kit, where the car lived for the majority of its life until 2015, when the Mini was repatriated to the UK. Benefitting from a previous restoration, the Mini presents beautifully and has a extensive history with a number of MOTs. Launched in 1967, the Mk II Coopers are regarded by many, in hindsight, as the most attractive of the Mini Cooper evolution with the squared rear lights, larger rear window, and new grille, but still retaining the sliding windows and one or two early features so characteristic of the original Mini. The look is further enhanced with the slightly wider vented steel rims, giving this car a sporting stance.
Offered with a history files containing a heritage certificate, receipts, previous MoTs and held on a UK V5C, this Mini represents a fantastic entry into classic Cooper ownership.