Mini Cooper & Cooper S Images and Technical Specification
The Mini Cooper was the brain child of John Cooper, Formular 1 world champion constructor in 1959 and good friend of Alex Issigonis the creator of the Mini. John Cooper was convinced that the Mini was ripe for tuning but unfortunalty this met with little response from Issigonis. Undetered John Cooper when to the head of BMC (George Harrima) and obtained an inital agreement to build 1000 Mini Coopers to be used for motor sport Homologation. The minis 848cc engine was increased to 997cc and twin carburetters were added which gave a significant increase in performance. The result was an instant comercial success and withing 2 years the 1071cc Cooper S was born, due to the fact that John Cooper was still into single seat racing and the capacity for Formula Junior was 1100cc and John Cooper had instigated a development program to use the A series engine from the Mini in these. Also Issigonis was enthusiastic about the competition potentio of his baby car, a fact that was also not lost on the BMC managers who liked the publicity especialy when the car started wining races and rallys.
The final increase in capacity was to 1275cc and this continued until the end came in July 1971 with the Mini in MKIII form when it was dropped from the range as part of the cost cutting and rationalisation under British Leyland but it would be back in the late 80's under a Rover banner.
Owning an Mini Cooper or Mini Cooper
Minis have always been about fun, with a wheel in each corner it's like go karting on the open road. The briliant design means that it is a small car but there is plenty of space for four adults so it is a truly practical classic. Added to that relative cheap price to buy, low insurance and good fuel economy they should not brake the bank. I have never had the chance to own a Cooper or Cooper S but did own the next bst thing British Leylands later model the Mini 1275GT. This was a great car, it was basically a cut down Cooper, same capacity engine as the last of the Coopers but using lower spec components (again cost cutting). Nether the less this was still a fast and capable car and a lot of fun.