Autosport International Sale 2019

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1966 Morris Mini Cooper 1275 'S'

Lot No.: 311

Registration: JYL 968D
Chassis Number: K-A2S4/799876
Engine Number: 9F-SA-Y/39521
Number of cylinders: 4
CC: 1275
Year of Manufacture: 1966
RHD/LHD: Right Hand Drive
Estimate (£): 38,000 - 44,000
(+buyer's premium of 15% including VAT @ 20%)
  • Cooper produced two 'S' models specifically for circuit racing rated at 970cc and 1275cc
  • The defining long-stroke engine debuted with the Mk1 1275 'S' giving 76bhp and plenty of torque
  • The previous owner fully restored the car from 2012-2017 to a Concours standard. Period-perfect interior
  • Accompanied by a buff log-book, its Heritage Certificate, and the restoration and history file 
The car presented here is a 1966 Morris Mini Cooper 1275 ‘S’, originally supplied through ‘Stewart and Arden’, of Acton, London, to its first owner in January 1966.  By the late 1970s it had found its way to well-known Mini racer, single-seat champion and saloon car hotshot, Patrick Watts, from whom the previous owner bought the car approximately 40 years ago. 

The car was subsequently repainted in Blue, and in 1977 had its Hydrolastic suspension replaced with adjustable Hi-Lo units and embarked on a 10-year campaign of Autotesting.  Both driver and car were successful at Club level, competing in the Club Triumph National Series as well as in the BTRDA Autotest Championship and regional championships in England and Wales.  In 1980 the car was resprayed Red with a White roof and remained like that until 1987.  In 1982, it featured in ‘Cars and Car Conversions’ magazine being driven by Russell Bulgin, and in 1983 was driven by Peter Crisp for ‘Auto Performance’ magazine.  It also appeared at the ‘Larne Motor Club’s 40th Anniversary’ event where it finished ahead of similar cars driven by Paddy Hopkirk and Colin McRae, no less!

Having spent some time in storage, it resurfaced in 2012 and a major restoration commenced, only concluding in 2017.  The whole car was shot-blasted, the floor was replaced with a new section supplied from specialists ‘M-Machine’ of Darlington, new panels were fitted at the front-end and in the boot floor, and the car was resprayed in its original colours of Old English White with a Black roof.  Welding and paintwork were carried out by Mini expert Tony Ennion of ‘Ennion Workshops’ in Bangor, with the brief being to produce a bodyshell as close as possible to the manufacturer's original specification.

The engine is the original 1275cc unit with an AEG163 cylinder-head which had been stored under the previous owner’s work-bench during its long competition career!  During the restoration, it was also been fully rebuilt to factory specification, whilst the gearbox is a Goldseal 22A1552 replacement four-synchro unit which is believed to have been fitted sometime in the 1970s, the four-synchro being a common upgrade at the time.

This car also has a right-hand petrol tank, which was not specified in period but is an ultra-rare ‘Speedwell’ accessory, one of only two known to exist and is much coveted by other Cooper S owners!  Although the car originally had Hydrolastic suspension, adjustable dry units were fitted in 1977 and these have been retained (with rubber springs), but care has been taken to retain the look of the Hydrolastic system, even down to correct piping in the engine bay. All the suspension components, including the sub-frames, have been shot-blasted and painted in two-pack and all bearings have been replaced as have all the brake components. The original Cooper S wheels are fitted, and the car runs on Dunlop ‘Aquajet’ tyres.

Much effort was made to ensure that the interior was up to the same standard as the exterior. The front seats are Cooper S recliners with 'Newton Commercial' upholstery and look splendid in their Red and Grey colour scheme.  The rear seat and 1965-specific sun visors are original items and after careful cleaning, now look splendid.  The speedometer is also the original item and has been overhauled with a new bezel fitted, but still shows, what is believed to be, the original mileage of 85,509.

Upon completion of the restoration, the Cooper S was shown at the annual Mini Cooper meeting at Beaulieu.  The club judges could only mark the car down on three points: the number plates (now corrected), the starter motor bracket (now corrected) and an incorrect ‘grommet’ in the boot lid which at the time of consigning was unresolved!

This Cooper S comes with V5C, buff logbook, MoT until July 2018 with no advisories, Heritage Certificate, handbook, a very impressive restoration file, and an equally impressive competition file.