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The Mini Cooper SSS?


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#1 stuartbrs

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Posted 17 October 2002 - 23:25

This story was told to me by a former BMC employee , but Ive always been a bit sceptical.

This refers to the Australian Mini Cooper S ( not the inferior british one :p )

My father bought in the 60`s an ex demonstration Cooper S, at the time they used to take each batch for a blast as the cars came to the showroom. This ex demo model of dad`s was a lot quicker than the others in the bunch and so was used as the dealer`s demo car. Apparantly it had no trouble dispatching other Cooper`s at the lights and was a bit of a gun.
I mentioned this to an ex BMC worker who was at the factory at the time. He said that in the mid 60`s BMC quietly introduced the Cooper SSS which was a homologation model for Bathurst, not advertised, just given a hotter camshaft, bigger carbs, larger fuel capacity, etc. Unfortunately Ive only got pics of the outside of the car, nothing showing the engine bay :confused:

Is anyone able to confirm or deny this?. Im highly doubtful, but Im only judging that on today`s standards where a `homolagtion special` generaly gets a fair bit of press. It still seems strange that I havent read about this anywhere else, Ive asked a lot of the local Mini Guru`s and whilst they say it is possible, its unlikely.

Dad bought another ex demo model Cooper S a couple of years later and said it didnt go nearly as hard as that first Powder blue car, although the performance did taper off a little in its later years ( tighter emissions laws? ) , the difference was quite noticable between the two cars.

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#2 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 October 2002 - 23:42

He's pulling your chain...

Or he's getting his story mixed up. One thing's for sure, they wouldn't have got away with bigger carbies. They might have managed to slip in a camshaft, and maybe pumping compressed air into the twin fuel tanks might have enlarged them a little.

But let's just go back to the era.

The Cooper S had been introduced in England with a 1071 cc engine and then a smaller engined version was built (970cc? I know it was a shorter stroke model with the big bore and not a regular displacement like the 997 or 998 engines), and as they were chasing Lotus Cortinas they brought out the 1275.

The Armstrong 500 didn't allow the bigger car to run. In fact, I think the British Cooper S versions were excluded altogether as not enough had ever been sold in Australia. None were imported for regular sale.

Qualification numbers for the Armstrong were, however, laughably low... 125 identical units at that stage, IIRC... that's how the Cortina GT500 came into being.

Simultaneously, the BMC people in Australia were making the Mini more habitable by installing windeup windows in the Morris Mini Deluxe. So with the Armstrong in view they put down a run of Cooper S models of their own using the Mini Deluxe body, the 1275cc engine and brakes, hydrolastic suspension (the Mini Deluxe had this, but not the pommie Cooper S models), and installed a second five and a half gallon fuel tank in the opposite rear quarter so that there were two filler caps. From memory, little chromed tube bits on the ends of the bumpers finished the job.

The car was a huge success, quite apart from winning at Bathurst in 1965 and swamping its class in 1966 (when the GT500 with its polished head, larger fuel tank, lowered suspension and so on made the pace), selling for several years in big numbers. It became, as you are probably aware, one of the main pursuit vehicles for the NSW police for quite a while too, supplanted by unmarked Holden Torana XU-1s without their rear spoilers as the seventies arrived.

The 1275 engine used, by the way, is not to be confused with the similar capacity engine brought out later in the Morris 1100S, which I think had a longer stroke and is distinguished by having no sideplates on the block. It was the same, basically, as the MG Midget of similar capacity.

#3 stuartbrs

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Posted 18 October 2002 - 00:39

Thankyou for the reply Ray.

the 1100S engine is very sought after by Mini owners as a "cheap" alternative to the 1275 Cooper unit ( no crankshaft built by Rolls Royce for instance ) . I almost managed to get one of these for $600 a few years back, but was pipped at the post!

The little chrome bits are the overriders and on the Cooper S these were stainless steel ( as was the whole bumper assembly )

The little red Mini in my avatar is my Club Car, originally a Mini matic ( yes, I know I should have restored it as a minimatic they only made 400 here ) its now been worked,restored and has a manual gearbox ( and I wanted to do it in works colours ). The reason I mention this is beacuse a lot of people say that the `wet` ( hydrolastic ) Mini`s handling is inferior to the `dry` Mini. On a standard hydro Mini the front left is connected to the rear left and front right connected to rear right by a tube carrying the hydrolastic fluid ( water and alcohol! ), this helps over bumps but causes the car to understeer more than its dry counterparts. On my car there is a valve on each wheel cutting the link between front and rear wheels, in effect giving it 4 wheel independant suspension, the difference is startling! Absolutley zero body roll, massively increased grip and a huge reduction in understeer. the drawbacks? it bounces! hit bumps or speed humps and the car bounces a fair bit, but the trade off is worth it.

Whats this got to do with homologation mini`s?

The works teams that ran hydrolastic Mini`s knew full well about this mod, but of course it wasnt homologated. The solution? The pipes connecting the front and rear wheels were `crimped` together with some Multigrips ( which were left there ) . Should it be picked up in scrutineering the mechanic would say " doh, Ive been looking for those! " and uncrimp the multigrips!

So if there were a Cooper SSS I wonder if you could tell by looking for some multigrips??????

Anyway, I thought it was a myth!

#4 Ray Bell

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Posted 18 October 2002 - 02:03

I think you mean 'vicegrips'...

I could check with mechanics of the day and ask about that 'mod'... I know where to find Ian Mawdsley and a couple of others. Bob Holden would be sure to know too.

#5 stuartbrs

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Posted 18 October 2002 - 02:34

That would be great Ray! :up:

Ill dig out the interview from my archives when I get home, but wont be able to post the exact quotes untill monday. Im sure its straight from John Cooper`s mouth, but I could be wrong.

One side effect of using valves ( instead of `Vicegrips`) is that you can adjust the ride height and `stiffness` of the suspension just by `pumping` each corner up. Also, the original designer of the hydro setup has got a Mini with the next step of the Hydro suspension, which, apparently uses gas instead of fluid and is a dramatic improvement over the original system. BMC never picked it up though, Ill post that as well monday if anyone is interested.

#6 stuartbrs

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Posted 18 October 2002 - 06:18

oh Ray,

if you do get hold of Ian Mawdsley or one of the others could you enquire as to what size SU`s were fitted to the Bathurst cars please?

Many thanks :)

#7 Ray Bell

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Posted 18 October 2002 - 07:11

The Bathurst cars were scrutineered by the workshop manual, the official book that the manufacturer put out.

So there was no chance the carbies would be any different to any other Australian-produced Cooper S. Way too easy to pick! Like I said, they may not have been able to check the cams, but heads came off, bore and stroke were checked, all sorts of stuff that could be readily measured with everyday gear was measured.

The first three cars in each class were all stripped in this way. The first six in each class were impounded overnight, then at Gurdon's the next day the first three were pulled down... if there were any doubts, the next one in line got the inspection treatment too.

But 'damage' to a pipe might well be overlooked, especially if it was somewhere that it could have been a rock thrown up or if it was out of sight. I recall Ron Gillard telling me he was suspicious about the ability of the drain tap on an Alfa block to stay locked up... he whacked it in just the right way with a hammer...

Mawds is on the Gold Coast, Ian Anelzark is at Alstonville... I'll be up that way in a couple of weeks.

#8 Catalina Park

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Posted 18 October 2002 - 07:35

I don't know about any SSS but the 1100S engine has the same bore and stroke as the Cooper S 1275, the early ones had the same bearing journals (some say the same crank) the later ones had bigger journals on the big ends.
The suspension system was hydrolastic, as in hydro (water) elastic (rubber) the next version was called Hydragas, they replaced the rubber with gas but kept the fluid!
The Aussie Cooper S as Ray said had 2 fuel tanks and wind up windows and also had an oil cooler.

I have a basket case Cooper S which has all the right marks for a series production racing car, extra bonnet catch, holes for fire extinguisher, holes for tacho and lockwired sump plug.
That was about all that was allowed under the rules at the time.

#9 smarjoram

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Posted 18 October 2002 - 13:16

My grandad used to work for cooper on sports cars and apparently also twin engined four wheel drive minis. I don't see him often and when I do he never really talks about it but one day I'm going to ask him all about it. Is there any particular question you'd like answering? He might know.

#10 Ray Bell

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Posted 18 October 2002 - 13:31

I think there were two of the twin minis built at Coopers...

There's a thread around here somewhere, possibly two... this one will do for a start...

http://www.atlasf1.c...&threadid=29020

And by the way, your grandfather would no doubt have known Tommy Atkins well... Tommy's daughter is member UAtkins, and I guess she would be interested to know what he has to say about her dad.

#11 BRG

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Posted 18 October 2002 - 16:01

If a mere Pom might butt in and make a few observations:-

This refers to the Australian Mini Cooper S ( not the inferior british one )
Inferior??? :p Were Minis actually built in Australia. assembled from CKD kits, or imported from UK?

the Cooper SSS
I've never heard of such a model, but maybe there was one just for the Australian market. Although why that should be when the factory were racing and rallying the things world-wide is not clear? I should have thought they would want to use it everywhere. But stranger things have happened - the Chrysler "Brazilian block" Avenger and Sunbeam 2 litre engine that was used in rallying for instance.

then a smaller engined version was built (970cc? I know it was a shorter stroke model with the big bore and not a regular displacement like the 997 or 998 engines),
There was a 970S - I know 'cos I had one! It was a homologation special for the 1000cc racing class and used a short stroke version of the 1071S engine. They only built a thousand or so.

hydrolastic suspension (the Mini Deluxe had this, but not the pommie Cooper S models), and installed a second five and a half gallon fuel tank in the opposite rear quarter so that there were two filler caps.
Sorry, but the Cooper S Marks 2 and 3 used hydrolastic (my 970S mentioned above had it, but with aftermarket fitted shockers as well) and the twin tanks were an option on all S models - most of the UK cars had these.

The 1275 engine used, by the way, is not to be confused with the similar capacity engine brought out later in the Morris 1100S, which I think had a longer stroke and is distinguished by having no sideplates on the block. It was the same, basically, as the MG Midget of similar capacity.
IIRC the dimensions are the same but the S block had wider main bearings, and two extra head studs. The S head there fore had two extra stud holes, but is otherwise interchagebable with the Spridget 1275 head. The 12G295 head is reckoned to be better than the S one for tuning. The S crank and valves were far better material.

Also, the original designer of the hydro setup has got a Mini with the next step of the Hydro suspension, which, apparently uses gas instead of fluid and is a dramatic improvement over the original system. BMC never picked it up though,
As Catalina Park says, this was the hydragas system. BMC did ppick it up - it was used extensively on the Metro, Allegro, Maxi, and maybe Princess/Ambassador ranges. But for the Mini, BLMC strangely went back to the original rubber cone suspension in the 1970s which continued until the final end of production a couple of years ago.

#12 Ray Bell

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Posted 18 October 2002 - 21:38

Originally posted by BRG
then a smaller engined version was built (970cc? I know it was a shorter stroke model with the big bore and not a regular displacement like the 997 or 998 engines),
There was a 970S - I know 'cos I had one! It was a homologation special for the 1000cc racing class and used a short stroke version of the 1071S engine. They only built a thousand or so.....


Glad my memory isn't that bad after all... I thought that was the way it went, but it wasn't lore here in Australia. None of the cars came here to my knowledge, we didn't have a 1000cc class at all, in fact, by the time the 1071cc cars got into their stride it was a 1600cc class and so the 1275s were bored the .040" maximum to give 1310cc capacity to chase Cortinas.

So when were the Mk 2 & 3s brought out? The Hydrolastic Cooper S was released here prior to Bathurst 1965, so it was released some time in the year leading up to that event. The Mini Deluxe had been sporting it for a while before that, along with the windup windows.

I wasn't sure about the fuel tanks, but I knew that the second tank came from the parts bins and was not unique. They were no option here, as options were not allowed in the race (well, in the main they weren't). Additionally, I think they were considered to be necessary with our town to town distances and they gave a ready mark of distinction to the S that no other Mini had.

It might interest you to know that there were probably more BRG Cooper Ss sold here than any other colour, though usually with a white roof.

#13 Fred Gallagher

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Posted 18 October 2002 - 23:08

Originally posted by Ray Bell


.......we didn't have a 1000cc class at all, in fact, by the time the 1071cc cars got into their stride it was a 1600cc class and so the 1275s were bored the .040" maximum to give 1310cc capacity to chase Cortinas.....


It's funny, when bored out .020" they were 1293cc which sounds great. 1310cc sounds plain odd for a Mini in Europe.

In the back of my mind is the fact that they never built a thousand 970s so it should never have been homologated.

#14 UAtkins

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Posted 18 October 2002 - 23:53

Originally posted by Ray Bell

And by the way, your grandfather would no doubt have known Tommy Atkins well... Tommy's daughter is member UAtkins, and I guess she would be interested to know what he has to say about her dad.


Yes I would be interested to know.

Slightly off topic, I do remember a Cooper S that Bruce McLaren took to NZ at the same time he took a 2.7 L Type 61 Cooper Monaco and the Intercontinental Cooper (prepared by Harry Pearce and Wally Willmott) to NZ after the USGP in 1962. I have the photo but am unable to post it, sorry. I will have to ask Harry Pearce if he has any insight into that Mini of Bruce's as I know he helped put it together. I wish I could remember more but don't. :(

Ursula

#15 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 19 October 2002 - 02:27

Originally posted by UAtkins


Yes I would be interested to know.

Slightly off topic, I do remember a Cooper S that Bruce McLaren took to NZ at the same time he took a 2.7 L Type 61 Cooper Monaco and the Intercontinental Cooper (prepared by Harry Pearce and Wally Willmott) to NZ after the USGP in 1962. I have the photo but am unable to post it, sorry. I will have to ask Harry Pearce if he has any insight into that Mini of Bruce's as I know he helped put it together. I wish I could remember more but don't. :(

Ursula


I don't recall Bruce ever bringing a Cooper Monaco to New Zealand but I well remember the the two Minis he raced here.

The first was a 998cc Mini Cooper sponsored by Coster Motors. The car was prepared in the BMC Competitions Department where it got a modified head, better cam, larger carbs and racing tyres. Trim and sound-absorbing material were removed and light-weight seats fitted. Bruce claimed the car was good for 102 mph. That car was racd in New Zealand in 1962.

The following year McLaren raced a 1098cc car fitted with full Formula Junior modifications. This is the car prepared at the Cooper works by Harry Pearce and Wally Willmott. It was owned by a British driver, Warwick Jessop. It was supposed to be running a 12 to 1 compression ratio and developing 83 bhp. A top speed of 107 mph had been recorded and a 0 to 60 mph time of ten seconds.

An article on the second car that appeared in Motorman magazine contained this howler.

There are a number of suspension modifications, including the removal of a complete leaf from the springing, considerably lowering the rear of the car.

#16 Barry Lake

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Posted 19 October 2002 - 02:48

Originally posted by Ray Bell

The car was a huge success, quite apart from winning at Bathurst in 1965 and swamping its class in 1966 (when the GT500 with its polished head, larger fuel tank, lowered suspension and so on made the pace), selling for several years in big numbers.



The Morris Cooper S did first appear at Bathurst in 1965, but it did not win that year. First one home was in third place, behind two Ford Cortina GT500s. The Cooper S did run 1-2-3-4-5-6 in its class that year.

In 1966, the Cooper S won the race and took the first nine places outright.

It then ran 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 in class in 1967, and lone Mini Cooper S entries won the class again in 1968 and 1969.

#17 Barry Lake

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Posted 19 October 2002 - 03:00

Going from memory and with no time to look it up, I seem to remember that Ron Flockhart bought that very special McLaren Cooper S and raced it in Australia shortly afterwards. Was it sold in Australia? I probably have the story buried deep in my memory somewhere, but there's a hell of a lot of other stuff piled on top of it...

#18 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 19 October 2002 - 09:36

Originally posted by Barry Lake
Going from memory and with no time to look it up, I seem to remember that Ron Flockhart bought that very special McLaren Cooper S and raced it in Australia shortly afterwards. Was it sold in Australia? I probably have the story buried deep in my memory somewhere, but there's a hell of a lot of other stuff piled on top of it...


Ron Flockhart did indeed race a Mini Cooper out here in 1962 but it was with his own car, not McLaren's.

Roy Salvadori was also entered in a Mini Cooper for the race at Ardmore but I'm sure he did not race.

#19 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 October 2002 - 13:58

Originally posted by UAtkins
Slightly off topic, I do remember a Cooper S that Bruce McLaren took to NZ at the same time he took a 2.7 L Type 61 Cooper Monaco and the Intercontinental Cooper (prepared by Harry Pearce and Wally Willmott) to NZ after the USGP in 1962. I have the photo but am unable to post it, sorry. I will have to ask Harry Pearce if he has any insight into that Mini of Bruce's as I know he helped put it together. I wish I could remember more but don't. :( Ursula


It came to Australia, actually... and then to New Zealand.

I think I have a photo somewhere...

Posted Image

Note that it's not actually a Cooper S... in fact, everyone (bar Milan...) has been stating that this car and others were Cooper Ss and none of them were. The Cooper S was still to be released at this stage.

And Barry, of course you're right about the chronology at Bathurst. Somehow I put it all back to front... but I was thinking that the Cooper S won because the GT500 was yet to be released. In fact, the eligibility requirements changed to 250 units (I think... again working from fallible memory) and so the GT500 had to be excluded. The Mini Cooper S, however, had been selling welland easily qualified.

Yet something else occurred to me today. I was thinking about the comment BRG made about 'aftermarket shock absorbers' being fitted to his car and recalled that the Armstrong 500 was intended to prove that Armstrong shock absorbers were good things... and their race was almost won by a Cooper S without shocks... Of course, the race that was won without them, 1966 as Barry rightly points out, was the Gallaher 500 and no shocks were needed.

It also led me to recall Lance Lowe telling me about the number of competitors who bought Koni dampers for their entries and painted them black to look like Armstrongs. The shocks were the only parts that were allowed to be changed according to the rules.

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#20 275 GTB-4

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 09:56

This thread was getting to be interesting reading .....then.....Phittt!!

Maybe I can rekindle some interest by refering to my post on Ten Tenths below (I posted it there cause I couldn't post it here!!! no where to attach pics on my screen..)

http://www.ten-tenth...&threadid=37868

The little bars on the bumpers of Coopers are known as Corner Bars

There was an SS Clubman brought out in Australia complete with 2 inch high SS badge on the boot

Police Specials certainly did exist but I get the impression that they were built to special order ex-factory initially then local tuners would be asked to do their thing eg I heard that down Wagga Wagga way they were putting Arden Cross Flow Heads on etc for the local Highway Patrol through the local dealer.

There are many other tales, fables and stories about Aussie Coopers that should be told. Some of the people with the knowledge are still very much alive and well (e.g. Bob Holden) ......maybe just maybe we will get a nibble if we are patient enough !! :rolleyes:

#21 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 10:39

Crossflow heads? You have to be joking!

The photo depicts a car carrying the number 47, not 4... as Bryan Miller has posted in that other place. And you're right, they are 'works' colours as used by BMC or BLMC in Australia in that period. You might have pictures of the Ross Bond Healey and the Ian Corness MGB in those colours too, as they were netted into the BLMC 'umbrella' along with others and their cars painted in these colours.

Why don't you get Bryan to post here while you ask him to reassess that racing number?

Now, others it might have been... not that I can remember any in that colour... and I also think it was an Improved Production car.

#22 David McKinney

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 11:33

Getting OT again...
The cars raced by McLaren and Flockhart in NZ in early 1962 were said to be prototypes of the Mini-Cooper
McLaren's second car was a reputed fore-runner of the 1071S
I don't know, without looking it up, how the timing works out with actual launch of those respective models

#23 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 11:44

They were Mini Coopers according to the grille on the one McLaren's driving in late 1962 above, David.

Or was there another car in early 1962, effectively a 1961 car? I guess there would have had to have been for Flockhart to have driven one.

Late 1962 could be reasonable for a prototype of the 1071cc Cooper S to be running around.

#24 JtP

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 12:16

I apologise if I am repeating any information from other peoples posts.

The 1071 Cooper S came out around April 63 and was intended as a limited production competition model. It used the then current formula Junior engine as the basis for its power unit. The class size was 1100cc, that being the 1071 with a 0.020" rebore.

At the start of 64, the class sizes were changed to 1000 and 1300, thus begetting the 1275 and 970 models which were announced 13th March 64. They again made the class size limit with a 20 thou rebore. The 1071 was dropped at the start of the works holidays in 64.

Starting with the 1071 s the base engine, all engines have the same bore and bore centres. The 1275 has a long stroke and extended block with 1071 rods. The 970 has a 1071 block, short stroke crank and extended rods.

The Bathurst race demanded show room cars. This led to the std model being fitted with many of what had been optional extras. The std car from late 65 or 66 came with twin tanks, 4 1/2" wheels and a laminated screen, but most importantly the AEG 510 camshaft. Up until then the cam had been no better than the Austin/ Morris 1100 cam. The car may also have gained the Hardy Spicer driveshafts from the automatic at the same time. The carbs remained the same at twin HS2s.

i would suspect the extra quick Cooper S was the first one with the 510 cam, but then again there are always better than average cars in a production run.

The 997 Cooper came out in 61, and used a cam slightly wilder than the 510, but although quick, the car was no Cooper S. The car was also dropped in 64, recieving the 998 engine instead. BMC required the crank cutting facility to make 1100s and the 998, which appeared for the Elf/Hornet was a stronger engine anyway.

#25 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 12:21

I think you're right about the Hardy-Spicer universals, JtP...

But as I wrote previously, it was an Australian model exclusively, with Hydrolastic suspension and windup windows.

#26 275 GTB-4

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 13:00

Raymond,

I have no need to doubt the word of the fella who told me he had fitted Ardens to Police Coopers in Wagga when he did his apprenticeship in the local BMC dealer - he was reluctant to talk about it at all actually as he has now moved on to a responsible position within the armed forces. I generally like to keep an open mind on these things untill I see someone with irrefutable evidence to the contrary.

Bryan is doing a top job over on 10/10ths and generally speaking I prefer the ease of use on that forum vice Atlas. There are very interesting threads on both forums (which is a bonus for everyone).

Certainly remember Ross Bonds unbeatable Healy 3000 (one of my favs), great to be at Oran Park a few years back when they had the big Healy get together and Ross was astounded at the times his "old" car was doing!!! (modern tyres etc)


PS wish someone would rejig the screen layout below so that its a bit more friendly..... :blush:



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#27 275 GTB-4

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 13:08

Originally posted by JtP
I apologise if I am repeating any information from other peoples posts.


No need to apologise JtP - great to see this stuff regurgitated :lol:

#28 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 13:12

For requests like that, you post in the Atlas F1 forum (see 'forum jump' at the bottom of the page)...

Did you get my PM?

And I think Bryan could add some good information to a couple of current threads here...

In the meantime, I don't recall anything different about the ten-tenths forum that made it any more user friendly... except for the ability to post photos directly from your hard drive.

But if you don't have webspace, there are free hosts around who do allow you to upload photos for posting on Atlas.

For the sake of it, I've uploaded it to my webspace and here it is here...

Posted Image

If you scan a larger version with less background, I'll post that for you too...




EDIT: By the way, if it was the meeting when Hailwood was at the Farm, then it was the Tasman meeting of 1971. That should narrow down your hunt somewhat... Bryan would seem to have that programme. But again, with bumpers etc, I'm sure he'll have to look in 'Improved Production'... not 'sports Sedans'...

#29 David McKinney

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 17:19

Originally posted by Ray Bell
They were Mini Coopers according to the grille on the one McLaren's driving in late 1962 above, David.

Or was there another car in early 1962, effectively a 1961 car? I guess there would have had to have been for Flockhart to have driven one.

Late 1962 could be reasonable for a prototype of the 1071cc Cooper S to be running around.


I thought my post on this (No.22) was quite clear, but apparently not.
I'll try again
The cars raced by McLaren and Flockhart in NZ in early 1962 were said to be prototypes of the Mini-Cooper
McLaren's second car (early 1963 in NZ) was a reputed fore-runner of the Mini-Cooper 1071S
Whether the second car was the same as the one McLaren raced in Australia at the end of 1962 I don't know. Certainly it was a different colour

#30 David Birchall

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 19:10

The Cooper S engines evolved directly from the Formula Junior "XSP" engines which of course evolved from the standard BMC A series in the Sprite,A35 etc. However, by the time 1962 came along the "Basic production" Formula Junior engine had special blocks with dry-sump passages cast in, special heads with an extra stud and 1100cc from respacing the bores and over-boring. By 1963 they had all the above plus shorter stroke and bigger bore and were good for about 100bhp. Jackie Stewart won the F3 championship with one of these engines in 1964. If you look at the manifold side of a Cooper S engine you will see the casting lugs for the dry-sump system.

Interestingly, "Sports Car Graphic" for June 1962 has an article on the BMC FJ engine but Joe Huffaker flatly denies using special blocks, yet if you look at the pictures in the article the dry sump pump is visible as is the extra head stud!

I have a parts book for the XSP engines 1960-1961-1962-all hand written-and titled "Cooper Formula Junior Service Parts List" so it definately is not a figment of my imagination.

#31 275 GTB-4

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Posted 12 May 2003 - 08:01

Originally posted by Ray Bell
For requests like that, you post in the Atlas F1 forum (see 'forum jump' at the bottom of the page)...

Did you get my PM?

Noooooo.....

And I think Bryan could add some good information to a couple of current threads here...

He is doin good.....

In the meantime, I don't recall anything different about the ten-tenths forum that made it any more user friendly... except for the ability to post photos directly from your hard drive. ......yep

But if you don't have webspace, there are free hosts around who do allow you to upload photos for posting on Atlas.

For the sake of it, I've uploaded it to my webspace and here it is here...Tah

Posted Image

If you scan a larger version with less background, I'll post that for you too...

Thank You, and it must have been 71 - the cops there were driving GTR Toranas and K1 Honda Fours!!!



EDIT: By the way, if it was the meeting when Hailwood was at the Farm, then it was the Tasman meeting of 1971. That should narrow down your hunt somewhat... Bryan would seem to have that programme. But again, with bumpers etc, I'm sure he'll have to look in 'Improved Production'... not 'sports Sedans'...



#32 JtP

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Posted 12 May 2003 - 09:31

EDIT: By the way, if it was the meeting when Hailwood was at the Farm, then it was the Tasman meeting of 1971. That should narrow down your hunt somewhat... Bryan would seem to have that programme. But again, with bumpers etc, I'm sure he'll have to look in 'Improved Production'... not 'sports Sedans'... [/B]


I don't know the rules for the classes mentioned or specifically the tyres permitted and it is hard to tell exactly from the photo. But the tyres look quite large, probably CR81 from the shadow and the amount sticking out from the bodywork and CR81 or the equivalent Firestone were the top mini racing tyre of the day in 71.

#33 Ray Bell

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Posted 12 May 2003 - 10:00

Briefly, JtP, there were three classes that embraced Minis and other touring cars...

Sports Sedans... virtually anything goes in those days, as described earlier there was even a Mini with a Holden 6 in it. These cars ran without bumper bars and so on, so this is an extremely unlikely class for this car.

Series Production... showroom stock (almost)... standard wheels and virtually everything else. Your observation about the wheels eliminates this class.

Improved Production... a hotted up version. Retaining many standard components (seats, trim, all bodywork and fittings, basic head, block, gearbox etc. Wider wheels allowed, more or better carbies and manifolding, expansion of the engine to the limit of the class but no more than .040" overbore, no stroking.

So you can readily see why I say it was most likely an Improved Production car. If only Bryan Miller had realised the number was 47 rather than 4 we'd have known by now...

Or if I'd had my 1971 Racing Car News binder here...

#34 RTH

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Posted 12 May 2003 - 12:09

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Ray Bell
[B]I think you mean 'vicegrips'...



I think you both mean a "Mole Wrench " !

#35 BRG

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Posted 13 May 2003 - 13:17

Originally posted by BRG
Were Minis actually built in Australia. assembled from CKD kits, or imported from UK?

I note that no-one ever picked up on this question. Does anyone know what the status of Mini production was in Australia - was it from scratch (pressing body panels etc), or by assembling kits from the UK, or what?

#36 Catalina Park

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Posted 13 May 2003 - 13:25

Sorry I didn't see the question!

They were built in Australia using as much local content as possible.
I think the panels were pressed here.
The engines were assembled here but some of the castings were imported and machined here.

All Aussie Minis had external door hinges and the small rear window.

All the interior and glass were local as were the fuel pump and rocker cover.

#37 cm50

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Posted 13 May 2003 - 13:42

I Know memory plays tricks but my recollection of the 2nd Mclaren Mini was that it was described as a prototype for the 1071 Cooper S and it came out to NZ with his single seater, I cant ever recall a Monaco being brought out.

What I vividly recall was that Bruce qualified so quickly that he voluntered to race in the unlimited class with the jags and V8s, these guys were not happy with Bruce being in front of them on the basis that they would swamp him from a standing start. Bruce started from the rear of the grid and by the first corner was up the front. Pukekohoes long back straight was just a little too long and eventualy bruce finished second or third but it certainly showed up the skills of a great driver but also the real potential of the Mini.

The only disapointment that day was that Bruce didnt win the GP I think a certain Mr Surtees in a Lola won that

#38 JtP

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 01:44

Originally posted by Catalina Park
Sorry I didn't see the question!

They were built in Australia using as much local content as possible.
I think the panels were pressed here.
The engines were assembled here but some of the castings were imported and machined here.

All Aussie Minis had external door hinges and the small rear window.

All the interior and glass were local as were the fuel pump and rocker cover.


Had a think about this and as a supposition, would S engines not possibly be imported built as units? My thoughts are based on the different maching requirements for the S engine compared to other A series. The bore centres are different, extra head studs, different main bearings, nitrided crank of different stroke from EN40B, different rods and different head with altered diemensions.

Although none of these are insurmountable, but it means resetting a production machine to machine castings and forgings for what must be a short, in relative terms, production run.

#39 Ray Bell

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 02:11

Not necessarily... BMC seems to have run their Australian operation as a tax dodge...

Don't forget how well equipped this place was. It came out with the Tasman and Kimberley all by itself, based on the 1800 with new panels front and rear, as well as totally devising the 6-cyl version of the OHC Marina engine in-house, and setting that up as a FWD package that was later exported to England for the Princess range.

Prior to that they'd built the similarly extended B-Series engines for the Freeway/Wolseley 24/80 range, along with a 3-speed version of the B-Series gearbox that was, I think, also unique to Australia.

And if you're thinking that a 6 in the Oxford/A60 body to become the Freeway might have been a tight fit, well, yes, I guess you're right.

Other local innovations came in the form of a Series 2 Morris Major/Austin Lancer (even the Series 1 versions were Aussie badge-engineered to some degree), and then the Major Elite that put the 1622cc engine into the Major body. This one had, and I don't think this was used in England, a fine spline rear axle and more rugged hemisphere in the iron nosepiece for the A-Series rear end.

Then there's the absolutely unique P76, and the accompanying Force 7. These used that aforementioned OHC 6 and a Rover 3500 engine with a taller block and longer stroke to give them 4.4 litres. Borg-Warner transmission bits completed the package, which brought a level of comfort, room and lightness to what Australians termed 'full size' cars that more than matched their ability to have little bits fall apart and stop working on a regular basis.

Catalina can probably add more...

And you still haven't graced the 'Even Newer Introductions' thread with your life story!

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#40 stuartbrs

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 02:18

The Bodies were definately pressed here, the ship carrying the first ( very valuable ) presses sank and another lot had to be dispatched.
The Cooper S`s were originaly built up from kits, although there are numerous differences in the bodies that must have been carried out at the factory...gearstick hole in the floor is further back, oil cooler recess in the front, second tank hole etc. Im sure the S engine blocks were cast here after awhile, but Im guessing that the cranks came from the UK ( built by Rolls Royce ).

Also, Ive got an old poster from wheels advertising the Cooper S. In it, there is clearly pictured a Tartan red Cooper with white roof ( just like the works rally cars ) a colour scheme that my Mini books tell wasnt available in the UK on the Cooper S.

#41 JtP

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 09:51

I am quite sure BMC Australia were quite capable of doing there own engineering, but as a tax dodge?

When you say 6 cyld ohc marina engine, do you mean the Maxi type or the O series. Australia liked 6 cyld engines and the Maxi engine was the result, thus ruining a perfectly good and advanced car. The overiding design requirement of the Maxi engine was the ability to make a transverse 6, hence the totally indiotic design. The narrow bore with long stroke crank, the reversed inclination of the valves in the head extra, were all part of shortening the engine so a 6 cyld version would fit in an 1800 tranversely. So building a 6 cyld O series would be on the cards during the "design(?)" period. Afterall the first design priority of an O series was the conrod length which had to be the same as a B series to allow the rods to be made on the new machine BLMC had just purchased.

Although red/ black was the std spec car, having the roof of your mini resprayed was hardly the most difficult or original thing anyone did to their mini.

#42 Ray Bell

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 10:06

Now BMC bits of the post-Freeway era are not exactly my specialty...

But yes, as far as I know the 6-cyl engine was the Maxi engine - looked something like the Datsun SOHC engine - as it came out here in the Marina. We actually had a 6-cyl version installed in Marinas too... apparently they were real jets, but naturally suffered with that stupid damper setup on the front.

My 'tax dodge' comment related to the inability of the Australian arm to make money. I'm sure they did much of the time, but only after spending lots of money re-engineering the British designs so they'd have a chance in this market.

#43 BRG

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 10:10

Thanks, guys! The story of BMC in Australia is obviously an interesting one - some good ideas from over there never found there way back to us in Blightly, but it sounds like BMC Australia were also every bit as good at screwing things up as the home company was!

The 1622cc version of the Major sounds interesting. The base car was the Riley 1.5/Wolseley 1500, using the original B series engine that was later streched to 1622 and finally to 1800. Unfortunately, BMC in the UK never developed that little car (which has always been a favourite of mine) - a Riley 1.6, or a MG version with the 1.8 in it, could have been a pretty exciting sports saloon back in those pre-Escort days. Eventually that package did appear some ten years later in the form of the Marina TC which still used that Morris Minor torque bar front suspension, but by then the engineeering and dynamics of the car were just too outdated compared to the competition.

Coming back to Minis, it is interesting that so much was locally made - maybe that was due to import restrictions or something, back in those days when trade was more regulated? I would be surprised if many of the "special" bits for the S were locally made though, given the low volumes.

On the colour schemes, I am scratching my head to remember. IIRC Cooper and S models in the UK were all two-tone, mostly in white, red, green, and blue, with the the first two having black roofs and the other two white. I know that my 970S was white with a black roof and that was the factory paintwork. But as JtP says, respraying a Mini roof is hardly a big deal!

#44 275 GTB-4

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 10:45

Originally posted by JtP
I don't know the rules for the classes mentioned or specifically the tyres permitted and it is hard to tell exactly from the photo. But the tyres look quite large, probably CR81 from the shadow and the amount sticking out from the bodywork and CR81 or the equivalent Firestone were the top mini racing tyre of the day in 71.


What tha...!!!!

JtP are you looking for the Atlas Anorak Award or something!! Brilliant !!

Seriously though, I think the folklore goes that the Mini was the first Sedan to receive true racing tyres .... and an advantage ....not that they needed much!!! :rotfl:

#45 Ray Bell

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 11:32

Jaguars ran on racing tyres, probably before the Mini ever went racing at all!

#46 275 GTB-4

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 13:38

Originally posted by Ray Bell
Jaguars ran on racing tyres, probably before the Mini ever went racing at all!


Hmmmmm, ohhhhkaaaahhhh,

Forgot to add: in Australia and at Bathurst!!

#47 Ray Bell

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 19:40

Well, that's a lot to add... really...

Because, of course, I assume you mean 'at Bathurst (in the Armstrong 500)'... which Jaguar never contested.

If you didn't, then I'd be very surprised to learn that David McKay, Bill Pitt, Bob Jane or Ron Hodgson never ran racing tyres.

Not that Paul Gulson's Improved Production car above is exactly a Bathurst car.

#48 JtP

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 23:12

BRG, you missed grey with a white roof.

#49 stuartbrs

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 23:41

It was possible to order the Red/White Cooper S in Australia, from the factory.

There were actually 2 greens..British Racing Green, and GTO Green ( which I think was a little darker! ), one of dads was GTO green ( all with white roofs of course! )

Interestingly, when the Cooper S production run ended, and the 1275 GT came on stream, many of the first GT`s had Cooper S engines and brakes, to use up the remaining stock. I know of one sitting on its roof in a paddock, complete with S engine, that the owner refuses to sell. I think he just enjoys Mini enthusiasts pulling up on the road and weeping...sadist.

When did BMC cease production in Australia, and were things like the MG`s assembled here? Ray?

And why did so many manufacturers assemble their cars here? I know that Audi ( VW ) had a facility here, and all the Golf`s , Passats, and Audi Fox`s were assembled locally. They pulled out for some reason and left it to the American and Japanese companies.

#50 stuartbrs

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 23:44

Oh and one last colour scheme, the Cooper S shell I have in the shed is white with a white roof!!