top of page

The Mini has had many names over time



A brand new Mini 1000

Picked up from Morris dealer, Nielsen & Årstrup in Grindsted, early spring 1972

One of many Austin and Morris cars that were in the family's possession in the period from 1967-1984



My story about the Mini

Here in Denmark, the car was nicknamed the dog house, a common name for all versions of the Morris Mascot and Austin Partner. Later, and among all the confusing factory and model names, it finally became Mini.

The Mini was in production from 1959-2000. During that time, 5.3 million of the different variants were produced. During that time the car became a legend. Therefore, it was not so strange that BMW kept the Mini brand when they left the rest of Rover to its own fate in the late 90s. It should prove to be a wise disposition for the modern Mini is a significant source of income for the venerable German car manufacturer. I like to venture the claim that the original Mini was the most significant car design of the last century. You can say this because all modern small cars today, all as one, contain several essential construction principles from the Mini. One wheel in each corner, independent suspension, rack and pinion steering and transverse engine. This concept provides good driving characteristics and the fact that the Mini was so secure on the wheels and fun to drive made it epoch-making among small cars from that time. One can rightly speak of a completely new beginning for small cars.


The mini was fresh and cheerful in its radiance and in reality. Even with the smallest engine of 850 cubic meters and 34 Hp it was a fun little car to drive. The car's built-in features particularly came into play on roads with bends or with ice and snow. In such conditions, not many cars of the era could catch a Mini with a good driver behind the wheel. The car also became something of a fashion phenomenon in its time. "The Swinging Sixties" was a time of growth and optimism and the Mini hit the zeitgeist right on the grain back in the 60s. Therefore, the famous of the time took it to heart. Everything from royalty to actors and rock stars made their way in the Mini. Peter Sellers, Steve McQueen, even Enzo Ferrari himself have at least one modified and tuned Mini Cooper. Members of the Beatles drove the Mini, Ringo Star still has his by the way! Typically, the famous had specially built versions with various luxuries and tuning carried out. This gave the small car a "street cred" without being too cheap a small car.


But, I wonder if it was after all the car's characteristics that made it so loved and widespread? The fact that the cheerful little utility vehicle, despite its size, could accommodate 4 adults and slip around corners and cut through city traffic like few others. The Mini was not just a cute fashionista, it was also super efficient.


A POPULAR RALLY CAR

It certainly helped that the car, in addition to being a daily means of transport for millions, also eventually rose to iconic status in everything that had to do with motorsport. It was about as popular as a rally car, as well as track racing. The 3 Monte Carlo victories were perhaps the peak in terms of prestige, but the Mini was everywhere where the gas was burning, both at club level and in international motorsport. It would take many volumes to describe all the victories won in a Mini. The heyday in motorsport spanned especially from 1961, when the Cooper model was introduced, and until the early 70s. But after that time the car was still there. In fact, the British Standard Car Championship was won in a Mini Clubman 1275 GT in both 1978 and 1979. In the mid-80s a new era of historic motorsport started and the raw tuned Minis rolled out of the garage again. In Denmark, the Mini was for many years always in the fight to win the class for standard cars 0-1000 or 0-1300. The fact was that a Mini on the track could often run straight up with cars up to 2000cc, you sometimes saw that the lap times in the 0-1300 were close to the times in the larger classes. Names like Erik Høyer, Jan Mortensen and Preben Kristoffersen all got their breakthrough in Danish motorsport in a dog house. In the great abroad it was names like Paddy Hopkirk, Rauno Aaltonen, Timo Makinen, John Rodes, Pico Troberg, James Hunt, Niki Lauda, just to name a few. Well-known tuning companies like Broadspeed, Downton, Speedwel, Janspeed all started tuning Minis, and some disappeared with the Mini. One could say that this branch of the motor industry came into existence thanks to the Mini. It didn't take much to make a Mini run a little stronger and accelerate a lot faster, and the speed-loving boys knew that well. A tuned Mini could typically drive just as fast in 3rd gear as a regular Mini could in 4th gear. You could buy ready-made tuning kits in several stages, depending on what you could afford. Top speed of 140 Km/h was the target for most tuned 850s and 160 Km/h was the target for a good 1000cc. 180 Km/h was achievable with a tuned Cooper S or 1275 GT. The fastest Minis tuned for racing reached up to 200 km/h and could accelerate from 0-100 in between 5 & 6 seconds depending on gearing.


Not bad performance considering the engine was an old build from the fifties. BMC's A series engine was a sound construction of the old school with overhead valves, push rods, 5 port cylinder head and 3 main bearings. The Mini must be the most popular tuning object ever in automotive history. For many, a new Mini was just a starting point, the pieces that were retrofitted set the personal touch and no two modified cars were exactly alike. There were options in a Mini for the dexterous. That was a big part of the charm of being a Mini owner, then as now. As it became possible to find used 1100 and 1300 engines from damaged or refurbished Marinas, it became a popular sport to throw a 1275er engine into the Mini and get some speed over the field. It could be done in a weekend, and then the dog house could suddenly move in a completely different way. Many forgot to get it inspected and approved by the motoring authority and only a few had their brakes upgraded to match the engine power. Of course, there are still many horrifying near-death experiences in circulation from the Mini's heyday as a tuning object. But as a former (now deceased) Mini pilot once told: You could usually always steer yourself out of trouble, just keep the accelerator down, otherwise the car would go sideways.


DEVELOPMENT OR SETTLEMENT

The Mini's biggest problem of all time was not a lack of ingenuity among the owners, it was more product development that was lacking. From start to finish, the Mini was plagued by extremely poor assembly quality, and only the Mini's charm and practicality prevented the small car from becoming a bracket in car history. Towards the end of the 60s, the public began to expect a new Mini; what they got was Clubman and Mrk. III model. What people expected was probably a slightly bigger car with a bit more comfort. It was new wine in old bottles. New were windows that could be rolled up and down instead of being pushed back and forth. Interior door hinges. Slightly different lights and seats. On the other hand, the practical door pockets and the hydroelastic suspension had to be given up on the same occasion. Progress? Not really. But 1971 was, after all, the year when the most Minis rolled off the assembly line around the world, where Minis were assembled. At that time there were assembly plants in Australia, Italy and Belgium. The Italian Innocenti Minis were by the way the best assembled and equipped of all Minis from that time.


However, very little had been done about the Mini's biggest problems. Bad gearboxes, so-so brakes, noise, not to mention electrical systems that you could never fully trust.


Some of the very basic problems that the car suffered from from the start were never solved during the model's heyday. Proper disc brakes were e.g. reserved for Cooper S and 1275 GT. Only in 1983 did the Mini finally get 12 inch wheels and disc brakes as standard, at least 13 years too late. The English car industry simply didn't understand what the car buyer wanted or they didn't care. Rover never had the will and eventually the means to create a modern Mini. Never thought the British car industry fully understood that they had created a design platform that was immortal and a gold mine. Only when the Mini concept came into German hands was a new and modern Mini created at long last in step with the times.


The car's creator, Alex Issigonis, is said to have said to an Italian car designer who offered his help in designing the original Mini, "long after you are dead, my design will still be modern". It should turn out to be true.


During the 80s the Mini was up against newer and better designs and it quietly disappeared from the Danish market along with the rest of the original British car industry. 1982 was the last year in which significant Minis were sold in Denmark. The importer DOMI persevered to the end. Although they eventually saw the writing on the wall and had to look for other car brands, they ultimately succumbed in the same way as the once proud British car industry.


It is remarkable that the original Mini survived in some markets and that it outlived its successor, the Austin/Rover Metro. A car that didn't have the Mini's charm at all, it was instead a sad charmless cross between a Renault 5 and a Fiat 127. Still with the same now totally antiquated engine and gearbox as a power source. The best that can be said about the Metro is that the improved A+ engine found its way into the last Minis produced by Rover. Many Metros were butchered to take the engine and disc brakes and, in some cases, front seats and put it all into a real Mini. Why Rover never put the K series engine in the original Mini, one may well wonder. They only built one example, even with a tuned K series engine, and when Top Gear's Clarkson tested it, he claimed that the noise in that car was so loud it made his ears bleed. Surely an exaggeration! Perhaps the 4 open intake funnels should have been silenced a bit. The funny thing is that the Mini is still rebuilt and tuned in style to this day. One of the better conversions is with a Honda 1.6 or 1.8 Type R engine or Opel's GSI 2.0 16V "red top" engine. Incidentally, the Mini still has its own racing class in England. Yes, there are still crumbs in the original Mini.


Articles you must read:









 

Family

Morris Mini Minor

In 1987 the Donslund family moved to Norway, - the family car was a brand new BMW 3 series. Such a new car was nice, but for me quite boring. After all, nothing ever broke. In Norway, the culture of old classic cars was already well underway in the 80s, it was contagious. The neighbor restored, for example, an old Lotus Cortina. However, it was when I saw a bunch of old Minis headed for a meet that I was infected. In my family, it was BMC cars that mattered - and especially Mini. In a period from the mid-60s until the beginning of the eighties, it was Mini, Marina and Maxi. Therefore, I have many memories from a bygone era, as a passenger in those cars. That was while there was still free speed in Denmark. Many trips in the Mini took place with the accelerator at full throttle. Especially on the trips on smooth roads the Mini could impress, one of my brothers had no less than 6 new Minis.



MY FIRST CAR

My first car was also a Morris Mini. It was in 1977, and there could be no doubt at all that if I were to repair an old car, it would have to be an old Mini, and preferably a Mrk. 1. On my sales trips in southern Norway, I noticed all the places that kept an old Mini in the garage. There was one in Kongsberg, one in Arendal and one in Sandefjord where we lived. I tried several times to stop the lady in the green Mini, who was occasionally seen on the roads in Sandefjord, I never succeeded. But one day in the spring of 1988 it was for sale in Sandefjords Avis. I called right away and a very specific lady asked me what I wanted with the car. I explained that I want to fix it up and make it nice again. It was good, because if my answer and my intentions had not satisfied the lady, the green Mini would not have been mine. The price was DKK 5,000. That's the price it had been for her mother's car. She also said: "If you want to saw the roof off it (which was very fashionable then) or paint it pink or something like that, you can't buy it." The mini became mine. It had driven well over 100,000 km and, like all old Minis, had rust, but to my delight it was mostly on the surface. It still had the original front fenders and the original rear bridge, which is rare on a 22-year-old Mini.

The car received a major service, with new brakes, fluids etc. In its somewhat rustic condition, it was only slightly used. That same summer, a car backed into it. Luckily I saw it and got the insurance involved. They wanted to completely damage the car, but of course I didn't want that. The front and fenders were bent so much that new parts had to be made. That was the starting point for the first partial renovation, which, damage or not, the plan was to carry out anyway. The car got a new front and new fenders, and it was repainted at Halvorsens Autolak in Sandefjord, where you could help yourself with sanding and puttying. In the spring of 1989, the little Mini was ready for its next life. We drove many nice trips in it in 1989 and 1990. I especially remember the trips on balmy summer evenings on roads along the coast between Larvik and Arendal, often with a stop in Risør. To Notodden to visit friends, and even a trip to Denmark with the children in the back seat in the Pinsen 89. The car was used summer and winter, we had studded winter tires for it, so it could also be used on ice and snow.


I FOUND THE RIGHT DONOR

The story could and perhaps should have ended there, but I enjoyed going and tinkering with the old car a bit, and I had always wanted to own a trimmed Mini. One late winter day in 1990, I was walking with my wife under my arm in Larvik. Some people were tearing up a hedge, and behind the hedge was an upgraded Austin 1300 GT. I asked if the car was just going away. The answer was that it had to, and preferably as soon as possible. I could have it if I bothered to remove it at once. They didn't have to say that twice. The following day it was picked up on a trailer. Such a 1300 GT had the engine and gearbox that could give my old Mini Cooper performance. The upgraded Austin became a donor for my dog house upgrade project. I took out the engine with the dual SU carburettors and gearbox, along with the instrumentation and steering wheel, then threw out the rest of the GT. I took the engine apart, gave it new bearings and piston rings. The gearbox got new bearings and everything was installed in the Mini in Easter 91. There was a Cooper S exhaust and the 2X 1-1/4-inch SU carburettors from the GT on the 1275 engine. From 34-70 hp. It helped the power in the old Mini. To that extent, the many forces revealed the car's inability to brake. So I bought a complete set of Cooper S brakes from a Mini junkyard in England.


At a Mitsubishi dealer in Oslo there was a man who had worked there since the BMC days. He had very detailed paperwork on what was needed to rebuild the brakes and chassis for the Cooper S and get it approved as an S. Everything in the Mini was replaced and rebuilt to "S" specifications over the summer. Then followed a really fun autumn with lots of wonderful trips in the peppy Mini. Of the iconic trips, a trip into Telemark (Gaustadtoppen) with lots of turns is especially memorable. A trip where we followed rally Østfold on gravel roads. Trips on winter roads to Kongsberg for skiing. The car was now in very good and usable technical condition, also in terms of rust. It had actually become our number 3 car. The wife gradually got used to driving the Mini. She drove around corners, so wheel caps fell off the car through the many turns from the E18 up to Verningen, where we now lived at Stubben 7. Our children learned to hold on to the back seat when father and mother played rally driver in the old dog house.< /p>


NEW SKIES

When we moved back to Denmark in December 1992, the Mini naturally moved with us. For a few months it was our only car. So it was driven quite a bit that winter. In the early days I often had to go on trips to Norway to look after the business, and in February 1993 I drove the trip Grindsted-Larvik-Sandefjord in the Minien. When I was going home it was stormy and the ferry didn't go. I had to drive Sandefjord-Kristiansand in a snowstorm and take the ferry over to Hirtshals. The ferry could not land there due to the weather, so the ferry went around Skagen to Frederikshavn, where the tide was extremely low due to the storm. The ferry staff had to lay out running boards for the cars to drive ashore. No problem for a normal car, but a bit awkward in a Mini. The good (and strong) people lifted the rear wheels over the edges of the running boards while I sat in the car and quietly rolled forward in first gear. I came ashore and went home. It was quite an experience, and the last time the green Mini was in its old homeland. The car was inspected in Denmark, tax was paid (DKK 5,000) and Danish plates were added (PX 26442).


In 1995, the old Mini was finally ready for some new paint, and I got the idea to make it properly cosmetically, the paint from Halvorsen had never been quite good, so I took it apart completely and had it painted in "British racing green" with a white roof. And then the engine and gearbox got the big ride with a Longmann "fast road" cylinder head, bore to 1380 cc with forged racing pistons. The crank was balanced. It got a Kent Megadyne 266 degree camshaft. The gearbox also got the whole trip, and a higher gear ratio of 29:1. In October 95 it was now completely as I had wanted it to always be. For the next 5 years it was used extensively, more than 30,000 km were done in those years. I had the engine and chassis trimmed in and fitted with 4.5 inch wide Minilite rims with Yokohama 165/70-10 tires. It was now so far from being a peaceful little Minicar, it had actually become really fast. It could go 180 km/h with a little good will and the wind at its back. I learned a lot about engine tuning and undercarriage fine tuning. I also learned how important the right spark plugs are - this after a near death experience where a spark plug lost an electrode at 6000 revs. Since then I have stuck to NGK! Fortunately, it flew out of the engine without causing any damage, that was lucky. Advice and advice for tuning and adjustment (and choice of spark plugs) came from none other than Jan "Motor" Mortensen, who first became the Danish rally champion in a Cooper S in the 70s.


SAVED AWAY…. BUT DON'T FORGET

In October 2000, the car had a break without being used. I didn't really have the time, and since we now had 3 children, the little car was a bit too small for the whole family to fit in, so it sat in the garage for almost 4 years without being driven. I wouldn't say I had lost interest, but the time to look after and nurture it wasn't really there anymore. The Danish climate is hard on a car that is not used, the brakes hung, and gradually it quietly became a sad sight. I didn't want to see it sit there and suffer, so in 2004 I took it apart and sorted all the parts into cardboard boxes, the engine came on a pallet, and the whole thing was put up in the attic. The crude body also stood on a pallet for the next 10 years. I knew it had to go out again sometime, but I didn't really have the time.


In 2014 I started collecting the loose parts, doors, tailgate etc. Together with my friend Johnny, Mini fun was doomed, and over a few winters, the Mini quietly came back to life. In September 2016, it was inspected and plates were put on it again, just in time to be the wedding vessel at my son's wedding. I think everyone in the family was happy to see it again. It is the part of our family that lives in the garage! It hasn't done many kilometers, but I'm happy every time I see it. We have now had it for well over 30 years and it is the vehicle that will remain with us as long as I can chew bread. When I assembled my tuned S engine at the time according to the thoughts and principles I had gathered about tuning over time, it was fun when in 2017 it came to a rolling field for some fine-tuning. I was somewhat surprised that the old engine turned out to produce 92 hp.


The Mini is now 53 years old, a piece of automotive history. And part of my own history, part of the family's history. The Mini and I turn 60 this autumn, so I wonder if 2019 will have some good trips into the blue in it. I look forward to that!

The technical development of Mini through the ages


The first Minis rolled off the assembly line in the summer of 1959. The Mini was a venture from England's largest car manufacturer BMC, which at the time was the world's 4th largest car manufacturer. BMC bought Morris and Austin in 1952 and that made BMC (British Motor Corporation) England's largest car factory. In 1957, the task of building a new small economical people's car was given to Alec Issigonis (Alexander Arnold Constantine Issigonis), who created the epoch-making small car in record time. In England, all were initially called Austin Seven or Morris Mini Minor. In 1960, the Van, Traveler and Countryman (with timber frame) were added. All Mini models, whether an Austin or a Morris, were distinguished only by small cosmetic differences. The new small car was for all years produced in Longbridge near Birmingham. In the period from 1959-1969 also with Morris in Cowley near Oxford.


In this country, the name was Austin Partner and Morris Mascot. At that time, Morris and Austin each had their own sales organization around the world, thus also in Denmark. DOMI in Glostrup imported Morris alongside Austin in Odense. From 1972, DOMI was the sole Danish importer (Danish Overseas Motor Industry).


Mark I 1959-1967

The first and original version of the Mini is today called the Mark I. Easily recognizable by the small rear lights and the external door hinges.


The first years of the classic Mini can be recognized by the long straight gear lever that goes directly down into the gearbox, and on the front plate under the bumper without a cut-out at the front wheels. These vintages also had metal locks for sliding windows in the front and a start button at the bottom of the car between the front seats.


The 1959-1961 models with these characteristics were also made of thinner steel plates than the following years; this also applied to the rims. These rims would prove to be fatal if the car was used for motorsport, as the hub plate could detach from the rim track. These vintages were also plagued by the fact that the undercarriage in the front was leaking, this because the folds in the undercarriage in the front were joined inappropriately.


All early models had 850er engines with 34 HP. The model was available as standard and in a deluxe version. All 850er Minis had a 4-speed gearbox and final gear ratio 3.76:1


Rims were the smallest seen on a standard car, 3.5 X 10” fitted with Dunlop C41 bias-ply tires.


The Cooper versions

In 1961 came the first sporty Cooper version, it was the first Mini with a 1000er engine (997 CCM). This model differed in a few, but crucial ways from the regular Mini. In addition to the large and tuned engine of a whopping 54 HP, it had a slightly moved back gear lever (remote shift). The Cooper models also had front disc brakes and upgraded instrumentation with an oil pressure gauge and engine temperature gauge. The Cooper models came to mean a lot for the development of the Mini and the Cooper S model, which came into existence in 1963, was a very big step. The A-Series engine was never intended to be over 1000 ccm. Therefore, the S engine was a further development of the A engine. Its engine block was completely differently decommissioned with offset cylinder bores, larger bearings, steel crankshaft, double front chain, etc.


The Cooper S model came in 63 and 64 with three different variants of the S engine, first 1071 and later 970 and 1275 ccm. The S model has larger brake discs 7.5" and vacuum brake booster. The S model has stronger wheel bearings and rims with cooling holes and different compression. All Cooper models have 2 x 1 1/4" SU carburettors.


All Cooper S were equipped with an oil cooler as standard. The gearbox had somewhat shorter jumps between the 4 gears (close ratio gear) and 3.44:1 final ratio. Power distributors without vacuum advancement. Rims were still 3.5 X 10", but 4.5 X 10" was an option that many opted for, just as it was possible to choose an extra petrol tank for the S models. All Cooper models had front disc brakes and rear drum brakes. Steel cardan joints at the drive shafts were also an option for the S model.


Mark I facelift

In 1964, the regular Mini gets its first major update, all saloon models got hydrolastic suspension instead of rubber spring elements. It was also the year when the start button at the bottom disappeared along with the white speedometer. Door handles also got rear-facing handles instead of the dangerous forward-facing handles. Heater will be standard. Automatic transmission will also be an option.


In many ways, these vintages from 64-67 were the final and fully developed Mark I model. Since the very beginning and up until 1964, so many changes had been made to the engine gearbox that should have been standard from the very beginning. Many weaknesses had been discovered thanks to the model's widespread use as a rally and track car. The Cooper 1000 engine is modified with a larger bore and short stroke, making it 998 CCM. From 1966, 2 petrol tanks become standard on all Cooper S models. All Mark Mini models continued to have reverse polarity electrical system with + to frame.


Mark II 1968-1969

In the autumn of 1967 comes the first real major update, which consisted of the body getting a new rear panel with a slightly larger rear window and cutout for larger rear lights. The Mark II retained the old-fashioned exterior door hinges and sliding glass doors. From the front, this model is characterized by a new radiator grille, which was now the same on both Morris and Austin. The biggest news was that the model also got a Super variant with a 38 HP 1000 engine (998 CCM). The Super model also got Cooper instrumentation and remote gearshift. All models eventually got a fully synchronized gearbox (also in 1st gear) 1000 super also got the Cooper S model's final ratio 3.44:1.


The electrical system got the more normal electrical polarization with - for frame. The electric fuel pump is replaced by a mechanical fuel pump. In addition to this, there were small changes to the rack and control arms, which gave the car a slightly smaller turning radius. The hydrolastic suspension elements are also changed slightly. The Cooper models received the same changes. Cooper S is available with 3.5 or 4.5” rims. The 1071 engine variant is dropped, as it is no longer relevant in connection with motorsport.


Behind the scenes, big changes also took place in the years when BMC became BMH and finally British Leyland. Unfortunately, a new management and corporate culture also followed, where the rationalization experts set about simplifying and saving. It could be seen in the quality; bad paint, crooked joints. Engines and gearboxes that leaked oil. It seemed like quality control didn't exist anymore. The Mark II model series was not the breakthrough that many had hoped for. Despite this, 429.00 were made of this short-lived model.


Mark III 1970-1976

This model series is known for more common roll up and down door windows. There were also slightly larger side windows in the back. When the well-known sliding windows and external door hinges disappeared, there was no longer room for the large practical door pockets. Many still saw the new doors as an advantage.


The fluid-filled hydrolastic suspension was replaced by the original (and cheaper) rubber suspension. The casting of the A series engine block is changed. The two screw covers on the push rod side of the block disappear together with the small cooling hose between the block and cylinder head. The heating and ventilation system is supplied with fresh air via the air intake in the right inner fender instead of the hose routing through the engine compartment.


With the Mark III model, Mini got a new Clubman variant. The original Traveler and Countryman also disappeared in favor of a station wagon version of the Clubman. Van and Pick-up versions of the original version continued into the 70s with sliding windows and external door hinges. Unfortunately, all this came at the expense of the Cooper models. However, well over 1,500 Cooper S models with Mark III bodies were made. After that, there were no more Cooper models in the program.


After this, the Clubman 1275 GT was alone in lifting the heavy legacy of Cooper in motorsport. Unfortunately, the 1275 GT "only" had the regular 1275er engine from the 1300 series with a single carburettor and 54 HP under the extended Clubman bonnet. All the exotic engine parts from the Cooper S, such as a special cylinder head with dual valve springs, hardened crankshaft, special connecting rods, were a thing of the past.


However, the small but significant changes were enough for 1971 to be the year when the most Minis rolled off the assembly line. The only significant change in the Mark III model period was that from 1973 the gear change was changed, making it slightly better thanks to the new (rod-change) gear change mechanism. This gear change is recognized by the fact that the gear lever must be lifted to change into reverse gear. New and better cardan joints are also being introduced, replacing the old rubber joints, which was a great advance. At the same time, they switched to alternators and standard mounting of radial tires. All models get seat belts in the front.


The difference between Austin and Morris disappeared with this model. The name was now simply Mini.


The cars from British Leyland had a large market share in Denmark. DOMI, which was in charge of imports to Denmark, started a new preparation center during that period, which had to fix all the faults that were on these cars. The preparation on the part of the factory was so deficient that something had to be done. The new preparation center was outside Varde in West Jutland.


Mark IV 1977-1983

This model is known for having two switches in the steering column, the wiper/washer functions were moved up to the steering wheel on the opposite side of the reject switch. Wipers can thus be activated without the driver having to reach for the small rocker switch by the ignition key. All models got opening side windows in the back and more noise-reducing materials under floor mats in the front. This model gets a rubber-suspended front bridge; something that prevented the worst engine vibrations from propagating to the bodywork. All improvements which provided a much-needed improvement in comfort.


In addition to these common improvements, the 1000 and Clubman also got fresh air nozzles on each side of the dashboard. There were also fabric seats with adjustable backrests. All models received front seats, which are attached with a small metal hook in the car floor to prevent accidental seat tilt in the event of a collision. The Clubman 1275 got 12 inch wheels and the regular Clubman got the 1100 CCM engine. Over time, a special version of the regular Mini with 1100 CCM engine was also added; this one even had Clubman GT instrumentation and, as something completely new for a Mini, original fitted radio. The special model came in some special and beautiful metallic finishes (green, blue and silver mental) and period nappa roof. It was actually an anniversary edition to celebrate the Mini's 20 years. Van and Pick-up models also get the improved rod-change gearshift. All models are equipped with a 1 ½ inch SU carburettor.


Unfortunately, only the Clubman GT had disc brakes. All others retained the now antiquated drum brakes at all 4 wheels. The development was now clearly focused on the new Austin Metro, the model that was intended to replace the Mini. Over time, the Mini model got new taillights with built-in taillights and from 1981, the unsightly screen extenders were added to all Mini models in Denmark.

The Mark IV was the last version, which sold well in Denmark and in all other traditional Mini markets around the world. Competition from new supermini models from Fiat, Renault and VW began to take customers away from Mini.


Mark V 1984-1992

This generation of Mini never came to Denmark, time had run out from it. Mini was then no longer produced in the numbers that had been seen in the 60s and 70s. But the classic Mini was still delivered in other countries in Europe. It had the same body as its predecessor. The model contained the most significant changes. Eg. proper 8.4” front disc brakes and 12 inch wheels became standard on all models. Until 1990, all had a 1000 (998 ccm) engine. In 1990, funnily enough, the 1300 (1275) engine came back into play. All with the classic SU carburettor which had accompanied all Mini models for all years, now in modernized form as SU HIF 38mm or 44mm single carburettor. For the Metro, a significantly upgraded A+ engine had been developed in both 998 and 1275 ccm form. This engine also found its way into the classic Mini and the + update brought the old engine up to date with most other engine designs of the time. It was the biggest upgrade of the A series engine ever.


Following requests from, among others, Japan, even the Cooper variant found its way back to the salesrooms. However, not as a tuned special model as in the 60s. But still like a sporty Mini. Again, it was John Cooper who pushed on (the man who in his time had made his name and created the first Cooper prototypes) started making Cooper conversion kits for the regular Mini. British Leyland had become the Rover Group and Rover took up the idea and recreated a Cooper model with a 1275er engine.


With an upgraded engine and gearbox, thicker soundproofing and better seats, this model had the best comfort ever seen in a Mini. Quality and finish reached a standard never before seen on a Mini. This edition came to form the beginning of a long series of "edition" models. This version thus existed in a number of different equipment versions adapted to the markets where there were still buyers for the original Mini.


An extremely interesting special model is developed on the basis of the Metro Turbo engine, for a short period 1989–90 a small series of the only Mini with pressure charging is made. Mini ERA Turbo 1275. This model produced 94 HP. Supercharging was by means of a two-stage Garrett T3 turbocharger and special manifold and associated SU carburettor. Engine block, pistons and cylinder head were made from modified A+ engine parts. Full boost was possible from 4000 rpm. This Mini had a completely unique leather interior and full instrumentation that was only available on this model. Wide rims and deep front spoiler and associated side skirts gave this model a brutal appearance, to say the least.


Mark VI 1992-1997

The model gets a modified front bridge, which moves the engine forward a little to make room for single point injection. The 1000 ccm engine drops out and all have a 1275 A+ engine and electronic ignition, although still with a traditional power distributor. For certain markets equipped with 1-way catalytic converter. The instrument panel is closed with a glove compartment door and instrumentation with a tachometer is standard. Bonnet gets internal unlocking mechanism.


Mark VII 1997-2000

The Euro II norm was close to killing the Mini. Major changes were needed, not least lower emissions and less noise. The A+ engine is further optimized and gets MPI injection, also called "twin-port injection" with self-diagnosis and 3-way catalytic converter. This time with real engine control with an integrated ignition system (according to the wasted spark principle), i.e. without a power distributor. This was to be the last A-series engine variant. Engine output is 63 HP. The engine compartment is rebuilt so that the radiator comes out in front and the generator is moved to the right up and to the rear to make room for the radiator. For the first time, the radiator is a closed system with an expansion tank in the left inner screen. Doors are reinforced with a collision beam. A steering wheel airbag with self-diagnosis is fitted.


Special versions of Mini


1960-1983 Van versions: Pick-up, Van.

1961-1969 Estate car models: Countryman and Traveller

1961-1969 Luxury models: Wolseley Hornet and Riley Elf

1961-1970 Sports versions: Cooper

1962-1978 Australian built Mini (Mark I, II, III, Clubman and Moke)

1964-1993 Military version: Mini Moke

1969-1980 Clubman

1965-1976 Innocenti Mini (Mark I, II and III)

1989-1991 ERA Mini Turbo

1991-1993 Mini Convertible

1990-2000 Cooper is reintroduced


The Mini models that were built in Italy (Innocenti) and Australia differed considerably from the English-produced Minis. Parts from local suppliers were used. The development of these models is a story in itself.



7 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

コメント


bottom of page