Lot 165 - 1965 Morris Mini Cooper ‘S’ Mk. I (1275cc)
|Odometer reading||5,678 miles|
|Estimate||£37,000 - £42,000|
|Result||Sold - £39,200|
- Fully restored example
- Original UK supplied example
To many, its designer Alec Issigonis included, the notion that the Mini might have a future as anything other than basic transport was anathema, and the idea of a high-performance version was laughable. One man though, saw it quite differently. Racing car manufacturer John Cooper already knew quite a bit about tuning BMC's A-Series engine, he was running the company's Formula Junior effort at the time, and a test drive in a prototype Mini convinced him of the car's competition potential. The result, launched in September 1961, was the Mini Cooper, a car that offered a size/price/performance package that was nothing short of miraculous. The Mini Cooper soon established its credentials as a rally and race winner, and the stage was set for even faster versions. The first of these, the 1,071cc Mini Cooper 'S' of 1963, took engine development a stage further and provided the basis for the 971 'S' and 1275 'S' of 1964.
This original right hand drive UK supplied Morris Mini Mk. I Cooper S was built on 11th November 1965 and first dispatched on 26th January 1966 to Stewart & Arden Limited in Acton, London. Originally specified in Tartan Red with a black roof and red, gold and grey trim this is a single fuel tank example due to being pre 1966 when twin tanks were a standard fit. This example was also fitted with a heater as an extra. In 1996, Mr De Silva purchased this car and from then until 2017 he undertook a full restoration on LBL 924D, with much of the work carried out by The East Anglian Mini Centre Ltd in Ipswich. The restoration was of a very good standard and the car now presents unsurprisingly as new. Accompanying the car is a history file detailing the restoration, the original handbooks, Heritage certificate and an MoT test certificate valid until May 2019. The number plate on this example also holds some value, with works cars displaying LBL including the Monte Carlo Rally winner LBL 6D which the team retained, alongside LBL 66D and LBL 666D, for their works rally cars. It is thought a mere 345 Morris Mini Cooper S cars remain on UK roads today and with examples in this condition commanding well over £50,000, frankly, this looks like incredible value especially given its rarity and wow factor.