The Mini Cooper S: Keep Rocking The Road
The year 1963 saw the debut of the more powerful Mini Cooper ‘S’. Its features included a 1071 cc engine with a 70.61 mm bore, nitrided steel crankshaft with a strengthened bottom to allow further tuning and larger servo-assisted disc brakes. The model was upgraded in August 1964. By this time 4030 Cooper S cars had already been sold.
Two more Cooper ‘S’ cars were produced specifically for circuit racing. They were specifically made for the under 1000 cc and under 1300 cc classes respectively. Both the cars were rated at 970 cc (59 cu in) and 1275 cc (77.8 cu in). Each had a 70.61 mm (2780 in) bore. The cars were made available to the public. Only 963 units of the smaller engine model were built. It was not received well by the public and had to be discontinued in 1965. The 1275 cc Cooper ‘S’ models continued production till 1971.
Mini Cooper Sales figures
The following are the reported sales figures of the different variants of the Mini Cooper:
- 64,000 units of Mark I Coopers with either 997 cc or 998 cc engines;
- 19,000 units of Mark I Cooper ‘S’ with either 970cc, 1071 cc or 1275 cc engines;
- 16,000 units of Mark II Coopers with 998 cc engines;
- 6,300 units of Mark II Cooper ‘S’ with 1275 cc engines;
- 1,570 units of Mark III Cooper ‘S’.
Minis in the rally
The Monte Carlo Rally in 1964, 1965 and 1967 was won by the Mini Cooper ‘S’. It also attained 1st, 2nd and 3rd positions in the 1966 rally before getting disqualified by the French judges due to a controversy. The controversy revolved around the use of a variable resistance headlamp dimming circuit instead of a dual-filament lamp. However, the Citro?n DS, which escaped disqualification and eventually went to the first place, had illegal white headlamps. The controversy saw the driver of the Citro?n DS vowing never to race for them again. The whole controversy gave BMC possibly more publicity than they could have got from a victory.