The Mini Cooper Car Club was formed after an advertisement placed in the cars-for-sale section of the NZ Herald gathered a few likely Cooper members at the band rotunda in the Auckland Domain, on a long weekend early in the 1980s. At the time, the only other Mini club in New Zealand was a Mini 7 race club.
The club is a national organization, generally open to Cooper owners, and a Register has been formed. The club also joined Motorsport NZ so members could attend motor-racing events with other classic-car clubs, and hold its own speed events and car trials.
In the early ’90s the club was joined by more enthusiasts through the reintroduction of the Cooper name, and the production of the new-generation Rover Mini Coopers.
This signalled an upsurge of interest in Minis, and other clubs formed within the main centres to cater for local Cooper owners’ needs.
In the early 2000s the Mini Cooper Car Club became more of a register for classic Mini Coopers, and once again, members’ ranks were refreshed with the introduction of the Bmw-built Coopers. However, the newer Coopers tended to join local clubs (and Club MINI) and, in many cases, had no need for a club. As a result, the Register of the 1961 to 1972 and 1990 to 2000 Mini Coopers has become the main focus of the club today.
Tony Maulder has looked after and expanded this register since the ’80s, and now lists about 300 classic Mini Coopers that have been, or are, Nz-registered Mini Coopers.
The register can help in authenticating genuine Mini Coopers, weeding out the less-than-genuine machines that have appeared since the rapid increase in the value and collectability of genuine Mini Coopers throughout today’s motoring world.
At present some Mini Cooper owners from the register get together, usually at the annual Ellerslie Concours, for a car show, but generally mix and mingle with the other New Zealand-based Mini clubs.