ENGINE 1275cc/4-cyl/OHV POWER 70bhp@3900rpm TORQUE 78lb ft@3250rpm MAXIMUM SPEED 92mph 0-60MPH 12.5sec FUEL CONSUMPTION 35-39mpg TRANSMISSION FWD, four-speed manual MoT 12 months ODOMETER 76,201 miles
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
This 1991 car starts instantly, runs beautifully and offers excellent acceleration throughout the rev range. More imortantly it corners like a Mini should, with an immediacy to the steering that’s free of play and no worrying knocks or rattles through the bends. The gearchange is smooth and precise by Mini standards, and while you’ll still hear the traditional whine on the move, it’s minimal and shouldn’t cause any concern. The ride’s still on the bouncy side, but the super-comfortable aftermarket front seats do a wonderful job of minimising it. This really is a classic Mini you can drive painlessly over long distances.
Plenty of major work has been carried out on the car over the past year or so by its owner’s family business, Wentworth Coachworks in Surrey. The doors, bonnet and subframe are new Heritage replacements and the respray was clearly done to a high standard. The sills appear to be original and are in good order. There are no noticeable rust spots or bubbling, and the A-pillars and valances are in sound condition. The paintwork has an even shine throughout, the correct decals have been applied and the chrome is good.
HOW’S THE INTERIOR?
The aftermarket Cobra bucket front seats look the part and remain in good condition, likewise the Moto-Lita John Cooper Signature steering wheel. The rest of the interior is original, and has survived well for a 26-year-old car. The carpets show no signs of wear, the door cards are in excellent order, and there’s no sign of sagging headlining. The dashboard is free of any scuffs or cracks, and all the instruments work as Longbridge intended, too.
UNDER THE BONNET
The engine currently doesn’t look as immaculate as the rest of the car, but it wouldn’t take a huge amount of work to remedy that. More importantly, it appears to be in good mechanical health and has been serviced regularly. There are no signs of leaks or frayed wiring and the car gave no indication that it’s susceptible to overheating, even following a spririted test drive. Everything in fact seems to be in excellent order – the engine and gearbox appear to be in fine fettle.
THE CCW VIEW
The owner of this car is selling it only because a change in family circumstances means that it’s no longer big enough. He has owned the car for ten years and obviously cherished it. Restoration work in the familyowned body repair business has resulted in a car that isn’t far off being as good as new. The underbonnet reflects an honestly used and enjoyed car rather than something prepared for showing or sale. This Cooper is definitely worth serious consideration.