Who would have thought a 2000 Solar Red Cooper Sports could cause such controversy? But that’s what happened at the end of 2011, after the Top Gear India Special. It all started off innocently enough, the episode being jokingly branded as a trade mission and even featuring Prime Minister of the time David Cameron supposedly giving his endorsement. But after the show aired on BBC2, this all changed. Not only was the Indian High Commission unimpressed, the louder cry of dissatisfaction came from Classic Mini owners, after the face of this almost immaculate late Mini was ripped off when presenter Richard Hammond tried to winch James May’s Rolls-Royce up a steep incline!
But what happened to this Mini, after its brief appearance in the Top Gear display at the National Motor Museum? Well, starting on P60 we have the full story.
Mini variants, such as the Woody estate, are becoming a rarer and rarer sight — even at Mini shows. So I’m pleased to say that we’ve got one of the best, if not the best, in the form of Bill Bevan’s 1966 freshly restored cover star.
With the Monte Carlo rally just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to feature a rally replica build, and the attention to detail of Anthony Ryan’s MkII is impressive.
But perhaps I have left the most important feature Mini until last. Rhos Jenkins’s 1976 1000 might look standard, but it is, in fact, one of just a few remaining first limited editions.
Elsewhere, we have reports from the recent Castle Combe Action Day, plus Minis To The Alps with the Cooper Register. And if you’re more into learning about and fixing your car, we have the latest in our Mini Handling series, plus how to change your locks. Plus, if you need restoration encouragement, we’ve got the lowdown on Gary Carr’s Clubman Estate, in On The Job.
Enjoy the issue!
Bill Bevan’s restored '66 Woody Estate.