FOR SALE: 1968 Morris Mini Cooper S MkII
While the original Mini sold in big numbers in South Africa, finding a fine specimen of a Cooper S in this country is particularly challenging. This stunning example has been completely restored.
Year and make/Model: 1968 Morris Mini Cooper S MkII
Engine: 1 275cc
Mileage: 285 km since restoration
Colour: Almond Green
PRICE: R695 000
Conceived by its iconic designer, Alec Issigonis, to be a lesson in efficiency and superior packaging, the original Mini went on to enjoy a surprisingly spectacular successful motorsport career. The man to thank? John Cooper.
John was co-founder, with his father Charles, of the Cooper Car Company. Cooper saw the car’s racing potential, but Issigonis was initially reluctant, so Cooper appealed to the British Motor Corporation’s (BMC) management, and in 1961 an agreement was reached that led to the two men collaborating to create Cooper (sporty) versions of both Austin and Morris versions of the Mini. (The Austin and Morris badges were dropped in 1969 when Mini became a model line.)
Note that this example is in fact one of the very last models ever produced under its individual brand (Morris), before the switch to Leyland badging for all cars.
The Mk II variant of the Austin and Morris Mini Cooper S was launched in October 1967. Some changes were made, most notably a larger rear window and different rear lights. Both Austin- and Morris-badged models were assembled from Completely Knocked Down (CKD) packs – as opposed to being manufactured – at the BMC (later Leykor, then Leyland) plant in Blackheath, Cape Town. Everything the assembly plant needed (or at least almost everything) was shipped as a kit from England and assembled in the Mother City.
According to the UK Heritage records of CKD packs exported to South Africa, this car was listed as an Austin, so why it emerged as a Morris is a mystery.
Only 655 Cooper S Models (both 1071cc and 1275cc) were assembled in South Africa. If you have a South African Mini, you will find detailed differences from the English cars following a pattern similar to the Australian cars. In fact, the South African Minis made use of the same roll-up, vent wing window doors for a while starting in early 1967.The SA versions also came with the option of bucket seats. They were however all fitted with twin fuel tanks and an oil cooler in front of the distributor along with an additional header tank to improve the cooling.
This genuine and original 1275cc Morris Cooper S Mk II is believed to be one of only three such cars remaining in South Africa. The car has an interesting history from new with only two previous registered owners from 18 September 1968 to 4 December 1989. It was de-registered by the second owner to be overhauled and resprayed. It remained partially disassembled until July 2019, when the current owner commenced a complete and detailed restoration of the car to the original color, body, and engine specification.
The body shell is recognized as a genuine BMC Mini Cooper MK II, with the larger rear window and light clusters. According to the original registration document it has the original 1275cc engine, with nitrated crankshaft, and fitted with later oil-cooler and radiator header tank for improved cooling in tropical climates.
It is fitted with 4x4,5J 9-hole original rims with new Dunlop SP Sport 165/70 tires and with a period correct 3,5J spare wheel and jack in the boot.
The interior is simply perfect, having been completely re-trimmed in the original black vinyl coated seat fabric, new black carpet set, matching door cards and a restored flawless dash which all complement the exterior wonderfully. The boot area is impressive with gleaming gloss black painted twin tanks synonymous with the Cooper S and newly carpeted boot floor.
This Morris Mini Cooper S MK II, finished in its original Almond Green with the roof in Old English White, is seriously impressive in the metal with a deep and glossy finish. All the chrome detailing has a mirror finish and is immaculate throughout. The underside of the car is equally neat, and the original matching numbers engine was fully rebuilt by Bob Osborne and has covered a mere 285 km since completion.
The engine bay is completely detailed, and the drivetrain retains the original Hardy Spicer couplings and prop shaft.
This Cooper S only be described as a collectors / enthusiast’s dream. It wants for nothing and is ready to be used and enjoyed.
The cars is licensed and registered on the South African Natis system.
NOTE: The above information was supplied by the dealer currently advertising this vehicle and has not been verified by SentiMETAL/Cars.co.za.
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