EX-RALLY MINI COOPER S: HONORARY DONOR RACED BY A MINI-MINDED FAMILY
Back in the 60s, sporting a red livery, the works Minis tuned by John Cooper made quite the impression in international rally racing. The British Morris Mini had proven to be a genuine sports car with its driving behaviour reminiscent of a go-kart. Starting in 1962 the Mini Cooper and, later, the Mini Cooper S brought home a number of international victories, scoring the first win in the Tulip Rally with Pat Moss, the sister of Formula One driver Stirling Moss, followed by 3 official edition wins in the Rally of Monte Carlo.
This particular Mini was built for rallying in the United Kingdom and was transformed to a track car by the Dutch company ‘Mini Minded’. The dual-carburated Mini Cooper S sported a larger engine which displaced 1071 cc, developing 70 hp (52 kW) capable of a top speed of 160 kilometers per hour (99 mph). Rally Minis were fitted the necessary accessories like mud flaps, headlight covers, interior reading lights, a dashboard with more gages including a trip master and a power plug on the front of the car to power a giant light bar. These original rally parts are now highly sought-after, so much so that the parts from this particular Dutch car found its way to the BMW Classic Group that was in the process of restoring a rally Mini Cooper for the BMW Museum in München.
The ex-rally car is not the only Mini that is run out of the Mini Minded garage. The family business races a second Cooper S as well as a 1275 GT. The latter is a rare car on track, since the 1275 GT was more economically built, utilizing a single carburettor and producing only 60 hp. It also sports the square Clubman front which was not well received by mini purists. However, having fitted a Yamaha R1 engine in a Mini once, Mini Minded is always up for a challenge. The 1275 GT was tuned to the maximum, using a different cam shaft, fly wheel, race clutch, a limited slip differential and a close ratio ‘straight cut’ gear box.
Klaas Span from Mini Minded will race the ex-rally Mini Cooper S in the NK GTCC during the Classic GP. His son Carst races a second Cooper S while the second son Timo Span will race a genuine Marcos 1800, built in Ireland.