View Full Version : Which Mini is which???

Joel Simmons
05-04-2003, 10:15 AM

Okay, don't snap-out on me here, but I have a pretty stupid question. I've been looking at some of the Minis out there (like on Hemmings.com or Miniguy.com) and I'm a bit confused. I thought all Minis were "Mini Coopers." Apparently this is not true, since I see some cars for sale advertised as "Cooper look-a-like" or "Morris Mini" or "Austin Mini" or "_ _ _ Mini."

Which Mini is which? Am I going nuts? For example, the Mini at the top of the Mini forum here (black w/ silver stripes)...what Mini is that?

graemlins/crazyeyes.gif graemlins/crazy.gif graemlins/crazyeyes.gif graemlins/crazy.gif

05-04-2003, 05:29 PM
What might be confusing you is the new MINI. It goes by "MINI Cooper" and "MINI Cooper S" to cash in on the name recognition. I'm not sure how much, if any, Mr. Cooper actually participated in the MINI's design.

A good introduction to the classic mini is "The Big Mini Book". It covers the many variations of the mini theme as well as some highly modified mini's and kit cars based on the original.

Have fun.

Joel Simmons
05-04-2003, 08:07 PM

Thanks for the clarification. I think I understand it now, but I'll check out "The Big Mini Book" as well.

So, the "Cooper S," using the analogy that Buddy suggested, would be equivalent to the Neon R/T or something?

I know that the new MINI Cooper is just playing off the name and shape of the classic Mini (much like the New Beetle does off the classic Beetle).


05-04-2003, 08:13 PM
Exactally. Cooper S is like a Honda Type R.

There will be a real Cooper edition new MINI. Its endorsed by Cooper's firm and has bit more power than the S.

05-05-2003, 03:43 AM
OK, Austin and Morris were two differen't brand names of the same car. Kinda like the Dodge and Plymoth Neon. Its the same car with a different badge.

There are tons of versions of Minis and Mini variants, but Cooper means it has John Cooper's tuning package. Original Coopers are going to be more expensive than a basic Mini, but now days, lots of companies build Cooper spec engines and stick them in the cars since they are so modular when it comes to parts.

05-06-2003, 01:21 PM

Welcome to the forum. You'll find the folks here very accomodating to us newbies. There is another site that's a little more technical (Minimania.com). I don't consider it a competitor to this site as it is a little less polite. Actually the two sites complement each other.

05-07-2003, 04:00 AM
in very broad strokes the Mini had engines
of 850cc, 1000cc (+/- a few cc, with some Cooper
versions) and 1275cc.
The 'regular' Mini tends to be Mini 1000(1 litre
engine). That's probably what you're looking for
as a daily driver without spending silly money.
They came with drum brakes all around (Coopers had front discs)and enough 'pick-up-and-go'
to put a smile on your face any day.

Joel Simmons
05-10-2003, 03:50 AM

I posted this in the VTEC Minis thread as well, but thought it belonged here instead:

I just bought a copy of Mini World magazine, great stuff. However, I had no clue that they kept making classic Minis well into the 90's. Do they STILL make the classic version in the UK?

Anyway, I was asking what the differences were between Austin Minis and Morris Minis, with the explanation being: its like a Dodge and Plymouth Neon, same car, different badges. Coopers = hopped-up version.

So...what the heck is a Mini Mayfair, Mini Flame, Mini City, Mini 1000 (edit: didn't see the explanation above for this one), Mini Sportspack, Mini...Mini...aaaaaaahhhhhh!!! graemlins/crazy.gif graemlins/crazyeyes.gif graemlins/crazy.gif graemlins/crazyeyes.gif

I'm going nuts trying to figure out which model is which! My general assumption is that, for us here in the US, we want 60's or early 70's Minis so that we can avoid smog checks and the like. So, do these older Minis have the ability to be retro-fit with newer classic Mini hardware? Are there any major structural differences? Any surprises?

Okay...returning to sanity... graemlins/thirsty.gif

[ 05-09-2003: Message edited by: Joel Simmons ]</p>

05-11-2003, 05:28 PM
Rover made the Mini until the late 90's ('99?).
Mini Mayfair etc were just 'limited editions'
to try to shore up falling interest in a car
too out dated and too expensive to compete with
todays small cars.
Different names - same car.

05-11-2003, 10:30 PM
The last classic Mini was completed on October 4, 2000. Like rulle7 said, the Mayfair, City, British Open, Mini 25, Mini 40, etc. were special editions.

05-12-2003, 10:45 PM
The Sportspack was a factory trim package from the 90's+ that included 12" wheels and wide arches (flares) among other items.

The import ban is related to safety and emissions regulations. I'm not exactly sure what is non-compliant except the bumpers that don't met the 5 mph restriction.

Joel, You need to contact "Latka" from the Mini Mania board. He's in HI. He and his wife have 2 or 3 classic Minis and a new MINI...very nice guy. Email me if you want his email address.

[ 05-12-2003: Message edited by: zanzibar ]</p>

Joel Simmons
05-12-2003, 11:06 PM
Aloha Zanzibar,

Can earlier Minis be fitted with that newer 90's styling? I wouldn't do it to a Mk I or II Mini, but maybe a mid-70's Mini.

You think as part of safety assessments, the gov't would include the ability of a car to handle well (like the Mini). But, then again, I suppose that's also dependent on driver skill. With a few of the drivers I saw on the road today, a well handling car would offer no hope... not even the Mini.

As for "Latka's" email address, that'd be great. Someone on the Mini Mania board mentioned him as well, but I can't remember if his email was posted.


05-13-2003, 03:06 AM
I think that the "sport pack" was a popular aftermarket dress kit (wheel arches, etc.) where as the mayfair, etc. were factor decorated.

There seems to be a lot of upgrading that goes on with the older minis and even some re-shelling that "allows" newer minis onto US roads, classified as the older versions. Not sure how legal this is, but I've seen plenty of them advertised.

Funny how the US balks at the newer minis which get far better gas milage than our SUV's. Protecting domestic interests I guess. That and nanny-state consumer protection.

No flames please. I'm a Jeep owner myself.

Joel Simmons
05-13-2003, 03:38 AM
Aloha Huck,

You're probably right. My guess, coming from the vintage VW world, is that the Mini got the axe due to safety issues. At least, that's one of the reasons that the Beetle was no longer imported. A proper re-design couldn't preserve the shape and keep it safe.

Maybe the same thing for the Mini?

05-13-2003, 10:20 PM
Joel, It's not too difficult to fit most of the Sportspack bits on an older Mini to give it the later styling. Another advantage is that the 12" wheels allow room for larger disk brakes in the front. 8.5" disks are a LOT cheaper than their 7.5" siblings that fit with 10" wheels.

05-14-2003, 01:23 AM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by huck6:
What might be confusing you is the new MINI. It goes by "MINI Cooper" and "MINI Cooper S" to cash in on the name recognition. I'm not sure how much, if any, Mr. Cooper actually participated in the MINI's design.

A good introduction to the classic mini is "The Big Mini Book". It covers the many variations of the mini theme as well as some highly modified mini's and kit cars based on the original.

Have fun.<hr></blockquote>

I don't know about the basic design, but there is a John Cooper Works tuning package available on it that is tempting.


06-23-2003, 12:02 PM
Joel.....yep, the safety regs did the Mini in here in the U.S.

They were sold here in the U.S. from '59 to '68 as the Mark I and Mark II Austin & Morris Minis (850cc engine) and the Austin & Morris Mini Cooper "S" (1071cc & 1275cc engines).

In '68 new U.S. safety & pollution regs came out and BMC wasn't selling enough to go to the trouble of making them comply with the regulations.

They continued to be sold in Canada in the Mark III version (rollup windows and internal door hinges) as the Austin & Morris (and later, Leyland) Mini 1000 (998cc engine) until about 1978 or so.

There were a few Mark III Cooper "S"s (1275cc engine) sold in Canada until about '73 or '74, I believe.

Ken G
06-23-2003, 08:55 PM
I should point out that while the Austin and Morris Minis were identical apart from the badge, there were other varieties too: a Wolseley with a larger trunk/boot, a Riley with if I remember rightly a different shape to the hood/bonnet, and I think at least one other. These were all brand names that BMC had acquired over the years, but before various consolations combined Rover with the others; the Mini was then sold with the Rover name on it for several years. Presumably these variants did not make their way to North America.

Ken G, 1925 Rover 16/50 (San Francisco)

06-24-2003, 12:12 PM
Yep, Ken....the Riley Elf and Wolseley Hornet were Minis with some sheet metal changes.

The Elf had a different bonnet and grille, and the Hornet had a different bonnet, grille, and a "bustle" boot.

Don't see many of 'em here in the U.S., though.

Also, Minis were also made in a bunch of places besides the U.K.

The ones for Europe were mostly made in Belgium, and there were others made in South Africa, Australia, Spain (called the Authi), and Italy (the Innocenti).

And Joel.....if you're not confused now, you just don't understand the situation. images/icons/wink.gif

[ 06-24-2003: Message edited by: Xracer ]</p>

06-24-2003, 12:25 PM
Don't forget the Austin America (same as the elf, I think). Saw one for sale at Hemmings last week.

06-24-2003, 12:33 PM
Austin Americas and MG 1100s were enlarged versions of the Mini....same basic design, but an entirely different car.

06-24-2003, 07:02 PM
And to add to the confusion a little more the 'clubman' variant had a 'boxier' front end. images/icons/wink.gif

A friend of mine had a 1275GT at University. Great fun until someone completely trashed the inside while trying to nick the radio using a not too subtle brute force and ignorance approach! images/icons/mad.gif

06-24-2003, 11:03 PM
I had a "Clubby" saloon for five years......you either love 'em or hate 'em, it seems (I'm *still* not sure of my own opinion on their looks). There's a lovely Clubby Woody Estate that comes to our car events.


06-24-2003, 11:47 PM
Clubman Estates look GREAT if they're done right. The Clubman saloon just looks out of proportion. My car started out as a Clubman. It had some sheet metal damage on the front wings (fenders) that required new fenders. Since we were already cutting off much of the front, we fit a removable round-nose MK1 style front. I ocassionally feel guilty... But then I look at my beautiful Mini and get over it quickly.

06-25-2003, 02:48 PM
My biggest complaint with the looks of the clubman is that it looks too "early-70's Japanese", kind of Datsun-like (excluding of course the wonderful look of the 240ZX).

I wouldn't turn one down if it were given to me, but I would start saving for a round nose.

I wonder if you can get "mini" grill treatments that reduce the clubman look?