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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 2:01 am 
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Location: Boxford, MA
Okay, I've told a few people here a little about the history of my car and said that this post was coming. So here it is. My Dad, Joe Barbera, was a very big Mini fan. Owned British cars his whole life, even though he spent his entire professional career as a VW executive! His first car was a Lotus 7 and when he passed away 2 years ago he had a '73 Europa, '08 Elise a '67 Moke and this Mini. Through the years his heart probably belonged to the Countryman he had before I was even born. It had been in an accident and was in pieces awaiting repair for decades. The wood trim was in our living room for years, until a move when he left the car with his brother, who proceeded to sell it!

Anyway, like most here I would assume, his dream had always been to get his hands on a Works car. And in the late '90s while living in Singapore he thought he had finally tracked one down. He got it in Australia or New Zealand, brought it back to Singapore and proceeded to spend a small fortune restoring it. He was fanatical about keeping it as original as possible. We did a good bit of the bodywork together and one of the worst fights we ever had was when, while grinding the engine bay, I accidentally zipped off a few grommets. Where was he going to find 1964 grommets to replace them!!

When he passed away, his friends and I all knew that one of us had to end up with the Mini. The Lotuses were just for fun but the Mini was his true love.

So, I kept it, got it running again and have slowly been finding the history of the car and some of the more unusual parts. Most of you have seen the knock-off wheels I posted and there was also the aluminum bonnet that turns out to have been off of the car the John Tomlin built and Rob Selby raced in '95-96 (rob, if you see this, where are those pictures? :)) among other unique items he had collected over the years.

But always there was the car itself. He had always said it was a Works car and that it had been raced. I never found any evidence in his belongings. He wasn't the most organized of men. I was lucky just to find the title! And his friends don't know what proof he had either. The only other man who probably knew was Dave Gilbert. He and my Dad were close and spoke often. My Dad visited Dave just a couple of weeks before David passed away. But now with David and my Dad gone there is no easy answer.

I got the Hertige, talked to Simon and actually found a great tidbit that told us something definitive. Here's what I know:

Car/Chassis # - C-A2S7/384103
Engine # - 9F-SA-H/19204 (engine is a little later than the car, my Dad picked it up in the late 90's)
Body # - 13847
Spec - RHD/Home Market
Date of build - 7 March 1963
Date of Despatch - 9 September 1964
Destination - Austin Motor Company
Build record states 'works car, sold second hand 9 September 1964'. The recorded registration mark 289 JOB was issued in Birmingham.
Colors Old English White with black roof

As a note, Paddy Hopkirk raced 288 JOB as his personal car.

From here I heard from Simon Wheatcroft that in terms of chassis # this was the third Austin Coopr S. it was used by Austin Motor Co publicity department before being sold on. But while the history of the first 2 Austins( 731 and 732 HOP) and the second Morris (484 RFC) were well known he just wasn't sure how this car had been used. A bit of digging by me turned up this:

Image

And I have a feeling that this is likely my car, too:

Image

But with the 60's Birmingham records being destroyed there is no way to figure out where the car went when it left Austin. And yet I have reason to believe Dave and my father did find something. So, I come before you today to ask that anyone who may know something or may be able to find something, let's see if we can put some more history to this car!

Thanks,
Zach

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7, March 1963 Austin Cooper 1071 S


Last edited by zbarbera on Sat Apr 02, 2016 3:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 2:20 am 
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Whoa, what a stunning car! The stance looks unusually high to me, did they do that on rough terrain rally cars maybe?

Regards, Leon

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 4:14 am 
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Full size version of my avatar:

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:23 am 
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gpmini wrote:
Whoa, what a stunning car! The stance looks unusually high to me, did they do that on rough terrain rally cars maybe?

Regards, Leon



I think we are all to used to seeing Mini's low to the ground, those pictures are of a brand new car on dry suspension, so it would probably have sat that high for a while :)

Looks like a great car :D


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 8:32 am 
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What a special car!


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:13 am 
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Cool car! I hope you get to the bottom of it. Someone must out there must know something.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:41 am 
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That appears to be 2 different cars I'm afraid,

RHD home market chassis 103 test car
LHD export chassis 102 brochure car

I'm more than happy to be corrected though.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 11:06 am 
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That Italian road test information is, I guess, from 1964 and rather confusing; the chassis number it quotes is for 732 HOP which was a Surf Blue/OEW and right hand drive car which I am sure some of you are familiar with. The pictures are clearly not of 732 HOP - in case you are thinking 'What about the left hand drive 732 HOP in Denmark?' Just don't even consider it.

I spoke to the first owner of 289 JOB some years ago, he used it for a short while then gave it to his son.

Now it is possible that 289 JOB was still in the UK in 1971 and was being used as a rally car - or could that be a typo and it was 288 JOB? I've not seen a picture of the events in question from that period so it could be 288 JOB which was still being rallied.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 12:34 pm 
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289JOB was rallied extensively in the UK in the late 1960s. I will have a look through my archive stuff when I get chance.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 12:44 pm 
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Simon776 wrote:
That Italian road test information is, I guess, from 1964 and rather confusing; the chassis number it quotes is for 732 HOP which was a Surf Blue/OEW and right hand drive car which I am sure some of you are familiar with. The pictures are clearly not of 732 HOP - in case you are thinking 'What about the left hand drive 732 HOP in Denmark?' Just don't even consider it.

I spoke to the first owner of 289 JOB some years ago, he used it for a short while then gave it to his son.

Now it is possible that 289 JOB was still in the UK in 1971 and was being used as a rally car - or could that be a typo and it was 288 JOB? I've not seen a picture of the events in question from that period so it could be 288 JOB which was still being rallied.


Good catch Simon! That's funny, the reg plate is blacked out in the photos but they give a chassis number in the details. I was going strictly by photos. So I wonder if the Italian writer never even got in the car but was supplied pictures and a mish-mash of info from BMC and wrote it based on that.

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