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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:41 pm 
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Location: North East
By the time they could become a classic the powers that be will have taxed petrol cars off the road making them even less desirable as a hobbyists play thing.

I've had a couple of early R50 Coopers, they both suffered electrical problems, gearbox problems etc etc. To change the rad you need to remove the front bumper, and if the car has aircon you really need to empty that. The front bushes require the front subframe to be removed, changing the clutch involves removal of most of the near side front suspension.

As said above, they are not for the average Joe to mess about with on the drive.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:23 pm 
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Location: Banbridge, Co Down, N. Ireland
Would love to get an early Cooper to compete in the "large saloon" class in the NI Autotest championship and for the NI Targa Rally championship.

I would get such a kick out of driving a BINI into the ground. :twisted:

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'64 Morris Cooper S Traveller
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http://minitravellerman.wix.com/ballylough-classics


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:55 pm 
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I think in another 10 years they will be classed as a classic .i feel lucky that I've owned 4 of these mini one cooper s John cooper works and my last was a mark one gp .if you look at them the roof quarter panel and doors are very similar to a classic mini .i remember the mini one there was a 4 month waiting list .when I finally got the car I went to my local town and people actually took photos of it and stopped me to talk about it .i bet that doesn't happen now .my next doors neighbours daughter helped design the switches and door cards .cheap enough now though well worth it as a fast runabout .


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:57 pm 
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Couple of TV clips I recorded back in 1997 may be of interest.....

"Video interviews with Nick Stephenson (Rover Group Design Director) and John Cooper at the 1997 Frankfurt Motor Show Preview of the New MINI. With BMW investment the MINI (R50) project was being designed and developed by Rover Engineers at Gaydon with production planned for the Longbridge factory........."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zgxNXPWYfw

"Media preview of the new MINI on the eve of the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1997. Almost a hoax as it was a "skin prototype" based on the modified platform, engine and running gear of a Fiat Punto! It successfully diverted publicity from the arrival of the new Mercedes A-Class and Smart cars.This news clip includes an interview with the late John Cooper."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Is-9aI7utFQ

Image
John Cooper with an R50 MINI Prototype at Gaydon August 1998


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:11 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2010 6:58 pm
Posts: 80
Just picked up this bad boy.

Cooper converted to Celtic speed championship spec but never raced.

Genuine 37 k on the clock very nice straight body work.
Loads of race kit fitted to it.
Hopefully once sorted it will be a competitive mini.


You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:18 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:37 pm
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I have a couple of pre production coopers stashed away, nice low milers are getting thin on the ground now, just sold an 18,000 mls 2003 cooper for good money and had plenty of interest.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2003-MINI-CO ... 2871491478


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:34 am 
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I recently rediscovered this 'Insider' article below in an old issue of "CAR" magazine from July 2001 and it makes quite interesting reading.....
'a former Rover engineer tells at first hand the role Rover had to play in the development of the new MINI'.

New MINI: more cool Britannia than BMW will admit?
A Former engineer is furious at BMW's claims that Rover had no involvement in the New R50/R53 MINI. It was, he claims, a very British affair!

Robin Ford doesn't fit the stereotypical image of the British automotive engineer. He's well spoken, articulate… and pretty fed up. Within hours of the last issue of CAR magazine hitting the streets, Ford had e-mailed us in anger at BMW's claims that 'Rover hadn't been much help' in designing and engineering the new Mini, especially in terms of the unique front-drive chassis.

'That made my blood boil' exclaims Ford. 'The brief from BMW was for a MacPherson strut front and Z-axle rear-axle layout. That was it. There are no BMW components in the systems and they were entirely designed at Rover's Gaydon engineering centre in Warwickshire. The geometry, component stiffness, durability, compliances – all were specified and designed by Rover engineers'.

Ford says he should know, because he was the front-axle system engineer responsible for the packaging, design and integration of the Mini chassis. 'When we started, very little was defined. BMW didn't ask for any BMW components, it let us go away and get on with it.

'Even the Mini's engine and transmission was engineered at Longbridge and Gaydon. The engine was worked on at Powertrain, who also did the gearbox, which is based on the unit used by Rover. The Cooper S uses a Getrag box, but the development was carried out at Longbridge. I'd say there were hundreds of British engineers on Mini, maybe as many as 300 or 400'.

From the outset, Ford reveals that it was Rover employees who turned BMW's vision into reality. 'We started development with simulators. There were two types: Rover 200s with a mock Mini chassis and 200s with the Mini's Pentagon engine. The supercharged K-series simulator was a cracking car. In the end, over 200 simulators were built at Longbridge and we learnt a lot. The idea was to get the design to what's called 'production release' a year or so before the Mini was due to go on sale. The Mini concept car the press saw at the Frankfurt show was built in summer 1997, with glassfibre panels taken straight off the clay styling model and then fitted to a Punto chassis.

'We knew what the Mini had to be – the best handling front drive car in the world. We were very happy with a Z-axle concept, although it's not great for space. Some people also argued for double wishbones at the front, but BMW insisted that the Mini was a BMW and had to have struts. However, it wasn't easy to make the front suspension work. The Mini has a very compact front end.

'We worked very hard to minimise torque steer and the complexity and detail work in the chassis is on a much higher level than under a Puma or Lupo. Success has a lot to do with component stiffness. For example, the Mini has a two piece box section chassis arm with 1.5 metres of welding in it. The flex in the suspension components is less than 10 percent of that in the bushes. The stiffness of the mounting points is good for NVH'.

Ford says he is proudest of the Mini's steering system because, he claims, he was responsible for changing the system late in the day. 'Up until 1999, the Mini's steering was fully electric with a powered worm-drive. But it was almost surreal: there was no kick-back or feedback. On rutted roads you couldn't feel anything, even at the limit of adhesion. I had overall responsibility for the whole front end and didn't like it.

'The steering department said it could be fixed with a tweak to the steering, so BMW told us to get it sorted. But instead I knocked together a simulator with an electro-hydraulic Rover 25 rack. The original simulator had a Ford Escort rack modified for the right geometry and it felt good, but BMW drove both and chose mine. Fully electric steering was a pet project at Rover and several engineers had tried it in a Mondeo, where it worked well. It was just inappropriate in a Mini – there was no joy.

'It was very hard to package a steering pump on the Mini engine. It's extraordinarily tight under the bonnet. We had to re-write the rule book on tyre and component clearances. In fact we threw the rule book away. There's meant to be 15mm clearance for tyres. Now there is actually a benign foul in extreme circumstances. It was a packaging nightmare – or miracle – and only got done thanks to computer-aided design. We needed a lot of suspension travel to cope with bumps and the 17 inch wheels on the Cooper S were an absolute nightmare to accommodate. I think the sweetest handling Mini was one with smallest tyres – it's a pity the run-flat tyres were added late in the day'.

Robin Ford's involvement with the Mini came to an abrupt end in early 2000 when BMW suddenly asked for the Mini computer files to be hurriedly downloaded to German hard drives. 'BMW had finished the assembly building at Longbridge and wanted to ramp up production for a January 2001 on-sale date. It all looked fantastic when we went to a BMW pep talk in February 2000 explaining what they were going to do. The old dyed-in-the-wool Rover people were sceptical but I was taken in'. By mid March BMW's board announced it's intention to dispose of Rover and Ford left the project.

Now running his own sports car manufacturer, FBS, Ford looks back on Mini as 'a project apart. Some at Rover thought all the effort and money that went into Mini was a distraction from the main job at Rover'. And they might be right.
Edited by Paul Horrell and Hilton Holloway (CAR Magazine July 2001)

The FBS Cars website later confirmed the former Rover engineers name wasn't Robin Ford it was actually Robin Hall and was changed for the purposes of the 'Insider' magazine article. The quote below from the now defunct FBS website seemed to confirm this:-
"Andrew Barber and Robin Hall have worked for some of the leading names in the motor industry, including Lotus, Ricardo, Prodrive and Rover. Taking the last of these as an example, they were both heavily involved in engineering the MINI (Barber on powertrain, Hall on front suspension) and are understandably keen to point out that the car was definitely developed in the UK, however much German money may have gone into the project."


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:23 pm 
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Grab an early one while they are value . I have a Y reg Cooper with huge spec registered the day before launch on July 6th 2001 in storage since 2010 , also have a 2003 Cooper S in storage in the same colour scheme of bright silver and black , there are several reasons these early cars will appreciate in value one is they are FUN and really have the 'soul' of the 60s and 70s minis and my opinion is based on having both MINIs and minis in My collection , I am one of many on here that was fortunate to have been able to buy MK 1 and MK 2 Cooper and Cooper S for a few hundred quid back in the day and race ,rally and generally thrash them and more importantly enjoy them , I have been driving MINIs since July 2001 and have had R50 , R56, R55, R60 , current everyday MINI is an F55 Cooper S with works pro kit and big spec .but even though its very competent and hi-tec my favourite is the 2001 Cooper ( not S ) and believe it or not my favourite MK1 or MK 2 mini is the MK 2 998 cooper , anyone that says that MINIs are not fun has never owned or driven one . sure as someone pointed out they had their reliability issues and build quality stuff but overall they are bulletproof especially compared to the R56 that followed , so in summary get a very early 2001 MINI and enjoy it and watch values rise , who would have thoufgt a MK 1 or 2 Cooper S would hit 50 to 70k :D
G


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:18 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 9:24 pm
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Do you remember the early days of the new mini when showing at some classic mini event.owner returns to find there vehicle covered in broken eggs I wonder how many of these guilty parties warmed to the new mini and eventually bought one ?.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:37 pm 
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Location: Oop North where it's dark & cold nearly all the time.
Highnumbers wrote:
Makes me think, is this what it was like with Mk1 Coopers in the UK around the mid-70s? Were they just nearly a throwaway car by that point, just cheap fun as a 10+ year old car?


You couldn't be more correct!

They really aren't my cup of tea though.

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