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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:53 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:08 pm
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The MCR's September 'CooperWorld' magazine has an interesting story reported by John Parnell the club's 'Rover Cooper Registrar'......on what is thought to be the very first Rover Mini to have the John Cooper conversion installed for testing and demonstration to customers. Kazuo Maruyama of Mini Maruyama in Japan approached John Cooper in 1986 with the idea of producing a performance kit for his customers based on the only models of Mini available at the time which were the 40bhp 998cc City E and Mayfair. Chris Dawson, the Customer Service Advisor at John Cooper Garages for many years, remembered how a female colleague's company Mini was commandeered as the guinea pig vehicle for the first kit. Unfortunately he could not recall any specific details of the car itself. However by chance Desmond Lavery brought along a copy of the April 1987 issue of Scramble Car magazine (a Japanese publication) to this years Beaulieu Mini show, which had photos of Kazuo Maruyama and John Cooper test driving the prototype converted Mini at Ferring in the autumn of 1986. The pictures show them both in a shiny Zircon blue metallic Mini Mayfair and revealing the reg no. A988 EWV as the identity of the very first John Cooper conversion. Kazuo Maruyama promptly ordered 1000 kits in the now highly collectable wooden crate with the John Cooper Garages name & World Champions logo.
But the question is what became of this Mini Mayfair?.....A988 EWV is still recorded on the DVLA records but has not been taxed since February 2004 and is not on SORN. Has it been scrapped or is it sitting in someone's garage or garden with an owner unaware they are the keeper of a piece of motoring history?

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