1966 Morris Mini Cooper S MK1

Highlights

  • Excellent condition, older restoration with interesting history
  • Desirable Tartan Red with black roof
  • One of the last Mk1 Cooper S’ built 
  • Chassis confirms that this is a genuine Cooper S
  • 1275cc Cooper S with factory Heritage Certificate
  • Will be sold with fresh 12 months MOT

The Appeal

Before the Golf GTI there was the Mini Cooper, the quick version of an everyday car that made the humble versions even easier to sell.  The hot Cooper S dialled up the performance, adding a 1275cc engine that turned the diminutive car into a giant-slaying race car and a road car that was genuinely hard to beat from A to B.  

This is a genuine 1966 Morris Cooper S that was originally sold new into France.  It appears to have also spent some time in the warm climes of Arizona, which likely explains its remarkable timewarp condition.  The attractive Tartan Red paintwork is superb, as is the restored interior.  It has been useful converted to RHD and looks ready to slay Ford Galaxys on the race track or prove hugely entertaining on any B road drive. 




The History And Paperwork

  • Built 23rd November 1966
  • First registered 1st December 1966
  • MOT and tax exempt
  • Heritage certificate confirms that this is a genuine Cooper S and left the factory in the same colour combination 
  • VIN records confirm that this a Mk1 Morris Cooper S originally sold as LHD
  • Serviced and maintained by the Seller, most recently serviced 6 months ago
  • MOT expired on 22nd June 2022, but has covered just 8 miles since
  • Owned by Seller for around six years 
  • Will be sold with a fresh 12 months MOT
  • Appears to have had a new speedometer fitted between the 2015 and 2016 MOTs
 



The Interior  

  • Interior retrimmed in 2014 with invoices to prove
  • Excellent condition interior appears largely standard with factory correct duo-tone seats
  • Front seats appear to be upgraded bucket seats in period correct style
  • Original plain grey seat and trim fittings replaced with lightly patterned grey material that nicely lifts the overall interior
  • Aftermarket RPM gauge fitted
The interior of the original Mini proved so clever that it continues to influence modern MINIs, in particular the imposing central dial.  The Cooper S may have been the high performance model but it didn’t stray far from the specification of humble models, not even adding the otherwise obligatory extra gauges of quick versions from other car makers.

This pretty Cooper S appears to have originally left the factory with a black interior.  Invoices indicate that it was retrimmed in 2014 using a popular – and factory correct - Cooper combination of red vinyl and grey inserts.  The bucket front seats – which are a period correct but possibly not original– are in very good condition.  The grey inserts would originally have been plain but in this car have a light pattern that nicely lifts the overall interior.

The grey design carries onto the door card inserts and dashboard surround.  The attractive door cards, with their chrome scuff plates and pull cord handles, are in very good condition.  The side trims and headlining are in similarly excellent condition. 
MOT records indicate that the speedometer was replaced in around 2016 and the reading is not necessarily correct for the car.  There is an auxiliary RPM gauge fitted.

The only indications of age are to the optional heater which has some very light scuffs on the edges. 




The Exterior

  • Attractive Tartan Red paintwork with black roof in very good condition
  • Brightwork and badges in excellent condition
  • Factory correct painted 10inch steel wheels
  • Standard car largely as it left the factory 
As with the interior of this 1966 car there is little outward indication that this is Morris’ hot version of the Mini, or even that it is the even hotter S version.  Just a couple of discreet badges and some bigger wheels give the game away.

The Heritage Certificate for this car shows that the Tartan Red paintwork, which appears to have been restored at some point, is factory correct.  These red cars were also supplied with black roofs, which this car retains.

The paintwork is in very good condition, only some very minor and hard to see marks slightly detracting from the overall impression of a cared for car.  The front valance has a small chip behind the offside bumper over-rider and there are also marks on its edge behind the nearside over-rider.  Elsewhere there is a small chip on the edge of the driver’s door.  On the back of the car there is a scuff in the centre of lower valance.  

The chrome is very good with no visible deterioration, likely helped by that time in Arizona.  The only issues here are minor and easily replaced – there are creases in the chrome wheel arch embellisher strips on both front wings. 

The useful ramp photographs of the underside of the car show that the impression created by the bodywork continues underneath.  It is clean, remarkably solid and with no obvious signs of deterioration or areas for concern.

The car will be sold with a new MOT.  The last MOT, which was available at the time of writing, expired in June 2022.  There were no structural advisories and the car has covered less than 10 miles since. 




The Mechanics

  • Cooper race-tuned 1275cc BMC A-Series engine developing 76bhp 
  • Four speed, all-synchromesh, close ratio manual gearbox
  • Twin SU carburettors and front disc brakes
  • Classic Cooper S twin fuel tanks for perfect weight balance when full
  • Serviced and maintained by the Seller, most recently 6 months ago
The Cooper S was introduced in 1963 but in 1964 it gained the engine with which it is most closely associated, the 1275cc version of BMC’s famed A-Series motor.  This car has the 1275cc engine and is last Mk1s built before the introduction of the Mk2.

The ‘Cooperisation’ of the Mini was undertaken by John Cooper and involved race-tuning the A-Series engine and adding twin SU carburettors to deliver a heady 76bhp.  For the light and nimble Cooper S this was plenty to ensure drivers could trouble much bigger and more powerful machines.  The engine was mated to a close ratio four speed manual gearbox and there were front disc brakes to ensure the whole set up could stop.

All Mk1 Cooper S models had twin fuel tanks, a clever touch designed to aid stability with a full fuel load.
There is little history with this car but the Seller tells us that he has undertaken all servicing and maintenance work as required during his six years of ownership.  He states that the car was last serviced six months ago and MOT records and the current mileage indicate it has been little used in that time.




Summary

If the sight of tiny Mini Coopers running rings around big saloon cars at Goodwood has ever captured your imagination then you have a sense of the appeal of these astonishing little cars.  Before go-faster badging became just that there were cars like this, discreetly badged hot versions that really were sporting.

This Mk1 Morris Cooper looks wonderful with its Tartan Red bodywork, black roof and retro interior.  The Heritage Certificate confirms it’s the real deal and it looks to have been well cared during its interesting trans-continental life.  Firmly back in the place of its birth it looks ready to be used, for tickling apexes and blasting down B-roads. 


Notice to bidders
This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only. Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.
UK-registered cars and motorbikes on Car & Classic are run through an online HPI check. On the HPI report, this vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft. It is currently not covered by a finance agreement.
A non-refundable buyer’s deposit is payable on this item, refer to FAQs and T&Cs for the applicable percentage.
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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1966
  • Make Morris
  • Model Mini Cooper s mk1
  • Colour Red
  • Odometer 51,407 Miles
  • Engine size 1600
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Hexham
  • Location Northumberland
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
49 bids
  • An•••• £39,255 22/05/23
  • BA•••• £39,005 22/05/23
  • An•••• £38,755 22/05/23
  • BA•••• £38,505 22/05/23
  • An•••• £38,500 22/05/23
  • BA•••• £38,250 22/05/23
  • An•••• £38,000 22/05/23
  • BA•••• £37,750 22/05/23
  • An•••• £37,500 22/05/23
  • BA•••• £37,250 22/05/23
Message C&C Auction Team

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