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1980 Mini Vortz Mini Formula R Chassis No 1

  • Right Hand Drive
  • 976 Miles
  • Manual, 4 speed
  • Petrol
  • 1293cc
  • 1980
  • NONE
  • Green
  • Private seller
  • Aberystwyth, United Kingdom


1980s Vortz Formula R 1293 Chassis No 1
Almond Green with a White Roof
Engine specification: 648 (the only design that was not Nick Vortz's own), 1293cc engine with numerous upgrades, a balanced EN40B crank, lightened rods, Vortz's own steel centre main cap, a balanced Cooper S pre-verto clutch assembly and Duplex timing gear. A gas-flowed Cooper R-stamped head with 35. 6/ 31 valves and Vortz's own design of round exhaust ports that were found to give the best power results. A matching Vortz round-port exhaust manifold is fitted, as is a custom Vortz exhaust. The inlet manifold was also made in-house and joins two HS4 carbs topped off with an example of the now legendary Vortz airbox.
The gearbox has been built with great care and runs a 3. 44 final drive. An early Jack Knight gearset with no gasket between the clutch housing and the block. To get the right pressure on the idler gears Vortz never used a gasket just made sure the two faces were brand new. With the engine and gearbox he just ironed out the "faults".
The exterior of the car harks back to the race cars of the 60s with its Almond Green paint, white roof and Cooper Car Co decals, which would have been hand-cut. The cars were only Cooper (and later Downton) striped to attract nostalgic customers in the showroom and alert them to a new performance Mini they could now buy. The idea was the dealer would remove the stickers on sale, but everyone seemed to want to keep them on that is why most still have them.
It has a right hand fuel tank also made in-house, and a set of stunning 10" CR Vortz wheels with Goodyear tyres. The rear light units and grille are Vortz specials too. On the left hand side of the car you can see that the slats on the grille have been hand crafted to let the air get to the oil cooler - another Vortz brilliant idea.
The interior is special. An extended dash pod was another in-house item as were the instruments and the coarse grain Cooper style interior trim. The rear seat still has its protective cover on and the front recliners have been cut down to provide more room in the cabin. Later Formula Rs have a leather-rimmed Mota-Lita steering wheel, but Number 1 has an in-house steering wheel with a solid wood rim - this is completely unique.
Vortz's first production Minis were known as Vortz Mini cooper S Mk IV and were similar in appearance to the factory MkII s but with wind up windows and a modified 1293 engine. A new racier model would appear for the 1980s in the shape of the 100 bhp Cooper Formula R that vamped things up to the next level. Chassis records indicate that 18 were produced prior to 1984. This one for sale is Chassis No 1.
PRICE ON ASKINGWhen BL pulled the plug on the original Mini Cooper S back in 1971 it left a sizeable void. If you wanted a Cooper in the 1970s or 1980s you needed to source an ageing original or a souped-up more basic model yourself. However, a somewhat mysterious self-taught engineer Nick Vrotsos with a remarkably keen eye for details had set up his own company Vortz Engineering while still a teenager in the 1960s, and from 1977 he went into production with his own take on the Mini Cooper. A move that would see several different retro-styled models hand-built over the next 20 years. It would be unfair to label Vortz Minis as replicas because they were so much more. Brand new cars were stripped, re-painted, retrimmed nan re-engineered with a whole host of unique Vortz-made parts with only around 20 percent of the original parts remaining. This meant that the appropriate authorities could be persuaded these were new Vortz produced cars with their own model type, albeit still under the original manufacturers banner on the registration documents. Outside of the UK he was able to establish Vortz as the vehicle manufacturer. Most of the 340 cars built by Vortz went to Japan.

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Private seller

Verified since 2023

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10 Listings since 2019

Vehicle location

Aberystwyth, NOT STATED, United Kingdom
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