Mini Time Line Part 2 – 1963 Through 1967

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Mini Time Line

Part 2 – 1963 Through 1967

Last Updated August 13, 2012. Information added and corrections made.

Please, see the Notes and Sources listed at the end of the last Time Line article.

1963

January

  • The first 1071 Austin Cooper S was built on the 16th.

  • The Mk II Elf and Hornet went on sale. They now had a 998cc engine, twin-leading shoe brakes, and the leather trim was standard as were bumper overriders. [Note: other sources list as early as November 1962 – unlikely, that’s the date production stopped for the Mk I -- and as late as March 1963. The first Mk II Hornet (Birch Grey/Yukon Grey) was produced on January 31, 1963, and the first Mk II Elf (Birch Grey/OEW) on February 1, 1963.]
  • The Austin versions showed up in South African sales literature as Austin Minis and no longer as Austin 850s. Also, the de Luxe name is replaced by Super.
  • Aaltonen was 1st in class and 3rd overall on the Monte Carlo Rally with Morrison 1st in a slower class. Hopkirk was 2nd in the faster class and 6th overall. Mayman was 4th in the faster class. All were in 997cc Coopers.

March

  • The first 1071 Morris Cooper S was built on the 7th.

  • The Cooper S went on sale in 1071cc form. Horsepower from the first of the “big bore” engines was up from the 997 Cooper’s 55 to 70. The engine was strengthened in a number of ways and the brakes (now with a servo) went to 7.5” diameter and were thicker. Optional wheels at 4.5” wide were offered. Externally, there were very few clues to differentiate the new Cooper S from the Cooper, and few internally, either. The differences were felt when the “Go” and “Stop” pedals were pushed.

November

  • The first 998cc Austin and Morris Coopers were built on the 20th.

Misc.

  • Rob Slotemaker won the 1300cc class in the European Championship driving for Downton Engineering.

  • 236,713 were produced in 1963. Total Minis to date, 746,285.

1964

January

  • Morris Cooper 997 production stopped on the 13th. (Total Morris 997 production: approx. 12,500.)

  • Mini Moke production started at Longbridge. One could have any color one wanted as long as it was Spruce Green. The mechanicals and wheelbase were the same as the saloon, but the Moke was ¼” shorter in overall length. It was supplied with a driver’s seat, only. Other seats were optional as were side screens and a heater.
  • Hopkirk won the Monte Carlo Rally in a 1071 Cooper S, 33 EJB, on the 23rd.

February

  • With production of the 998 Cooper already started the previous November, the discontinued 997 was replaced by the 998cc version, even though the last 997 didn’t roll off the assembly line until April 1964. The 998cc engine was a performance version of the engine first introduced in the Mk II Elf and Hornet. Brakes were improved over the 997’s, but, still at 7” diameter and thin, they were not as good as the Cooper S’s.

  • The first 1275cc Austin Cooper S was built on the 14th and the first Morris version on the 25th.
  • The Australian Van was introduced.

March

  • The 970 and 1275 Cooper S went on sale. The 1275 was introduced just before the 970. With the 1275’s 76bhp it was almost twice as fast to 60 mph as the Cooper and could reach 100 mph…with a little tail wind. The 970 was down a bit on horsepower (65) and down a lot on torque but was a very smooth, high revving engine.

April

  • The last 997 Austin Cooper was produced on the 21st. It was replaced by the 998cc version. The 998cc engine is a performance version of the engine first introduced in the Mk II Elf and Hornet. Brakes were improved over the 997’s, but, still at 7” diameter and thin, they were not as good as the Cooper S’s. (Total Austin production: approx. 12,400. Total all 997 Cooper production: approx. 24,900.)

  • Makinen won the Tulip Rally in a 1275, AJB 66B.

June

  • The first 970cc Austin Cooper S was built on the 17th and the first Morris version on the 1st. (See, March. The first 970s went on sale in March but were listed as not built until June. Incorrect data or sales started for a car that was not available, yet?)

July

  • The Mini Cooper S (1071) went on sale in South Africa. Note: the Cooper S versions of the Minis were not produced in South Africa but were CKD from England and assembled in South Africa. Minor changes in specification from the English cars were incorporated during assembly.

August

  • 1071 Cooper S production stopped. The last Austin was produced on the 13th and the last Morris on the 27th. (Total production: 4,031)

September

  • The clutch was changed to a diaphragm spring set up.

  • Hydrolastic suspension started. It was only fitted to saloons during Mini production.
  • Twin leading shoe brakes started on non-disc braked Minis; except, the Elf and Hornet. They had already been used on the Elf/Hornet with the introduction of the Mk II in January 1963.

Misc.

  • The Australian 997 was replaced with the 998. (“Early” in the year.) (Total 997 production: approx. 2,800)

  • Australian 998 Cooper production ended. (Probably in December) (Total production: approx. 1,100)
  • The Austin/Morris Panel Van showed up in the South African sales literature. Production start date is unknown.
  • Issigonis was elected a Royal Designer for Industry and awarded the CBE.
  • Warwick Banks took 1st overall and 1st in the 1000cc class in the European Championship driving for Tyrrell.
  • John Fitzpatrick took 1st in the 1300cc class in the British Saloon Car Championship driving for the Cooper Car Company.
  • 244,359 were produced in 1964. Total Minis to date, 990,644.

1965

January

  • Makinen won the Monte Carlo Rally in AJB 44B. It is considered one of the greatest rally drives ever.

March

  • The Australian Mini Deluxe (998) was introduced.

  • Hopkirk won the Circuit of Ireland in CRX 89B.

April

  • 970 Cooper S production stopped. The last Austin was produced on the 5th and Morris on the 1st. (Total production: 963.)

May

  • Australian Van production changed to roll-up windows.

June

  • Australian Minis got roll-up windows on more models.

  • Aaltonen won the Geneva Rally in EBL 55C.

July

  • Aaltonen won the Czech Rally in EJB 55C.

  • Aaltonen won the Polish Rally in CRX 89B.

August

  • Makinen won the 1000 Lakes Rally in AJB 33B.

September

  • The Australian Cooper S Mk I 1275 went on sale for $2,280AUS including tax. They were fitted with roll-up and vent wing windows and exterior hinged doors.

October

  • The automatic gearbox was introduced.

  • Australian Minis got roll-up windows across the line.
  • Aaltonen won the Munich-Vienna-Budapest Rally in CRX 89B.

November

  • A reclining seat option was offered on the Cooper and Cooper S.

  • The Italian-built Innocenti Mini 850 was introduced.
  • The South African Mini 1000 was announced with the 998 and hydrolastic suspension.
  • Aaltonen won the RAC Rally in DJB 93B.

Misc.

  • The Mini Cooper S (1275) went on sale in South Africa (probably October).

  • Aaltonen won the European Rally Championship.
  • John Rhodes won the 1300cc class in the British Saloon Car Championship driving for the Cooper Car Company.
  • Warwick Banks took 1st in the 1000cc class in the British Saloon Car Championship driving for the Cooper Car Company.
  • 221,074 were produced in 1965. Total Minis to date, 1,211,718.

 

1966

January

  • An oil cooler and twin tanks were made standard on the Cooper S.

  • Makinen, Aaltonen, and Hopkirk took 1st, 2nd, and 3rd at the Monte Carlo Rally before being disqualified on a non-performance related technicality. GRX 555D, GRX 55D and GRX5D.

February

  • The Moke Mk I went on sale in Australia. It was basically to the same specification as the English Moke with the 10” wheels. It was the start of something big with far more Mokes being produced in Australian than anywhere else.

March

  • Innocenti Mini Cooper (998cc) became available.

April

  • “Harder” hydrolastic units started in the Cooper S.

  • Fall won the Circuit of Ireland in DJB 92B.
  • Aaltonen won the Tulip Rally in GRX 310D.

May

  • Hopkirk took an outright win in the Austrian Alpine Rally in DJB 93B with Ron Crellin.

  • Hopkirk and Crellin in GRX311D were the highest placed Works Mini on the Acropolis Rally (3rd overall, 1st in class).

June

  • Fall won the Scottish Rally in DJB 93B.

July

  • Aaltonen won the Czech Rally in JBL 494D.

August

  • Fall won the Polish Rally in GRX 309D in 970 S form.

  • Makinen won the 1000 Lakes Rally in JBL 493D.

October

  • The Riley Elf and Wolseley Hornet Mk II were discontinued. The Mk IIIs went on sale with roll-up windows, flow through ventilation, and a Cooper-type remote shift. Over time the Elf/Hornet adopted more standard Mini Mk II characteristics but retained the small rear window. (Total production of Mk II: Elf, 17,816; Hornet, 16,785)

  • Makinen won the Munich-Vienna-Budapest Rally in HJB 656D.

December

  • BMC (see 1952) became British Motor Holdings (BMH) on the 14th. It now included Pressed Steel and Jaguar Cars.

Misc.

  • Mokes were now available in white instead of just Spruce Green. (Mid-1966)

  • John Rhodes won the 1300cc class in the British Saloon Car Championship driving for the Cooper Car Company.
  • 213,694 were produced in 1966. Total Minis to date, 1,425,412.

1967

January

  • Aaltonen won the Monte Carlo Rally in LBL 6D.

March

  • Hopkirk won the Circuit of Ireland in GRX 5D.

  • Hopkirk was 1st in Class in the Sebring 3 Hour Race in GRX 309D.
  • The Seattle Area Mini Owners Association (“SAMOA”), although informally in existence for several years, had it first official, organizational meeting on March 20th.

May

  • Hopkirk won the Acropolis Rally in LRX 830E.

June

  • Fall won the Geneva Rally in LRX 827E.

August

  • Makinen won the 1000 Lakes Rally in GRX 195D.

  • Fall, Vernaeve, and Hedges took 1st in class at the 84 Hour Marathon.

September

  • The last Mk I 1275cc Austin Cooper S was produced on the 11th. The last Morris on the 6th.

  • The last Mk I 998cc Austin Cooper was produced on the 8th. The last Morris on the 13th.
  • The Wolseley 1000 went on sale in South Africa. Powered by the 998, it combined the standard saloon rear with the Hornet front.
  • Hopkirk won the Alpine Rally in LRX 827E.

October

  • The Mk I Austin/Morris saloon models were discontinued. Mk II models went on sale. Super De-Luxe saloon featured a 998cc engine. (Total production: Morris Mk I 850 saloon, approx. 510,000; Austin Mk I 850 saloon, approx. 435,500; Austin Mk I 998 Cooper, approx. 18,000; Morris Mk I 998 Cooper, approx. 23,500; Austin Cooper S 1275, approx. 6,400, Morris Cooper S 1275, approx. 8,200)

  • The Austin Countryman and Morris Traveller Mk I were discontinued. The Mk IIs came with the 998cc engine (still with or without wood). (Total production Mk I: Austin Countryman, approx. 85,500; Morris Traveller, approx. 75,500.)
  • The 998 was offered as an option on the Van and Pickup.
  • Mokes adopted a few of the MK II features; although, they were not sold under a Mk II name.
  • Authi 1275C became available.
  • Australian Minis became available with the 998 engine.

Misc.

  • Automatic transmission was finally available on the Elf/Hornet.

  • John Rhodes won the 1300cc class in the British Saloon Car Championship driving for the Cooper Car Company.
  • 237,227 were produced in 1967. Total Minis to date, 1,662,639.

 

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