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Mini Time Line Part 3 – 1968 Through 1976

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Mini Time Line

Part 3 – 1968 Through 1976

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.

1968

January

  • The Australian Mini Deluxe Auto Mark I was launched.

  • Although taking 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in class and winning the Manufacturers’ Team Prize, the Monte Carlo win streak was ended. The Minis were 3rd, 4th, and 5th overall. ORX 7F, ORX 707F, ORX 777F.

March

  • Innocenti Mini Cooper (Mk I) production stopped. (Total Mk I production: approx. 6,500 – 8,500.

  • Running changes were made to the Innocenti Mini Cooper to upgrade the Mk I to Mk II (March – September) (Total change-over production: approx. 2,500)

August

  • All synchro gearbox started.

  • The Australian Mini Deluxe Auto Mark I production stopped.

September

  • The Australian Mini Deluxe Auto Mk II was introduced.

  • The Innocenti Mini Cooper Mk II became available.

October

  • Moke production in England stopped. (Total English production: 14,518; Austin 5,422; Morris, 9,096)

Misc.

  • The Austin and Morris Mini 1000 Mk. 2 went on sale in South Africa. (Probably November.) The exterior was much like the English Mk II with the changed grille, etc. There were four models: Mini 1000, Mini 1000 de Luxe (with a remote gear shift and vent-wing wind up windows), the Mini 1000 “S”, and the Mini 1000 Station Wagon.

  • John Rhodes won the 1300cc class in the British Saloon Car Championship driving for the Cooper Car Company.
  • John Rhodes took 1st in the 1300cc class in the European Championship driving for the Cooper Car Company.
  • Gordon Spice took 1st in the 1000cc class in the British Saloon Car Championship driving for Arden.
  • John Handley took 1st overall and 1st in the 1000cc class in the European Championship driving for British Vita.
  • British Motor Holdings (see 1966) became British Leyland Motor Corporation (BLMC) when it merged with Leyland Motor Corporation (LMC).
  • 246,066 were produced in 1968. Total Minis to date, 1,908,705.

1969

January

  • The all synchro gearbox was available on the Innocenti Mini Cooper Mk II.

  • The all synchro gearbox was available on the Australian Cooper S Mk I.

March

  • Australian Mini Deluxe Mark I production stopped.

  • Australian Mini Deluxe Mark II K (known as the Mini K and running a 1098cc engine) was shown. $1,780AUS.

April

  • The Authi 1000S (Standard) and 1000E (Especial) were introduced.

  • Australian Cooper S Mk I production stopped. (Total production: approx. 5,000)
  • The Australian Moke gets the 1098cc engine and 13” wheels.

May

  • Australian Moke Mk II was in production.

  • Australian Mk II Cooper S was introduced at $2,385AUS.

July

  • British Leyland (BLMC) bought 51% of Authi.

August

  • Riley Elf and Wolseley Hornet were discontinued. (Total production: Elf, 30,912; Hornet 28,455; Mk III Elf, 9,574; Mk III Hornet, 8,504)

  • The South African Wolseley 1000 was discontinued. Approximately 450 were produced.

September

  • Hopkirk took 1st in class at the Tour de France in OBL 45F.

October

  • The Mk II models were discontinued. Mk III models went on sale, badged as Mini rather than Austin and Morris in most markets. (Some sources say November was the start.) ADO 20 came with roll-up windows and negative ground. (Total production: Austin Mk II 850/1000 saloon 154,000; Morris Mk II 850/1000 saloon, 206,000; Austin Cooper S Mk II, 2,400; Morris Cooper S Mk II, 5,300; Austin Van from the start of production, approx. 174,500; Morris Van from the start of production, approx. 155,000; Austin Pick-up from the start of production, approx. 18,000, Morris Pick-up from the start of production, approx. 13,500)

  • The Mk II Super De-Luxe Saloon was replaced by the Mini 1000.
  • The Mk II Countryman and Traveller were discontinued. (Total Mk II production: Austin, approx. 22,500; Morris, approx. 23,500)
  • The Clubman Saloon and Estate started. Both featured the “square nose” look. The Estate was not available with wood sides like its predecessors the Countryman and Traveller, but had a fake wood decal running the length of the car.
  • The 1275 GT started. Originally it was fitted with a 3.65:1 final drive.
  • Hydrolastic suspension was dropped on all but the Cooper S and 1275GT.
  • Rhodes and Handley were 1st and 2nd at the Salzburgring in LBL 666D and LRX 827E.

November

  • The Mini Cooper was discontinued. (Total 997 & 998 Cooper production: approx. 100,100. Total 998 Mk II Cooper production: Austin, 9,900; Morris, 21,800)

Misc.

  • The Mini 1000 Mk 3 (NOT Mk III) went on sale in South Africa. This car featured the round nose style of the English Mk III but had the tail of the Elf and Hornet.

  • Issigonis was awarded a Knighthood for services to automotive engineering.
  • Alex Poole took 1st overall and 1st in the 1000cc class in the British Saloon Car Championship driving for Arden.
  • 254,957 were produced in 1969. Total Minis to date, 2,163,662.

1970

February

  • Innocenti Mini Cooper Mk II production stopped. (Total production unknown.)

  • Innocenti Mini Cooper Mk III became available.
  • Authi 850cc model was available.

November

  • Innocenti Mini Cooper got opening quarter light door windows (but not in all markets).

December

  • The 1275 GT final drive was changed from 3.65:1 to 3.44:1.`

Misc.

  • The last works Mini drive took place with Brian Culcheth, 4th overall on the 1970 Rally of the Hills in Australia driving RJB 327F.

  • 278,905 were produced in 1970. Total Minis to date, 2,442,567.

1971

January

  • The Authi 1275GT was introduced with the standard body shell, not the square-nosed clubman like the English 1275GT.

June

  • Hydrolastic was dropped from the 1275GT.

July

  • The Cooper S was discontinued. (Total production: 45,442. Mk III, 1,600 plus approx. 18,000 CKDs shipped abroad)

  • Australian Cooper S Mk II production stopped. (Total Mk II production: approx. 2,400)

August

  • The Australian Clubman 1100 and GT sales started

Misc.

  • The Australian Moke Californian went on sale.

  • Issigonis retired, but he continued on as a consultant.
  • 318,475 were produced in 1971. Highest one-year production total during the life of the Mini. Total Minis to date, 2,761,042.

1972

January

  • Innocenti Mini Cooper Mk III production stopped. (Total production is unknown.)

February

  • The Innocenti Mini Cooper 1300 was in production.

April

  • Australian Minis became Leyland Minis.

May

  • British Leyland (BLMC) bought the motor vehicle portion of Innocenti.

October

  • Authi Mini Cooper 1300 was available.

December

  • Alternators became standard. (Some sources quote January 1973.)

  • Rod change boxes started. (Some sources quote them as being phased in during January 1973.)

Misc.

  • British Leyland Motor Corporation (BLMC) bought the remaining shares in Authi. (pre-October)

  • 306,937 were produced in 1972. Total Minis to date, 3,067,979.

1973

January

  • Alternators became standard. (Some sources quote December 1972.)

  • Rod change boxes started. (Some sources quote them as being phased in during December 1972.)

March

  • Innocenti Mini Cooper 1300 production stopped. (Total production is unknown.)

  • The Innocenti Mini Cooper 1300 Export was announced. It had some similarities to “Mk IV” English cars. They were also assembled at Seneffe in Belgium.

April

  • The Australian Mini S went on sale.

  • Inboard CV joints started. (Some sources say May through July.)

May

  • First U.S. Mini Meet was held the 26th – 28th in Reno, Nevada. There were 43 paid registrations. Eventually, the Meet became known as the first Mini Meet West after the start up of the Mini Meet East events in 1975.

July

  • The Austin Mini 1275 GTS went on sale in South Africa. It looked much like the English 1275GT having the Clubman body, but underneath was very much like a Cooper S in specification and performance.

Misc.

  • 295,186 were produced in 1973. Total Minis to date, 3,363,165.

1974

June

  • The 1275 GT went to 12” wheels, 8.4” disc brakes, and the 9 US gallon fuel tank

July

  • The second North American Mini Meet was held the 5th - 7th in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Eventually, the Meet became known as a Mini Meet West after the start up of the Mini Meet East events in 1975,

Misc.

  • 255,336 were produced in 1974. Total Minis to date, 3,618,501.

1975

April

  • The 1st Mini Meet East was held on the 25th and 26th in Reading, PA.

August

  • British Leyland Motor Corporation (see 1968) became British Leyland Limited (BL Ltd) when it was partially nationalized.

September

  • Australian Minis reverted to the 998cc engine.

October

  • The standard engine on the Clubman saloon and estate changed from the 998 to the 1098 ; except for the automatic, which retained the 998..

  • Seat belt reels were moved into the reinforced rear pockets.

Misc.

  • Innocenti Mini Cooper 1300 Export production ceased. (Early in the year. Probably January)

  • Authi Mini Cooper 1300 production stopped. (Around the end of the year) (Total production: approx. 5,000)
  • The South African Mini range added a standard HS4 to the Mini de Luxe and the GTS converted to 12” wheels and bigger brakes (probably in June). The range also included the Mini Clubman.
  • British Motor Heritage started.
  • The 3rd Mini Meet West, scheduled for Los Angeles, CA, was canceled – the only Mini Meet to be cancelled (through 2011).
  • 200,293 were produced in 1975. Total Minis to date, 3,818,794.

1976

January

  • The Mini 1000 special, Limited Edition went on sale. (Total production: approx. 3,000.) It was a “cosmetically enhanced” Mini 1000 with special paint and interior; including, reclining seats.

April

  • The 2nd Mini Meet East was held on the 30th – May 2nd in Fairborn, OH.

May

  • The rubber mounted subframe started, along with bigger pedal pads, twin stalks on the steering column, and two-speed wipers.

September

  • The 3rd Mini Meet West was held on the 3rd – 6th in Renton, WA. (The 3rd was to have been in Los Angeles, CA, in 1975, but was canceled.) It was held at the Sheraton-Renton Inn.

Misc.

  • The Australian Mini SS was introduced at the Sydney Motor Show. It eventually went on sale for $3,895AUS.

  • 203,575 were produced in 1976. Total Minis to date, 4,022,369.

 

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