Mini Time Line Part 4 – 1977 Through 1988

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Mini Time Line

Part 4 – 1977 Through 1988

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.

1977

March

  • The Australian Mini LS (998) went on sale for $4,495AUS.

April

  • The 3rd Mini Meet East was held on the 30th – May 2nd in Fairborn, OH.

August

  • Reversing lights were added as part of the saloon rear light clusters; except, for the 850.
  • The Denovo wheel/tire became standard on the 1275 GT and optional on Clubman saloons.

September

  • The 4th Mini Meet West was held the 3rd - 5th in Terra Linda, CA.

October

  • The Australian Mini Sunshine went on sale for $4,395AUS.

Misc.

  • Three standard Minis made up the 1977 range of Minis in South Africa: Mini de Luxe (the base Mini offered and still in round nose form), the Mini Clubman and the GTS.

  • The Sunshine Mini was announced by Leyland South Africa (probably January 1977). The car was a dolled up Mini 1100 de Luxe (round nose form) in Dolomite Yellow with appropriate decals and featured a soft folding-type sunroof.
  • The Moonlight Mini was announced by Leyland South Africa (probably August). This was another dolled up version of the Mini 1100 de Luxe (round nose form) which featured a soft folding-type sunroof, Zircon Blue metallic paint and appropriate decals.
  • 214,134 were produced in 1977. Total Minis to date, 4,236,503.

1978

May

  • The 4th Mini Meet East was held the 5th – 7th in Dayton, Ohio.

August

  • The Australian Mini LS (1275) went on sale.

September

  • The 5th Mini Meet West was held the 2nd - 4th at the Airport Inn, Richmond, B.C., Canada.

October

  • Australian Mini production stopped; except for Mokes. (Total production: 176,284, excluding Mokes.)

December

  • The Van and Pickup were badged as Mini 95.

Misc.

  • The Mini Vanden Plas was announced by Leyland South Africa (probably August). This was another version of the Mini 1100 de Luxe (round nose form) and was called the most luxuriously equipped factory Mini ever built in South Africa. Official brochures stated, “Such features as cashmere pure wool upholstery, a French polish walnut fascia dashboard, folding sun roof, tinted and shaded windscreen and tinted glass on all windows, leather-bound steering wheel, bronze metallic paintwork, mahogany pile carpeting and many more, make the Mini Vanden Plas an exquisite saloon car.”

  • British Leyland Ltd (see 1975) became BL PLC.
  • The IMM (1st official IMM?) was held in Moers, Germany
  • 196,799 were produced in 1978. Total Minis to date, 4,433,302.

 1979

April

  • The 5th Mini Meet East was held on the 20th – 22nd in Marietta, GA.

July

  • The City and 850 Super DeLuxe started.

August

  • 1100 Special limited edition went on sale at 3,300UKP. (“20th Anniversary” edition.) (Total production: approx. 5,100.) It had a 45bhp 1098 engine and came in a choice of two special paint colors. Also, there was a vinyl roof, 165x70 tires on 5” rims, Clubman bumpers, etc.

September

  • The 6th Mini Meet West was held the 1st – 3rd in Santa Ana, CA.

October

  • The Mini 1000 name was changed to Mini 1000 Super.

  • Black trim on the rain gutters introduced.

Misc.

  • IMM was held in Hopfau, Germany

  • 165,502 were produced in 1979. Total Minis to date, 4,598,804.

1980

May

  • The 6th Mini Meet East, was held on the 16th – 18th in Troy, Ohio.

August

  • The Clubman was discontinued. (Some sources say October.) (Total production: Saloon, 331,675; Estate, 176,688.) The estate Clubman was available for another couple of years, but was no longer called a Clubman. It took on the name of Mini1000 HL Estate and added about another 21,000 to the total count.

  • The 1275 GT was discontinued. (Some sources say October.) (Total production: 117,949.)
  • The 7th Mini Meet West was held the 30th - September 1st in Terra Linda, CA.

September

  • Mini 1000 City started.

October

  • The Clubman saloon and the 1275 GT were dropped. (Some sources say August.)

  • Mini 1000 Super’s name was changed to Mini 1000 HL. The HL introduced the A+ engine and gearbox and had Clubman style bumpers.

November

  • The 848cc engine option was dropped from the Pickup.

Misc.

  • The 9 US gallon fuel tank became standard on saloon Minis early in the year.

  • The Australian Moke, among other changes, went to galvanized body panels.
  • The Mini 1275E (with the Clubman body and 1275 engine) is announced by Leyland South Africa (probably August). (It is unclear whether the car was going back into production after being out of the market or if it is just the Clubman style being reintroduced with the larger engine.)
  • IMM was held in Bielefeld, Germany.
  • 150,067 were produced in 1980. Total Minis to date, 4,748,871.

1981

July

  • The 7th Mini Meet East was held on the 16th – 18th in Ste. Marguerite, PQ, Canada.

September

  • The 8th Mini Meet West was held the 5th – 7th in Richmond, B.C.

Misc.

  • Australian Moke production stops. (Total production: approx. 26,200)

  • BL PLC (see 1978) split and became Austin Rover Group PLC (ARG) and Jaguar Holdings.
  • IMM was held in Vaterstetten, Germany
  • 69,986 were produced in 1981. Total Minis to date, 4,818,857.

1982

April

  • The Mini City name was changed to Mini City E.

  • The Mini HL name was changed to Mini HLE.
  • The 8th Mini Meet East was held on the 30th – May 2nd in Greenville, SC.

September

  • The Mini HLE name was changed to Mini Mayfair. (Some sources say October.)

  • The 9th Mini Meet West was held the 3rd – 6th in Santa Barbara, CA.

October

  • The Mini HLE name was changed to Mini Mayfair. (Some sources say September.)

December

  • The Van and Pickup were discontinued. (Total production: Van, approx. 520,000; Pickup, 58,000; 850 Van 1970 to end, approx. 94,899; 1000 Van 1970 to end, approx. 82,356; 850 Pick-up 1970 to end, approx. 12,130; 1000 Pick-up 1970 to end, approx. 15,397.)

Misc.

  • The Mini Rebel was announced by Leyland South Africa (probably October). This was a dolled up 1275E with a flip up sunroof, appropriate decals, special wheels and a few other additions.

  • IMM was held in Berlin, Germany.
  • 56,297 were produced in 1982. Total Minis to date, 4,875,154.

1983

May

  • The 9th Mini Meet East was held the 27th – 30th in Hampton, VA.

September

  • The South African Mini Panda went on sale with Alpine White paint, Panda decal, white wheel covers, radio/tape combination, twin rear-mounted speakers, rear-mounted telescopic aerial, window air deflectors, twin spotlights, synthetic sheepskin seat covers front and rear, leather gear shift knob and rubber floor mats front and rear.

  • The 10th Mini Meet West was held the 2nd – 5th in Emeryville, CA.

October

  • The Mini Sprite limited edition started at 3,334UKP. (Total production: approx. 2,500.) It had special paint and stripes, wheels and tires like the 1100 special, and a different interior.

  • The final South African built Mini, a 1275E, rolled off the assembly line at Blackheath. Total production was quoted at 77,686. It is believed that this number includes the CKDs assembled in the early years.

Misc.

  • Moke production started in Portugal with basic Australian specifications.

  • IMM was held in Ansembourg, Luxemburg.
  • 49,956 wee produced in 1983. Total Minis to date, 4,925,110.

1984

June

  • The 25th Anniversary limited edition started at 3,865UKP. (Total production: approx. 5,000.) It was silver with red accents inside and out, lots of “25” decals, a leather steering wheel and a radio/cassette player. Most notably were: 12” wheels and 8.4” disc brakes, soon to become standard on all Minis.

July

  • The 1st “national” U.S. Mini Meet, “East Meets West,” was held the 2nd - 6th in Denver, Colorado.

October

  • The bigger, 8.4” front disc brakes (and 12” wheels) were introduced as standard on all Minis.

Misc.

  • IMM was held in Bremen, Germany.

  • 35,036 were produced in 1984. Total Minis to date, 4,960,146.

1985

June

  • The Ritz limited edition started on sale for 3,798UKP. (Total production: approx. 3,725.) It was silver outside with Ritz decals, and accented with Nimbus Grey. It had a multicolored interior. In other words, it was a Mini City with some fancy paint and decals – a similar theme to many of the limited editions and specials.

July

  • The 10th Mini Meet East was held the 25th – 28th in Vandalia, Ohio.

  • The 11th Mini Meet West was held the 5th -- 7th in Olympia, Washington.

Misc.

  • IMM was held in Zurich, Switzerland.

  • 34,974 were produced in 1985. Total Minis to date, 4,995,120.

1986

January

  • Chelsea limited edition started on sale at 3,898UKP. (Total production: approx. 1,500.) It was City E painted Targa Red with decals.

June

  • The Piccadilly limited edition started on sale at 3,928UKP. (Total production: approx. 2,500.) It was a City E in Cashmere Gold with a dark velvet interior, and full width wheel trims in plastic.

  • The 11th Mini Meet East was held the 12th – 15th in Knoxville, Tennessee.

July

  • Austin Rover Group PLC (see 1981) became Rover Group PLC.

  • The 12th Mini Meet West was held the 4th – 6th in Carlsbad, California.

Misc.

  • Moke changes were introduced, including going to 12” wheels.

  • IMM was held in Russelsheim, Germany
  • 33,740 were produced in 1986. Total Minis to date, 5,028,860.

1987

February

  • The Park Lane limited edition started. 4,194UKP. (Total production: 4,000.) It came with a black exterior with bigger decals.

May

  • The Advantage limited edition started. 4,286UKP. (Total production: 4,675.) It was a City E in Diamond White with tennis motif decals.

July

  • The 12th Mini Meet East was held on the 2nd – 5th in Mt. Tremblant, Quebec.

  • The 13th Mini Meet West was held the 31st – August 2nd in Squaw Valley, California.

Misc.

  • IMM was held in Terwolde, Netherlands

  • 32,717 were produced in 1987. Total Minis to date, 5,061,577.

1988

February

  • The Red Hot and Jet Black limited editions started. 4,382UKP. (Total production: approx. 6,000.) They were red or black, as the names indicate, and came with tinted windows and identification decals.

June

  • The Designer limited edition started. 4,654UKP. (Total production: approx. 2,000.) It came in back or white, and was tied in with designer Mary Quant using her daisy motif in several places on the car and her signature on the seats.

July

  • The 13th Mini Meet East was held on 1st – 3rd in Princeton, New Jersey.

August

  • Rover Group PLC (see July 1986) was privatized and sold to British Aerospace on the 12th.

September

  • The 14th Mini Meet West was held the 2nd – 5th in Portland, Oregon.

October

  • The late type, “lay down” servo became standard on all models.

  • Alex Issigonis died at the age of 81 on the 2nd

Misc.

  • IMM was held in Solingen, Germany

  • 36,554 were produced in 1988. Total Minis to date, 5,065,131.

 

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2 Comments
 11/20/2013 @ 1:12 PM
Cheleker
Spitz, Good point, and also the reason why I started every "Part" with a request to review the notes at the end of the last part. The first note at the end of Part 6 indicates that the time line applies to English built cars for the English market, and that there are variations for other markets and for those built in other countries. Think about Innocenti backup lights, for instance. Still a good point and when I do an update I'll include your information.

 11/20/2013 @ 7:04 AM
Spitz
Reversing lights in the cluster were never used in MkIV cars exported to Canada ( 77-80 ). They used the same tail lights as MkII/III. This was due to the different bumper being used that was mounted to the boot lid and would have obscured the built in reverse light. Instead, a single reverse light was mounted to the rear valance underneath the bumper.

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