Minis and the Month of September
Significant events in the life of the Mini from the month of September
Works Minis Active Early
1959, September. Less than a month after the Mini’s introduction to the world, the first Works Mini was in an international event, the Viking Rally, driven by Marcus Chambers. YOP 663 finished 51st overall.
1960, September/October. The Countryman (Austin) and Traveller (Morris) Estate cars (both with wood) went on sale. They had the same “long” wheelbase and length as the earlier introduced Van. Unlike the Morris Minor Traveller, the Mini’s wood was non-structural. Because of trim levels, the Estates weighed over 120 pounds more than the Van and over 160 pounds more than the saloon. Initially, the gas tank was located inside the car in roughly the same position as a saloon tank (although it was of a different shape).
A Super Super
1961, September. One of the rarest English factory models, the Super, went on sale. It used the same body and exterior specifications as the soon-to-be-sold Mini Cooper; except, the grilles were unique to the model (and have never been reproduced). The power unit and brakes remained 850 Mini with the exception of the introduction of the 16-blade fan. Under appreciated and lasting not much over a year, many were “turned into” Coopers over the years.
The Press Meets the Cooper
1961, September. The 997 Coopers were introduced to the press on the 20th at Brands Hatch. “And the rest is history.”
Pat Moss Starts a Trend
1962, September. Pat Moss takes the now famous 997 Cooper, 737 ABL, to first overall in the Baden-Baden Rally.
The Spring is Out
1964, September. The Mini clutch makes a major, and welcome, change from the coil springs to the diaphragm spring, the clutch set up that was to be used on the vast majority of all Minis built.
Wet Suspension is In
1964, September. Hydrolastic suspension, originally intended to be used on Minis from the start, is finally introduced on all saloon models. (It was never used on other models.)
1964, September. Twin leading shoe brakes, introduced earlier on the Mk II Riley Elf and Wolseley Hornet, were made standard on all non-disc brake Minis. The twin set up was used until late 1984.
The OZ S
1965, September. The Australian Cooper S Mk I 1275 went on sale for $2,280AUS including tax. Featured were roll-up, quarter light windows on exterior hinged doors. The same set up would be used on some South African Minis. These roll-up window doors pre-dated the English factory version (introduced on the Mk III Elf and Hornet) by almost a year.
End of the Mk I S
1967, September. The last Mk I 1275cc Austin Cooper S was produced on the 11th. The last Morris on the 6th.
End of the Mk I Cooper
1967, September. The last Mk I 998cc Austin Cooper was produced on the 8th. The last Morris on the 13th.
A South African Wolseley
1967, September. The Wolseley 1000 went on sale in South Africa. It was powered by the 998 (with single HS2 and 3-synchro magic wand gearbox), and it combined the standard saloon rear with the Hornet front. South Africa was the only country to produce the Wolseley 1000 and only about 450 were made.
Hopkirk on the Alpine
1967, September. Paddy Hopkirk won the Alpine Rally in LRX 827E.