Car Photo(s) Of The Day.


Here are several more shots of that Mini from the other day. You Mini Aficionados can tell us exactly what it is. Once you guys have sorted it all out I will reveal the most amazing thing about this particular Mini.



Pushing a mini

10 thoughts on “Car Photo(s) Of The Day.”

  1. OK, now that I can see all the details I can say with confidence that it’s a Mk1 Austin Cooper S. Features that indicate that it’s a Mk 1 are (i) external door hinges, (ii) sliding front windows (iii) smaller rear tail lights and the functionally useless “budgie perches” on the front and rear bumpers. The colour is Surf Blue which I believe was Mk 1 only but the contrasting Old English White roof is almost certainly aftermarket. It’s probably a 1275cc engine but there is no way to tell: other “S” engines were in 1071cc (arguably the best) and a super high revving but rare 970cc. I would guess it’s about 1965 vintage.

    Comment to Roger. The Austins had this cheese grater grille while the Morris variants had a (nicer in my view) slatted thing. See here:

  2. I’d always heard the 1000cc motors where superior to the 1100’s – growing up my brother hotted up his 1000cc later clubman fronted one – went rather well but the brakes were not always what you expected…. still no discs then on them then – you always ‘thought’ you were going fast being so low to the ground! 🙂

    I only had a ’62 850cc Mk1 like this one above to look at – even had the 10″ fat rims! ha – I did upgrade the front brakes to twin leading shoes though!! such a difference! yeah right…. 😉


  3. Jerome: The “superiority” of the 1000cc motors of the 1100s is a complex story and depends exactly on which units are being compared. There were three A series 1000cc lumps. The 997, the 998 and the 970. The 997 was the first Cooper engine. It was long stroked, fragile and not very good for tuning. It was quickly replaced by the 998cc which was fitted to Mk 1 Coopers (not the S) and later to various non-Cooper runabouts. Despite the nominal 1cc difference it was a completely re-engineered itereation. This was the most common motor. It was reliable and revved very well. Arguably the easiest to live with. The 970c was a rare beast and reserved for one of the Cooper S variants (actually the car could be ordered with a 1275 or a 970 motor). The point of the 970 was that if given a 20 thou overbore, its displacement would become 999cc and the car would thus qualify for 1L race categories. This engine was a gem: it was oversquare and reputedly would rev to 10,000rpm. To date 970 Cooper S models are the most valuable of all Minis because of their rarity. Now there is some confusion about the 1100s. The 1071 was the first Cooper S and one was famously used by Paddy Hopkirk to win the Monte Carlo rally in 1964. This engine is also oversquare, revs very willingly and accepts a very high level of tune with figures well in excess of 120bhp being possible. A 1071 powered car is possibly the best all round Cooper S. However the 1071 shouldn’t be thought of as the same as the cooking variety 1100. The latter which was fitted to various BMC offerings including the eponymous 1100, MG Midget, AH Sprite, Mini Clubman etc. was a longer stroked offering and although capable was not in the same league as the 1071.

    Oh Lord I’m such a geek….!

  4. thanks for that info Mad Dog… my brothers car was a 998 and yes I was comparing to the 1100cc Clubmans which didn’t seem to be able to rev as well as the 998 – so he specially went for that car to hot up – not being in the league of Coopers etc at the time. he did quite a bit of work with hot cam, twin carbs, lightened flywheel, head work, as well as work to pistons and crank etc – had a BMC expert he got to know that helped… it went very well for what it was… a small brick! but I’d hate to have had an accident in it! thankfully mine was written off without me in it… while parked outside … a bit sad at the time but then I moved onto the Minis big brother! a Morris 1300!!! ha


  5. Here’s a discussion about why some nearly-alike engines can be soo different, performance-wise, and why the 970/1071 A-Series Austin engines were so much happier than others in the range, ostensibly ‘identical.’
    R2S ratio is a *barely* understood parameter to most laypeople, but well-known to engine designers.

    From Racer Brown:


    When the piston displacement of an engine is increased, diameter, crankshaft stroke, or a combination of both, it becomes less sensitive to effective valve timing than it was in its original state. While a bore increase has some influence in this direction, the better de-sensitiser is a stroke increase. This comes about for two reasons: (1) A stroke increase does increase piston displacement. (2) The ratio of connecting rod centre-to-centre length-to-crankshaft stroke decreases. The L-16 rod length of 5.236 inches (133.025mm), divided by the 2.902 inches (73.7mm) stroke length gives a rod-to-stroke ratio of 1.8042 to 1. Substitute the L-18 stroke of 3.0708 inches (78mm). With the same rod length, the rod-to-stroke ratio is reduced to 1.705 to 1, a reduction of 5.81%. True, average piston velocity is higher with the longer stroke, as is rod angularity. These may seem like steps in reverse, but they aren’t all bad. Piston velocities across top and bottom centers are faster with the longer stroke but are relatively slower through the mid-part of each stroke because it is an inescapable fact of mechanical life that exactly one revolution of the centre, to bottom centre, and back to top centre again, regardless of the rod length or the piston stroke. However, the faster piston velocities across top and bottom centres have the most significant de-sensitising effect upon valve timing because the effective valve opening and closing points usually fall within the range of these faster piston velocities. This is sometimes convenient because it allows the small luxury of a small error to be made in effective duration without the usual penalty of feeling that the vehicle is stuck to one spot in the pavement.
    Now put the situation in reverse; that is, assume it seems advisable to “shrink” the piston displacement of a given engine to make it fit into a specific class governed by piston displacement. Sleeving the cylinder bores to a smaller diameter is a bad scene because it robs the cylinder block of some very necessary structural stiffness and also heat-transfer problems are almost inevitable. The more practical approach is to de-stroke the crankshaft to something less than stock. Well, maybe it seems more practical. This time, we’ll reduce the stroke by the same amount the above example was increased, and use the same rod length. Now the stroke is 2.7352-inches (69.474mm), and the rod-to-stroke ratio is 1.9143 to 1, an increase of 7.19% over the original version and an increase of 13.43% over the long-stroker. While the short-stroker figures are not extreme by any stretch, this is where effective valve timing can easily become downright hostile, and for reason diametrically opposed to those that help the long-stroke condition, as one may suspect. Piston velocities across top and bottom centres are slower with the higher rod-to-stroke ratio, and faster in the mid-part of the stroke. This condition demands significantly shorter effective durations, narrower displacement angles and as much valve lift as feasibly without affecting valve train stability, the latter factor being important because the short-stroker will undoubtedly be operating in the super-soprano range of engine speeds. If it isn’t, someone made a grievous error in judgement and the engine will need the Red Cross treatment to climb a driveway. These valve-timing requirements are positive for the short-strokers. No ifs, ands, buts, maybes or other qualifications. This is the way it works. Or doesn’t, as the case may be.

    The L-18 engine is ahead of the L-16 by 10.97% in piston displacement alone. But a couple of other sneaky factors may not be so apparent. Compared to the L-16, the bore increase is only 0.080-inch (2mm) but the stroke increase is over twice that at 0.1688-inch (4.3mm), which reduces the L-18 bore-stroke ratio by 3.34%; not monumental, but it helps. The L-18 rod length is 0.104-inch (2.64mm) shorter than the L-16 and makes the L-18 rod-to-stroke ratio come out to 1.6712 to 1, a decrease of 7.95% from the L-16. This is the item that gets the job done and has a mothering effect by being more tolerant and more forgiving of small errors in effective valve timing, holes in the intermediate gearbox ratios, etc., to say nothing of driver errors. This is the way to go for street or dual-purpose engines. It may not be able to climb trees. Small engines just don’t climbe trees intentionally. But it will make the driveways seem flatter, even if they aren’t.
    The old theoretically alleged “ideal” rod-to-stroke ratio of 2 to 1 surely made a lasting impression. Some guys till cling to it like they were welded. And invariably, these are the guys who do not, cannot, will not, won’t, get it through their anvil-thick skulls that they are in a lousy bargaining position to accept what they lose at lower engine speeds for what may possibly (not even probably) be gained at maximum engine speed. They must all belong to some universal idiots’ association, for the chant is always the same; “I never see less than 7 thou – well – maybe 65 hun.” How can you argue with such beautiful logic? But it’s perfectly true. To see it, they’d have to look for it. The 2 to 1 rod-to-stroke ratio is just that. Old. Theoretical. Alleged. Extinct. It does have a place or two, but these are increasingly rare exceptions to the rule. I have a nodding acquaintance with the problem.
    But for what it’s worth, a much more usable, workable, livable set of rod-to-stroke numbers these days are within the range of 1.85 down to about 1.65 to 1. The higher ratios should be reserved for engines that operate at consistently higher average engine speeds, while the lower ratios work best and are happier at lower engine speeds, and also when the engine must be strong through a broad speed range. It isn’t always that simple, but if there is a choice and physical limitations are no problem, that’s the way it should be. In spite of UUI (United Universalised Idiots).


    That should about cover camshafts and valve train pieces for the L-series Datsuns. The meanderings that may seem far afield from the direct subject matter were included to point out that except in the mildest states of tune, it will nearly always take more than on piece, component or system to transform and L-series Datsun engine into a workable, livable, usable high-performance unit. I have also attempted to show the relationship between other components and systems to the valve timing valve lift-overlap requirements, all of which are so essential in developing a right and winning combination (that word again).
    Four final words: DON’T “OVERCAM” YOUR DATSUN!! And don’t break it, either.

  6. Hehehe..wel, yes..and in their early days, the blokes at Datsun copied the A-series engine, but made it better!
    Seriously, R2s ratio is an invariant detail in comparing all engines, be they Datsun A series engines (they even had the chutzpah to *call’m* the same!!) to Austin’s A series. Thing was, Datsun gave their engines a *more proper* 5 mains…:)
    I always wanted to get a 2.4 XK engine and see how well they’d run, hot-rodded….

  7. These photos were taken at a Vintage Rally.

    The bottom photo shows the driver of the car pushing it along as we queue up for a staged start! Note the navigator relaxing in the passenger seat!

    That driver is the curator of a famous car museum in Florida and the navigator is the owner of said museum. They literally have their pick of the most amazing cars in the world, and they always bring this Mini. Gotta love that!


  8. Lucky buggers. But looking at some of the machinery in the museum I think I’d be scared to drive it in anger. As the old saying goes “don’t compete in anything you are not prepared to destroy!”.

    The thing is that whenever my Mini gets pushed towards the start of an event it’s always me doing the work -and I’m usually the navigator. Obviously I’m doing something wrong.

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