Cooper MkI 997 1961 to 1964
Mini Cooper MkI 997 1961 to 1964
The original hot Mini for racing and rallying. Built from 1961 to 1964.
The original standard tyre was a 520-10 crossply. A suitable radial replacement would be a 145R10.
In the pantheon of great collaborations, BMC and John Cooper must surely rank as one of the best when they teamed up to create the Mini Cooper, the fore-runner to the hot hatches that would prove so popular more than a decade later.
The Mini Cooper arrived in Austin and Morris forms in September 1961, with front disc brakes and a 997cc 55bhp engine featuring twin SU carburettors. By January 1964 the 997cc engine had been swapped for a shorter-stroke 998cc engine still rated at 55bhp.
Until October 1964 the Mini Cooper was fitted with rubber cone suspension, but from this date there was a move to a Hydrolastic system. The cars still looked the same but in September 1967 the Mini Cooper MkII arrived with a redesigned grille and surround, a bigger rear window and larger tail light clusters. An all-synchro gearbox was fitted from October 1968 then in November 1969 the Mini Cooper was replaced by the Mini 1275GT.