The British Motor Corporation is naturally anxious to perpetuate the Mini-Cooper S victory in the Monte Carlo Rally. With the European Saloon Car Championship in mind they have introduced a new “oversquare” 70.64 x 61.9 mm. 970-c.c. engine for this car (Type 1000), and to give competitors so mounted a better chance in the British Saloon Car Championship, they have also introduced a 70 x 81.3 mm. 1,275-c.c. engine (Type 1275). The existing 70.64 x 68.26 mm. 1,071-c.c. Mini-Cooper S engine remains in production.
We were able to drive both the new Mini-Coopers round Chalgrove Aerodrome last month. The 1,275-c.c. car would exceed an indicated 100 m.p.h. along the straight, and both it and the 970-c.c. version were so docile they would pull away in top gear from 20 m.p.h., the 3.7-to-1 top gear offsetting the smaller engine, as the “big Min” had a 3.4-to-1 top ratio. We also did a few laps in Aaltonen’s Monte Carlo Rally car (wearing Hopkirk’s winning No. 37—shades of the Mercedes team after the 1914 French G.P.!), and Baxter’s rally car was also going round. This felt quite close-to-standard and extremely safe. Hopkirk himself was doing his adhesion-defeating manoeuvres in the rally cars, so that we hastily moved our parked Ford Cortina GT to a safer position, especially as Paddy was at the wheel of one of these Dagenham-eaters!
The prices (with p.t.) are: £567 17s. 6d. for a normal Mini-Cooper, £695 7s. 1d. for the “S,” £671 3s. 9d. for the new Type 1000S, and £755 15s. 5d. for the new Type 1275S—and what fine, safe, accelerative little 100 m.p.h.+ cars these “mini-brics,” or mechanised matchboxes, the last-named are! The tables should make more clear than words the engine specifications and choice of gear ratios.—W. B.