Real Deal Cooper: 1962 Morris Mini Racer

I have always contended that every motoring enthusiast should have at least one chance to slip behind the wheel of a classic Mini. They don’t possess the horsepower of a muscle car, but they are an entertaining and engaging car that will almost certainly leave a smile plastered on the driver’s face. This 1962 Mini Cooper is a great little car that has led a colorful life. It features some cool custom touches and is ready to be driven and enjoyed by a new owner. Located in Buffalo, New York, it has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding currently sits at $15,100, and the reserve has been met.

The journey from Britain to Buffalo has been a long one for this Mini. The route included some time in France before it found its way into Canada. From there, it made its way to its current location. The owner is pretty candid about this little classic and admits that the British Racing Green paint that it wears isn’t original. It actually started life finished in Surf Blue with an Old English White top. The owner estimates that the vehicle was repainted in its current color around 20-years-ago, but the paint has survived quite well. He also believes that the Mini may have had a competition history, because between the Green and Blue are several other colors. The Heritage Certificate proves that it is a real Cooper!

There is some additional bracing under the car, and this further supports the racing theory. All of the steel is believed to be original, except for one rocker, which has been replaced at some stage. The vehicle is rust free, including the floors. It does feature a few custom touches. The fender flares are a common addition and help to cover the 100+ alloy wheels that the car currently wears. What isn’t that common is the fiberglass one-piece tilt front. This isn’t the first Mini that I’ve seen with this feature, and it does look incredibly cool. The trim and chrome present well, while there are no signs of any issues with the glass.

The interior of the Mini provides a strong indication of its racing past. It features a set of period-correct racing seats, a half-cage, and additional gauges set into the cluster. There is no rear seat, and the cage would need to be removed if the next owner wanted to treat the car as anything but a two-seater. Everything works as it should, and the interior presents well. There are a few marks on some of the painted surfaces, but the upholstery and carpet appear to be in good condition.

The dash features the autograph of the legendary Paddy Hopkirk, a man who successfully demonstrated the racing potential of the Mini. His win in the prestigious 1964 Monte Carlo Rally behind the wheel of a Mini made the motoring world realize the potential that was locked away in these little cars.

The Mini isn’t a numbers-matching car, but it is in excellent mechanical health. For those of our readers who have tried to perform any mechanical work on a Mini, that tilt front must seem like Manna from Heaven. It makes everything very accessible and would make any maintenance task much more comfortable to perform. The original 997cc engine has gone, but it has been replaced by a 998cc version. This features an upgraded cylinder head, camshaft, and a new set of SU carburetors.

The original Cooper disc brakes remain on the front corners, but the rear drums have been upgraded to Cooper S items. New ball joints have recently been fitted, along with new suspension cones and shocks. The Mini has also recently been treated to a new clutch, along with new master and slave cylinders. The result is a classic that is said to run and drive exceptionally well. I earlier mentioned the joy of driving a Mini. This car perfectly encapsulates what I was talking about. With the potent little engine and the fresh suspension, driving this car on a twisting piece of road is about as close as you could ever get to driving a road-legal go-kart. You sit close to the road, and even at a sedate 30mph, it feels like you are going much, much faster.

This 1962 Mini Cooper is not an original survivor, and there will be some readers who will lament this fact. It is a tidy little vehicle that could be used regularly. It would attract plenty of attention wherever it went, and tilting the front would certainly turn some heads. If you are the sort of person who revels in a pure driving experience, then a car like this Mini is a classic that is worth serious consideration.

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Comments

  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Nice looking car. Now if I could only find where to bolt on the 3 piece wall mount bracket….. and the cowboy clothes.

  2. FastEddie/OldEddie: pick one

    The gear lever seems to be out of an Austin/Morris 1100/1300/America. I wonder if the car was rallied? bobhess, I do not get the bracket & cowboy clothes reference. Ride ’em cowboy?

    Like 2
  3. Rabbit

    I don’t recall ever seeing this car at The Glen, but that was kind of a long time ago (98-04). I HAVE seen it around town, tho, but not lately. Looks like a sweet little machine, with some well done mods.

    Like 1
  4. bobhess bobhess Member

    FastEddie,No. Got ads spaced into the comments this morning advertising everything you never wanted to buy. Right now, Sunday the 6th, there is an ad with a guy pouring Coke down a toilet. Site security a little weak maybe. I’d rather pour the Coke into a glass of rum. Don’t have a lot of sites I visit but this is the only one with the herd of ads and that started Friday the 4th.

    Like 1
  5. Pat Gill

    the 997cc cooper engine is very desirable, the 998cc engine is not, the flip front was common for either rust or accident repairs on the cheap, racing seats do not usually have headrests, many colours do not make it a race car! a fire system, sealed fuel tank, engine breather catch tank, date coded race belts etc. do……

  6. Winfield S Wilson

    I dunno, but Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) drove the heck out of a Mini in one of those Bourne movies, getting chased by the Polizias.

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