This is our “Yellow Submarine.” She’s a 1963 Mini Cooper made in 1962 and titled in 1963. This was the hottest Mini available at the time, since the 1275 Cooper S didn’t come out until 1964.
NEW! Drive video below!
This particular car was a race car for much of its life and comes with a log book and a few pictures from that chapter of the car’s journey (see photo album). The log book starts in 1975 and ends in 2008. Sometimes after 2008, the car was fully and artfully completely restored for road or track, and she still presents as a very fresh restoration today. Just 1750 miles have been put on the car since that restoration.
This happens to be one of the better classic Mini restorations I have seen, with everything done to a very high standard. Paint is excellent, engine bay is very tidy, interior and engine bay finish is excellent, with smooth and uniform paint throughout the interior and trunk. Fender flairs fit perfectly.
The underside is very clean, with the perfect amount of protective finish. It’s durable and it’s not hiding anything. The rear subframe was also replaced during the restoration.
This car would have shipped new with a 997 Cooper engine, but has since been replaced during restoration with a remanufactured Ivor Searle Cooper 1380 CC engine with 1750 miles on it. If you are unfamiliar, this is a quality rebuilder in the UK. According to the engine build information, installed is a 1275 short block which has been bored to 1380 CC for maximum power and then mated to the Cooper head (with the appropriate and stronger extra stud holes, per original).
Specs for that short block are below:
|Reground crankshaft and bearings (SA type)|
|4 x remanufactured con rods|
|Mega pistons or 20659KR powermax pistons|
|Reconditioned block, rebored, bore and offset as per Mini Spares spec, liner fitted to rear cyl|
|New cam bearings fitted , block refaced, cleaned, new core plugs and oil bungs fitted|
|Main bearing housings line honed|
|Drill extra head stud holes, 5/16 UNC w/pump end, 3/8 UNC at rear end|
|Reprofiled camshaft (to be supplied by Mini Spares)|
|Lightened cam followers, Duplex lightened timing gears, duplex chain|
|C-AEG579 Cam followers|
|C-AJJ3326 Timing chain kit|
|Fit with new camshaft thrust plate, AHU2379|
|Camshaft dial timed using offset key’s|
|Colour Leyland (Mowog) Green|
|Fit 1300 timing covers with breather|
|Supply engine with distributor drive fitted|
She’s also fit with a sidedraft 40 DCOE Weber, nicely fit into the dashboard bodywork with a good air filter, courtesy of the modified speedometer housing in the dash to provide ample space for the bigger carb. Transmission is the original four speed with a non-synchro first gear, as original. A nice thermostatically controlled oil cooler is fit on the passenger-side inner fender, as shown below.
The interior is set up in minimalist mode with no fabric coverings and a full roll cage. Access is still excellent, with the roll bars cut down over the door sills for easy access and egress. The new Sparco seats are outstanding, much more comfortable than the original seats with tons of lateral support.
The car is very street-worthy, and has been titled for road use during the past few years. All lights are working, there is a horn on the turn signal stalk and a mild (but popular) RC40 exhaust system, header and a street cam. The car idles well and is very user-friendly with no bad manners, front disk brakes and incredible grip. She’s also vintage race ready if you so prefer, with roll cage, racing belts and seats already fit. The Momo suede steering wheel is also a delight.
Minilights wheels with 165/70×10 Yokohama tires provide shocking adhesion to the road. The rear sway bar helps balance the handling. This car is great fun no matter where you drive it.
Whether for street, track or autocross, this is a stunning and super clean car you can drive to events and enjoy. She’s a fitting tribute to the iconic history of the Mini Cooper name, and will prove a delight for the new owner!