THE HISTORY OF MINI
www.minispeed.co.uk

Do a 'quick-search' by clicking a car below,
or scroll through the Mini Timeline.

Morris 850    -    Morris Mini Deluxe    -    Morris Mini-Matic    -    Morris Mini K

Cooper 997 & 998    -    Cooper S    -    Cooper S Mark II

Moke Mark I    -    Moke Mark II

Mini Clubman 1100    -    Mini Clubman GT    -    Leyland Mini S
Leyland Mini SS    -    Leyland Mini LS 998    -    Leyland Mini 1275LS

If unique or unusual cars interest you, click here

   >>   June 1960


Assembled prototypes commenced running.

   >>   January 1961

 

 


Australian production commenced with sliding windows and rubber cone
suspension - the same basic design which remained until January 1996

   >>   March 1961


New:  Morris 850 
Sedan: $1550   Van:  $1484

   >>   October 1962 

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New:  Mini-Cooper
Available initially with a .997 litre engine, and then .998 litre, 
the mini features included disc brakes and a four-speed manual
transmission with no synchromesh on first gear.

The car was a joint effort between John Cooper (of racing fame) and
Alec Issigonis.  The Cooper differed from the standard Mini in engine size,
cylinder head (similar to Sprite), Lockheed front disc brakes, remote control
gearshift, revised gear ratios and slightly higher overall gearing 
(14.8 for the standard car and 14.9 for the Cooper). 
Seven bars on grille. 

   >>   April 1963 


Mini Cooper S
available in very limited quantities with a
1071 cc engine, developing 70 bhp (52.5kW) at 6000 rpm.
Priced at $2280.

 

   >>   February 1964 


A van with sliding doors was introduced and built until April 1965.

   >>   June 1964

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Running Changes
A variety of changes occurred including:

  rubber diaphragm seat (no webbing)

  tenth of a mile recorder for speedo
  waterproof cover for distributor & coil
  changes to exhaust valve material
  changes to exhaust pipe mounting
  modified baulk - ring synchromesh gear
  chrome grille
  seat belt anchorage points fitted
  greaseless tie rod ends
  changes to brake linings
  changes to master & wheel cylinder sizes
  strengthened engine stabiliser bar
  similar steering rack to that used in Morris 1100
  wax-type thermostat

   >>   March 1965 

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New:  Morris Mini Deluxe 
Features included Hydrolastic suspension, key-operated starter,
wind-up windows and bucket seats.  Produced until March 1969.
Priced at $1666.

   >>   May 1965 


Mini van with wind-up windows in production.

   >>   June 1965 


Car officially became the Mini in Australia.  Some models offered
locally designed wind-up windows.

   >>   September 1965 

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New:
  Cooper S
Commenced production with two fuel tanks enabling 50 litres capacity,
a laminated windscreen and 'racing approved' seatbelts with 3-point fixing.
 
A top speed of 152 Km/h and a price of $2280 including tax,
this mini was built until April 1969.

   >>   October 1965 


All models were fitted with wind-up windows

   >>   February 1966 


New:
  Morris Mini Moke 998
Produced up until April 1969.

   >>   October 1967 


.998 litre engine fitted

   >>   January 1968 

  


New:
  Mini Deluxe Auto Mark I  (Mini-Matic)
With a four-speed automatic transmission made by Automotive
Products, production lasted until August 1968.

   >>  September 1968 


New:  Mini Deluxe Auto Mark II

   >>   March 1969 

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New:  Mini Deluxe Mark II K  (Mini K)
Known as the Mini K, it was launched with a 1.1 litre motor.
Features included dished, padded steering wheel, changes to
the instruments and a long-life alternator.

Synchromesh was fitted to all gears.  Hydrolastic suspension became
standard and the engine size increased from 998 to 1098 ccs,
power from 40 to 50 bhp (30 to 3.5 kW).

Priced at $1780, the Mini was built in Sydney from a claimed 80%
local content and said to hold 30% of the small car market.

   >>   April 1969


1.1 litre engine fitted to
Moke; 13 inch wheels became standard.
Four-speed
Mini got full synchro.

   >>   May 1969 

 

 


New:
  Mini Moke Mark II & Cooper S Mark II
Cooper S was produced with an oval 'S' badge and bolt on wheel arch flares.

   >>   December 1970


Complete withdrawal of the parent company from racing activities resulted
in British Leyland Australia continuing extensive involvement in track, 
rallycross and rallies independently.

   >>   August 1971

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New:
  Mini Clubman 1100
The body design was updated including a grille with six horizontal bars, 
resulting in the new Clubman 1100 priced at $1999.

Cooper S was replaced by the 
Mini Clubman GT
(1.275 litre), valued at $2502.

   >>   April 1972


Name changed to
Leyland Mini

   >>   October 1972


An announcement was made by Leyland that 3 million Minis
has been built in 13 years of production - half were exported.

   >>   April 1973

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A variety of cabin changes were introduced for greater comfort.

The car was sold as Mini and Mini S.  Hydrolastic suspension was
phased out (mainly for cost reasons) and replaced by the 
original rubber suspension.  A 1.1 litre engine was fitted.

   >>   1974


A total of 155 168 Minis had been sold in Australia.

   >>   September 1975


A return to the .998 litre engine import from the U.K.  Leyland
claimed a large increase in sales.

The Mini and Mini S names were still used, with the car still being
locally assembled.  Head restraints were fitted to the Mini S. 

   >>   February 1976


The four millionth Mini announced worldwide - approximately 200,000
had been sold in Australia, with the majority being locally produced.

   >>   February 1976
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New:  Limited Edition Leyland Mini SS
Leyland outlined plans to build a limited edition of 500 SS Minis.  
Except its possessing a higher standard of equipment and trim,
the car was basically the same as the Mini S.  It was priced at $3895,
compared with $3540 for the standard Mini.

The SS was the first Mini with a twin-speaker sound system
and alloy road wheels as standard.

   >>   March 1977


New:  Leyland Mini LS 998
The luxurious LS was added to the range with 998 cc engine and
rubber suspension it possessed 17 standard features including
radio/cassette player to metallic paint and 'mag' wheels.
Priced at $4495.

   >>   October 1977


New:  Leyland Mini Sunshine
This 'special edition' mini featured a sunshine roof and tinted windows -
priced lower than the LS at $4395

   >>  August 1978


New:  Leyland Mini 1275 LS
Fitted with 12-inch wheels

   >>   October 1978

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Local production of Minis ceased in Leyland's Enfield plant
in New South Wales.  A total of 176,284 Minis had been built
in Australia including a further 26,142 Mokes

Since the production of Mini ceased in Australia

   >>   October 1985


Austin Rover Group announced that the five millionth Mini would
shortly be produced and some detail changes to the interior
introduced for the 1986 version.

   >>   February 1986


The five millionth car came off the line at Longbridge, 
making the Mini the first British car to achieve this magic total.

   >>   August 1989

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Mini Turns 30 !
Gala celebrations in England included the world's biggest Mini traffic
jam with an estimated 25,000 old and new Minis crowding onto
the Silverstone racetrack near Northhampton.

Total British sales had exceeded two million units, with a third of them
estimated to still be on the road.  Production continued in England at
the rate of 40,000 units per year, with 10,000 of these going to Japan

 

   >>   August 1999


Mini Turns 40 !

 


* Timeline information obtained from 'Spotlight on Mini Minor Downunder' by Pedr Davis p. 13-21
Marque Publishing Company Pty Ltd, Hurstville, NSW  (1990)

If unique or unusual cars interest you, click below

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