1970 Morris Cooper S Mk2 ***Rare Australian built Mk2***
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale a genuine, Australian built, 1970 Morris Cooper S Mk2.
These cars are quite rare, with only 2,419 cars built between March 1969 and July 1971. By comparison, there were almost 5,000 Australian built Morris Cooper S Mk1’s built.
The car is presented in the unique colour scheme of ‘camino gold’ (paint code 12137) with a black interior.
Unfortunately, the early history of this Morris Cooper S Mk2 is not known. The current owner acquired this car in June 2012 from a friend who was a very long term owner. He restored the car as a long term keeper, but a change in circumstances resulted in it being sold. This car has travelled some 1,000 miles in the last ten years or so. The current owner has an eclectic collection and he is most fastidious with his cars. Whilst this car has been sparingly used, it has been well maintained.
This car retains its original Australian Design Rules (“ADR”) compliance plate that is affixed to the driver’s side firewall cross member panel (behind the brake booster), which is dated 11/70. The compliance plate matches the stamped chassis number. The car has a correct Cooper S Mk2 engine, stamped with the prefix ‘9FXEY’.
We do have a soft spot for this Morris Cooper S! There is ‘just something’ about this car. The first thing that stands out is the colour. ‘Camino gold’ is a very seventies colour and it is quite a rare and unusual colour. It looks magnificent in the sun and in our opinion the colour really suits the car and it is a refreshing change from the common ‘British racing green’, blue or red! The look is completed by the Minilite wheels, which give the car a more aggressive stance. All the wheels are in good condition. They are shod with Falken FK-07E tyres in the size 165/70R10. The tyres are date stamped 4210 and 4310 (week 42 and 43 2010). Whilst the tyres are still in very good condition, they should be replaced based on age if the car is going to be used on a regular basis.
Walking around the car it is hard to fault it. Whilst the car now wears an older repaint, the paintwork is still in excellent condition and you have to look hard to find any defects. The same can be said for all the bright work and badges on the car. The glass is generally in good condition with only a few very small stone chips on the front wind screen.
Inside the interior present really well and the seats are still very comfortable. Everything is very neat, clean and tidy. There are no rips or tears in any of the upholstery and even the carpets present very well. The dashboard in a Morris Mini is very basic and its simplicity is quite refreshing, yet they are often cracked, damaged or generally scruffy. On this car, everything presents nicely and the instruments are clear and in a good working order. There is an aftermarket rev counter discretely fitted behind the steering wheel. For safety, there are seat belts fitted front and rear.
With a Morris Cooper S it is all about the drive and this car certainly doesn’t disappoint . . . in fact it excels in every regard! When the engine is cold you do need the choke to start the car, but even from cold the engine starts easily at pretty much first crank and very quickly settles into a smooth idle. The first impressions are good, really good. The 1,275cc engine sounds fabulous and it has a raspy exhaust note which just seems to beg you to take the car out for a drive. Obviously, we are more than happy to oblige!
Out on the road this Morris Cooper S is everything you expect it to be. The car is an absolute delight to drive. The slightest touch of the accelerator results in an instant response from the engine and the car just seems to want to go. The engine feels strong and it pulls willingly through the rev range. The gearbox is easy to use and the gear changes are smooth both up and down the box. The steering is light and very direct, which really gives you that go-kart feeling. Importantly the brakes on the car are up to the task and stop the car quickly and in a straight line. It easily keeps up with modern traffic and it will give plenty of cheek to those who dare!
Driving this Morris Cooper S just puts a smile on your face and for that matter everyone else’s you drive by. On our recent test drive and photo shoot we were overwhelmed by all the smiles and ‘thumbs up’ we received.
Accompanying the car is a spare wheel (steel wheel), jack, an original Driver’s Handbook and Passport to Service (but not original to this car), a Handbook (reprint) and two sets of keys.
Today the odometer reads 4,111 miles.
This car is reluctantly offered for sale due to the current owner’s ill health and our job is to find it a good home.
This lovely 1970 Morris Cooper S Mk2 is now ready for its next owner to use and enjoy. Whether you want to take it out on a Sunday morning breakfast run, or go to your local cars and coffee, be warned wherever you park this car you will get plenty attention!
The classic British car scene in Australia is very strong and there are very active Mini car clubs all over the country.
- Genuine Australian built Morris Cooper S Mk2.
- Great colour combination of ‘camino gold’ with a black interior.
- An unmolested example.
- Two sets of keys and an owner’s manual.
- Ready to use and enjoy.
The Mini was born from the major fuel shortages in the UK due to the Suez Crisis in the mid to late 1950’s. Petrol was rationed and as a result the demand for large imported cars slumped. At the same time the demand for small, fuel-efficient cars skyrocketed.
In 1955 BMC had recruited Alec Issigonis from Alvis. His task was to design a range of technically advanced family cars in the same innovative spirit as the Morris Minor (that he had previously designed). Leonard Lord was the head of the British Motor Company (BMC) and he laid down the basic requirements for his small car. It should have 2 doors, be able to seat 4 people and be contained in a box measuring 10 x 4 x 4 feet (or 3.0 x 1.2 x 1.2 meters). The plan was also to use an existing BMC engine to save on development cost.
By July 1957 BMC had built the first prototype that was code named XC9003. Leonard Lord approved the car for production on the 19th July 1957. Prototype XC9003 became project ADO15.
ADO15 was to use an existing BMC A series four-cylinder water cooled engine of 948cc capacity. However, contrary to most cars this engine was mounted transversely in the car to create more space for the driver and passengers. Interestingly, testing showed this engine would give the car a top speed of over 90mph which was deemed unnecessary and the engine capacity was reduced to 848cc.
The production version was first demonstrated to the press in April 1959 and it was officially announced to the public on 26th August 1959. The Mini as it was now called was marketed using the two main BMC brand names, Austin and Morris. In the UK the Morris version was known as the Morris Mini Minor and the Austin version was known as the Austin Seven, named after the popular Austin from the 1920’s and 1930’s.
In Australia the car was introduced as the Morris 850. It was officially launched in March 1961, though it is understood cars were sold in this country prior to that. Interestingly, the Mini was never officially sold as an Austin in Australia.
Initial sales of the Mini were slower than expected, however, by the early 1960’s the Mini had found its niche and BMC produced over 200,000 cars in 1962. As they say, the rest is history and the Mini went on to become a motoring icon and when production finally ended in October 2000, around 5.3 million cars were built. It is understood that BMC built c1.2 million MkI’s from 1959 to 1967 and c400,000 MkII’s from 1967 to 1969. The Mini was of course reborn under BMW’s ownership in 2000.
One of Alec Issigonis’ good friends was John Cooper, the owner and founder of the Cooper Car Company. Cooper immediately saw the potential of the Mini for competition and the Mini Cooper was introduced in September 1961. The standard Mini’s 848cc engine with 34 bhp was replaced by a 997cc engine developing 55 bhp, and front disc brakes were introduced. In 1963 the Cooper was followed by the even more potent Mini Cooper S with a 1,071cc engine and a top speed of close to 100mph.
In 1962, Rhodesian John Love became the first non British racing driver to win the British Saloon car Championship in a Mini Cooper. While the standard Mini and the Mini Cooper had already been used in rallying by BMC’s competitions department, the Mini Cooper S became an outstanding rally car. The car won races all over the world, including the prestigious Monte Carlo Rally three times for BMC, in 1964, 1965 and 1967.
In Australia, production of the Morris Mini started in late 1961 and locally built cars began to differ from their British counterparts as local components were used. The Mini Cooper was launched in October 1962 and the Cooper S in September 1965. In Australia, production of the Mini ceased in 1978.
In 1966 a Mini Cooper S driven by Rauno Aaltonen and local hero Bob Holden led a pack of Cooper S’ home to snare the first nine places outright in the Bathurst 500 mile race, a record which still stands today.
In 1999 the Mini was voted the second most influential car of the 20th century, behind the Ford Model T, by the Global Automotive Elections Foundation.
What a legend!
- Morris Cooper S Mk2
- 4,111 miles