*This is a translation done by a machine.
The design team at BMC (British Motor Corporation), led by the genius Sir Alexander Arnold Constantine Issigonis, will create one small two-box car.
This car, development code ADO15, had a square design that was a far cry from the rounded styling of the Austin A35 and Morris Minor, BMC's representative small saloons to date. It was also revolutionary in that it adopted a front-wheel drive system, which had not been common in British cars until then, by combining the transmission under the front-mounted transversely mounted engine.
The ADO15, with an overall length of only 3 meters and 5 centimeters, was given the name "Mini" for its small style, and was introduced to the small mass market in August 1959 under two brands, Austin and Morris, owned by BMC.
Although priced for low-income buyers, conservative-minded buyers favored the classic styling of the rival Ford Anglia 105E, which debuted in the same year, and sales were not good when it was first launched, but it became popular as a second car for the wealthy to use for leisure and other purposes. The four Beatles also enjoyed their own customized Minis.
Its rigid and lightweight body and excellent handling thanks to its rack-and-pinion steering system attracted the attention of users who enjoyed motor sports. The following year, 1960, it made its first appearance in the British Saloon Car Championship at Goodwood, where it placed third. Gradually, the 850 cc Mini began to occupy the under 1000 cc class of the British Saloon Car Championship.
Cooper Car Company, which had been active in formula car racing, winning the F-1 World Champion twice in 1959 and 1960, and BMC joined forces to create the 997cc Mini Cooper, which would give the Mini a further leap forward in motorsports. The Mini took a further leap forward in motorsports.
In 1963, the 1071cc Cooper S was introduced, and the lineup would include the 1275cc Cooper S and the 970cc Cooper S, each of which would be dominant in terms of displacement.
The crankshaft is made of EN40B steel with nitriding treatment, and the rocker arms have been changed from normal stamped to forged. Big valves were converted, valve guides were changed to white copper, and an oil cooler was added. Models are being added with a menu that can be said to be a precursor to the current Evolution models.
And the Mini Cooper would go on to make a splash in the rally field. It won the Monte Carlo Rally four times in a row (overall victory in 1964, 1965, and 1967, and in 1966, despite finishing first overall in 1966, all British cars were disqualified for lighting violations), and achieved a hat trick in the 1000 Lakes Rally from 1965 to 1967. Of course, on the track, works teams such as the Cooper Car Company, Broad Speed, and Don Moore won titles in various national and international races and classes.
Even after the introduction of new models by other manufacturers, the Mini remained a hero of touring car racing until the end of the 1970s, with little change in its appearance. After his foray into motorsports as a manufacturer, the Mini continued to shine throughout the world in one-make and grass races and in historical car races with machines from around 1960.
The Mini Cooper presented here has been modified in a racing style, as can be seen from the photos.
Since the mid-1980s, historic car racing in Japan has flourished, including historic car racing by SCCJ (Sports Car Club Japan) and TACS (now JCCA).
At a time when the grandstands of the Tsukuba Circuit, the main course of those races, were so full of spectators, it was the Mini Cooper who was playing the leading role.
With a displacement of only 1300 cc, it has the potential to go toe-to-toe with rivals with larger displacements, and is as much of a giant killer as it was when it was still active. The figure of Ushiwakamaru, who is defeating Benkei, is surely to the liking of the Japanese people.
Opening the engine hood in the circuit's paddock, there was always a crowd eager to catch a glimpse of the magically fast machine's engine. That's the Narita Mini we're introducing today.
At the time, Narita Garage was actively participating in historic car races. The Narita Mini known as the "White Lightning," was the most highly tuned car in its class, and was a regular winner.
The original items by representative Yoshimi Narita have been developed and manufactured, ranging from accessories such as shift knobs and metal window catches, to full-fledged racing parts such as mufflers, roll cages, aluminum radius arms, stabilizers, four-pod brake calipers, straight cuts, cross missions, five-speed dog missions, and sequential missions, and they are still items that are the envy of mini-enthusiasts.
Also, in 1992, after the Mini World Championship in the U.K., the winning car was selected for a MINI WORLD magazine project in which the winning driver, Bill Solis, gave his impressions of the car that took top honors. As a driver, he rated the NARITA MINI as the car that he would choose as the best. At the time, two Minis were being driven by Narita Works. This Mini Cooper was built in exactly the same way as the one mentioned above, except for the engine, which competed in a different category class, and the one equipped with a KAD twin-cam 16-valve head that Narita was also involved in the development of.
The smoothed body was typical of racing minis at the time. The suspension system has been changed to the original NARITA subframe, and the lower arm and upper support are also changed, so you can feel a sense of stability like no other. In addition to the Mini Cooper from its golden years of motor racing history, it was the Mini Cooper to which the legendary tuner put his heart and soul when the Mini was the hottest thing in our country.
|Junichi Okumura's Highlights!|
The owner, who purchased the car in 2016 with no engine, used the engine from a Cooper S he owned to complete this legendary Mini. He used a Safety First tuning head and a lot of genuine manufacturer's C-parts to complete the engine. The rare parts alone that he used are already hard to find and would fetch an unbelievable price if they appeared in an online auction.
The owner graciously allowed us to take a short drive. Shifting the gearshift in the irregular H-pattern, I was careful not to mistake the second. There are no weakness typical of small-displacement tuning engines of this era. The engine was full of torque throughout the range and revved up quickly. The short stroke of the dog transmission makes shifting a pleasure, and the kickback from the cam and pole Limited Slip Differential and the straight-cut gear noise are probably the parts that give you the best impression of this car's character.
Also notice the ride quality, which is quite different from that of the Mini, which often gives the impression of being stiff, and not just for racing. The rubber cones have been eliminated, and the front and rear suspension is a coilover type using Koni F1 dampers. The brackets have also been moved to a higher position, and although the stroke is less, it probably feels milder due to its capacity. The exhaust sound from the mild steel megaphone muffler, typical of the 1960s, is also pleasant.
Due to the recent popularity of classic cars, there are few Mini Coopers in original condition that sell for less than 7 million yen. Considering the fact that you can get such rare parts, menus, and a brilliant legend, it is a considerable bargain price. The owner of this exhibit has decided to change jobs and is regretfully passing it on.
1275 Cooper S engine
Plus 20 oversize pistons used
Compression ratio 11.5:1
Safety First tuned heads
Stock C-part 95-degree race camshafts
Light weight lifters with oil holes
Vernier-type cam sprockets
Split Weber DCOE40
MOCAL oil cooler
Aldon igniters, Full Transistor
Spal electric fan
Narita 5-speed dog transmission
Straight cut drop gears
Cam & pole racing LSD
3.7:1 straight cut final
Narita intake manifold
Maniflow LCB Stage 2
NARITA Megaphone Muffler
Narita throttle linkage
ATL safety tank 20 liters
KONI F-1 coil over suspension
Narita Aluminum Radius Arms
Narita 10-inch 4-pot calipers
Narita front and rear sway bars
Narita Alfin drum
LES LESTON bucket seats
BRITAX seat belts
Narita 9 Point Aluminum Roll Cage
Originally written by Junichi Okumura
Photo by Junichi Okumura
Published on July 2023
|Year of Purchase||Nov 1987|