The final form that retains the atmosphere of a vintage mini.

*This is a translation done by a machine.

Along with Germany's Volkswagen Type 1, the "Mini" was created by British Motor Corporation and was a popular 20 century car. It was manufactured for 41 years from 1959 to 2000, and the total production was about 5.39 million units. As with VW Type 1, many derivative cars have appeared, and "a small English giant" is still loved around the world. By the way, since the 2nd generation, which has been produced since 2001, debuted with the nickname of "New Mini", the 1st generation has been called "Classic Mini" "Rover Mini" and so on since then.

The background of the birth of Mini is largely related to the 2nd Middle East War which broke out in 1956. With the outbreak of war, the supply of oil to European countries became insufficient. To respond to this oil shock, the "minimum car" developed by BMC was the Mini.

"Small outside, Bigger inside."

The car should be as compact as possible, and it should be able to load with 4 adults and baggage without any difficulty, and it should be able to run economically. In order to clear development conditions that lead to Honda's MM concept later, including minimizing the engine room through the use of a 2 story structure with a mission located below the engine, reducing the amount of protrusion into the car through the use of 10 inch tires, and using a rubber suspension instead of metal springs for a compact suspension. By cramming this revolutionary mechanism into a highly efficient two-box design that was rare at the time, they were able to make their ideals a reality.

Launched in 1959, the Mini is available from 2 brands: Austin and Maurice. The difference between the two cars was the design and brand emblem of the front grille, which is what we call Badge engineering today. The engine is an OHV of 848cc, which is called the smallest A type in BMC's lineup at that time. The specs were 34 ps/6.08 kg-m, but I was able to run more smoothly than I expected with the light body of 600 kg. The biggest attraction was the go-kart-like agile handling with a quick steering ratio and a 10-inch gyro effect. Its high practicality and sporty driving led to increased sales of the Mini, and its popularity spread across Europe and North America.

The increase in Mini sales was driven by the presence of the high-performance Cooper. The Cooper, armed with an increased displacement and twin carburetors, was created with various specifications in accordance with regulations, and was very active in the circuit and rally. Especially in the Monte Carlo Rally, which represents Britain, which represents Britain, was highly regarded by the world for its ability to suppress the rivals with a large displacement and win three overall titles in 1964, 1965 and 1967.

A minor change was made in 1967, and the 998 cc specification (38 ps/7.28 kg-m) was added to the lineup. In 1969, the door knob was changed from an outer type to an inner type, and the window was changed from a sliding type to a wind-up type. This car will increase sophistication according to the times. From the late 1960s, the development of the next model was being promoted, but it was not realized due to repeated mergers, integrations, nationalization, etc. In the latter half of 1980, it will survive as a brand icon, not a strategic vehicle.

After 1992, the engine was upgraded to the injection specification of 1271 cc, and in 1997 it was equipped with SRS airbags and side impact bars. Production has been continued while improving reliability, safety measures, and enhancing equipment, but production was decided to end in October 2000, the year before the launch of the New Mini, ending the long history.

Shinichi Yamazaki's Highlights!

Mini has been produced for 41 years without changing its shape. Older models are popular as vintage, and since 1992, injection models have been equipped with safety features and comfort, and have maintained a stable market share as "Mini that you can ride with peace of mind even now". The 1980 ’ s type, which lies between the two, disappeared from the market in the late 1990 ’ s, when Rover Japan was still alive and well, because it was poorly treated due to its declining popularity. However, the 1000 cc engine, which has been in the mini tradition since 1967, has a light upstroke and it has the pleasure of turning to high revolutions only with a small displacement. In addition, since the mid-1980s, models have been attracting attention in recent years as a balance model in which you can enjoy stable driving while retaining the good old fragrance, with the basic performance of the later model, such as the tires becoming 12 inches, the same as the later model, and the front wheels becoming disc brakes.

This mini is a 1986 model that survived the unfortunate period. In addition, this is the final HL handled by the import agent Nichiei Automobiles before it was taken over by Austin Rover Japan. By the way, the business transfer was completed in July 1985, but maybe because it was a transitional period, I sometimes see the 1986 model made by Nichiei automobile in the market.

In 2014, the current owner purchased this car, which was under maintenance at the "Stanmore" a mini shop in Fuchu Tokyo, as a used car. I heard that the owner continued the intention of the previous owner, and continued to drive while receiving regular inspection and maintenance at the same store. I could tell at a glance that they have been treated with care, such as the body that keeps beautiful color and gloss, and the well-maintained interior. The engine idling is quiet and the rotation is very stable.

The feature of this car is that it is a custom car that has been thoroughly worked on, including interior and exterior.

The exterior is the standard Mini Cooper Mk1 specification, with an external damper built in to lower the vehicle's height. The interior and seat, which has been reevaluated mainly in red to match the body color (cinnabar red), as well as the badge, accessories, and various switches, which show that it has been set up for a long time, are just the ultimate form of hobby.

"Because a long-term overseas assignment is planned, so I'm going to put this item up for sale. The interior and exterior parts of the car were originally a little elaborate, but after consulting with Stanmore and experimenting, I created a car that I liked. In particular, we have been collecting and laying out parts that were released in the vintage mini era. Among them, there are many parts that are almost impossible to obtain now, so I'm glad if someone who understands its value and hobby can buy it," says the owner.

The only negative points are that the paint on the door hinge of the driver's seat side was peeled off, the rim of the rear wheel was partially peeled off, and the upper part of the rear window molding was cracked. There are some peeling paint around the suspension, but there is no rust, and considering that this is a car that is 34 years old, isn't it in excellent condition?

This is a mini that is full of originality with the strong attachment of the current owner. Of course, those who are sympathetic to the direction of modification and those who are maniacs who like premium parts, but since it is as perfect as a demo car in a shop, how about getting an extraordinary one?

Vehicle Specifications

Model Year1986
Year of PurchaseJun 1986
Engine Capacity998cc
Steering WheelLeft
ColorCinnabar red
Chassis No.99X3419N
Engine No.
InspectionJune 2021
AreaTokyo, Japan