1962 Morris Mini Countyman
The Mark I Mini (1959-1967) was the first version of British Motor Corporation's Mini. It is characterized by its sliding windows, external door hinges and "moustache" grille. The Mark I was produced between 1959 -1967, and was sold under both Austin and Morris marque names. The Mini was a genuine four seater. This was possible within such a small bodyshell because the engine was mounted transversely, driving the front wheels via a gearbox which was uniquely incorporated into the sump of the engine. Engine and gearbox thus shared the same oil, which was a significant piece of design in response to the 1956 Suez crisis and the fears of future oil shortages. These models were two-door estate cars with double barn-style rear doors. Both were built on a slightly longer chassis of 84 inches compared to 80.25 for the sedan. The early Morris Mini Traveller and Austin Mini Countryman cars had an internal fuel tank located on the left hand side of the rear load area. This is identifiable by the fuel filler cap being on the left hand side of the car just below the rear window. From the start of production both models had a decorative, non-structural, ash wood trim on the rear body, in the style of a pre-war shooting-brake. This gave the car a similar appearance to the larger Morris Minor Traveller and gave rise to these cars simply being called a woodie. It is a popular misconception that the difference between the Traveller and the Countryman is the wood trim. An all steel version of both the Traveller and the Countryman without the wood trim was launched for export markets in April 1961.
This Mini Countryman was built as a tribute to the Monte Carlo Rally Minis that competed very successfully in world rally competition. The car was acquired in the UK by the previous owner and was passionately and painstaking restored to present this very special Mini. For over 30 years of ownership, this Mini participated in international concours events, slaloms, and rallies. The construction of this very special Mini is highly documented with both photos and hand written journals. There are so many unique features and details it is hard to know where to begin. The motor is a genuine 1275 S block bored to over 1300cc putting out nearly 90 horsepower. The dash was hand built from photos of the original BMC factory works rally cars including the lighted holder for handwritten course directions. There is even a genuine Halda Twin Master Speed Pilot which was an early mechanical computer that is dash mounted. Two vintage Tag Heuer watches are also dash mounted as they were back in the good old days. Genuine Lucas fog lamps are used front and rear. The original style roof rack used by rally teams to carry spare tires smartly adorns this handsome looking little beast. A hand built wooden tool box with mounts fits perfectly into the rear of the car. If you want a really special classic Mini, look no further!
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