The Mini, the car of the 20th Century and still in motorsport in 1997, 35 years after its first event. This book sets out to complete the untold recent history of the mighty works Mini in international motorsport. How the Mini came to be in Monte Carlo and at the famous Nurburgring battling with the giant teams such as Fiat and Citroen. Of how different manufacturers where buildingworks cars on either side of Birmingham but not knowing the other existed.I t tells the story of cars developed from 1994 up to the last group A cars of 1997, with fuel injection and six speed sequential gearboxes. The book also covers Rover’s plan to go around the world competing in various rounds of the world rally championship. It s all here, copies of Rover internal documents plus many unseen photo’s that Rover would not want you to see, if they were still around. With many unseen photo’s of the cars development, copies of Rovers internal documents, copy pages from the road books of top rallies, all of this in colour this book truly brings this previously untold story to life.
The Mini, the car of the 20th Century and still in motorsport in 1997, 35 years after its 1st event. This is it s story. In the 60 s the BMC works teams using Mini s were virtually unstoppable in their quest for recognition in the big world of rallying, they succeeded where others had failed and the BMC works teams were at the time probably the envy of the motorsport world. They introduced to the enthusiast the Special Tuning or ST as it was later known, a range of tuning products that the public could buy and fit to their own cars thus using the very same parts that the works team were using. Sadly the competition department was wound down and the ST finally went the same way in 1980. Imagine the excitement that hit the media when in the Autumn of 1993 Rover officially announced that they would fund the build of several cars to once again campaign the world famous Rallye Monte Carlo. Although they were not works cars, the large contribution of materials and money to the project it was regarded as tantamount to funding a works team, especially when Paddy Hopkirk was named as one of the drivers. It was this that started 4 years of Works backed mini s to varying degrees, culminating in 1996 to a full works backed team of 2 cars and a full campaign of rallies and races for the three years. Typically the Mini of the 90 s, similarly to the Mini of the 60 s, carried with it a fair degree of controversy. Over the next four years there was plenty of it, with money being diverted by the sponsor from one team to another, one car even being stolen and top rallying stars carrying out secret test sessions, being just a few examples. All of this using cars that were designed way back in the 50 s and even still using the same basic design of engine and gearbox against competitors who were using cars designed over thirty years later with modern engines and transmissions. This book highlights how the use of fuel injection, distributor-less ignition, six speed gearboxes and modern tyres all helped to bring the mighty mini once again to the foreground of modern rallying and racing. In 1996 the ST range of competition parts was re-introduced, with the parts coming from the latest 1996 build of works cars but once again in mid 1997 the project was pulled amid secrecy, sackings and bitter recriminations that even to this day have prevented the authors from being able to speak to those that were involved behind the scenes at the end of the line for the Last Works Minis . With many unseen photo s of the cars development, copies of Rovers internal documents, copy pages from the road books of top rallies, all of this in colour this book truly brings this previously untold story to life.
About the author
Happily married to Nicki for twenty years, who he met when he was seventeen, Tim has been in the motor trade all his working life. Starting as an apprentice technician with a Fiat & Lancia main dealer. Once qualified he spent a short while in a tuning garage, fitting turbo chargers to anything that had an engine. From here Tim moved to a BMW dealer working as a service advisor and progressing to senior service advisor. Eventually needing a change he left BMW and started to do smart interior trim repairs to cars at main dealers, which is where he met Bryan, who he then started working part time for. Bryan and Tim started to do a few rallies together, firstly in his MG A and then in his Mini Cooper, This is when we purchased the last two works Mini s and the rest, as they say, is history.1.5) Bryan bought his first Mini in 1965, which at the time was only two years old. The car was progressively modified, including designing and making adjustable suspension components, machining grooved and drilled brake discs, building my own engines and gearboxes. Bryan only entered local clubman rallies as the car was also used as daily transport. His interest in Minis developed into a part time tuning business, in conjunction with his brother. We then built a formula Mini Seven race-car that Bryan eventually wrote off whilst racing at Cadwell Park. The following ten years were spent racing national and international 100cc Karts. a family oriented break ensued. Once his daughter had grown up Bryan then became interested in rallying once again and has since participated in many competitive classic rallies , having been in the hot seat in an Austin Seven Ulster to Monte Carlo and also across the Sahara Desert. He then rebuilt a MKII Cooper S which he also rallied. Bryan then met Tim and they started working together, it was a short while later that Bryan and Tim formed a sporting partnership. They rallied Bryans MG A Coupe and 1964 MkI Cooper S . In 2005 Bryan purchased what was the last works Mini to ever finish the Monte Carlo Rally and just a month later Tim purchased the sister car which was the last works group A Mini ever built.