It’s new project time in the Hagerty Redline Rebuilds workshop, and this time we’re looking at something very small.
Not quite as small as the recent Honda Monkey bike, it has to be said, but by the standards of most other cars in the Hagerty garage [In the US, not UK. *Sad face* Ed], an Austin Mini is dinkier than most. That’s right, Hagerty is fixing a Mini, and one of the most desirable ones at that: a 1965 Cooper S.
It looks good in the video, but certainly isn’t without its problems, and the biggest on this small car is a smoking issue. That could be any number of things, but rather than pick and prod at the possible causes, host Davin has decided simply to remove the hopped-up A-series from its home and dive in deeper.
The Cooper S was at the height of its powers in 1965, fresh from Paddy Hopkirk taking that famous Monte Carlo Rally victory in 1964. The feat would be repeated by Timo Mäkinen early in ’65, and their teammate Rauno Aaltonen would then win the RAC Rally later that year.
All three would take numerous other rally victories in the Cooper S, while on paved roads the Mini wasn’t so bad either. John Whitmore and John Love both took British Saloon Car Championship titles (forerunner of today’s BTCC). Minis – albeit rather more potent than the 75bhp car here – remain competitive in classic motor sport today.
Hagerty’s car will likely have a gentler life though, and we’re as intrigued as you are to follow its progress. So watch the first video here, and then make sure you subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel to catch the rest.