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Mini Cooper: Quintessentially British

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Here it is! Our latest ‘Vehicle of the Month’ story by Peter and his 1997 Rover Mini Cooper. A fun and nostalgic read with a great balance of original vehicle ads and light humour - If you hold one dear to your heart - you’ll certainly feel inspired to share about it after seeing this post. 
Peter, welcome to our family of Facts Disc storytellers! 
Now, let’s show our readers your quintessentially British ride! 

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1997 Rover Mini Cooper 1.3i 

Rare Mini Cooper automatic with AirCon

Re-imported to U.K. from Japan 🇯🇵 

Has a sought after UK index plate for a Mini Cooper “GPF” is one of the index nos.
From the classic mini movie The Italian Job 🚘 🇬🇧🇮🇹 but “Not a lot of people know that!”

HMP (HM Prison) Red Mini Cooper 
LGW (London Gatwick) Blue Mini Cooper 
GPF (Grand Prix Flag) White Mini Cooper -
Were the number plates on the Mini Coopers in the film 
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Surf Blue - limited edition colour
With Atlantic Blue leather seats
Body coloured Monte Carlo wheel arches
Minilite wheels
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Mini Coopers being loaded onto the Jinsei Maru cargo ship for their long sea voyage to Japan 🇯🇵 

P773 GPF is one of a few Mini Coopers that made it all the way back to Blighty 🇬🇧

Over half of all the Minis built by Rover towards the end of Mini production were exported to Japan 🇯🇵 In total over 100,000 Minis were sold there - this kept Mini alive and Rover U.K. in business 🇬🇧❤️ 
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Rover Japan 🇯🇵  Mini Cooper advert
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Sprowston Classic Car show Norwich Aug 2022
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Japanese road fund licence (tax disc) below the Car Facts Disc…
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A common misconception is that the BMW Mini was designed by BMW  🇩🇪 the prototype for the BMW Mini was designed by Rover 🇬🇧 in order that Paddy Hopkirk (winner of the Monte Carlo Rallye in 1964) could drive it in tribute to Mini’s … birthday! 🇬🇧
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To quote Charlie Croker in the Italian Job 🚘 🇬🇧 🇮🇹 “I’ve only been out of jail for five minutes and already I’m in a hot car!”
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So why are Minis so important to me personally…?
Well… my very very earliest memory in life (at a mere 18 months of age)  is sitting in my Dad’s early 1960’s Almond Green Mini Countryman, being minded by my sisters whilst my parents were viewing a house in Billericay Essex. I was flicking the dash panel long finger switches on & off, and I must have flattened his battery! 😳🚘🇬🇧❤️
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Since then and as a a young my boy - I’ve always had a soft spot for cars especially Minis…
🚘🚘🚘🇬🇧 
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Me as a 3 year old petrolhead being pushed in my US Army Jeep pedal car by my sister Jenny.
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Later as a teenager working as an Apprentice Precision Grinder / Toolmaker for The Ford Motor Company at their Technical Training Institute Harold Wood and afterwards at their Dagenham Engine Plant…
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We were tasked with taking Mini apart to try to work out how they were built / how much it cost to build and what engineering  processes were involved in making The Mini… even then in the late 1970’s we were convinced that British Leyland (as was), were  losing  £500 - £700 a car!!! The result FORD are still in business and sadly BL aren’t 😪🇬🇧🚘
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Ford News from February 1982… please read article below…🇬🇧
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As an 18 year old Ford Apprentice in February 1982, I was very lucky to win a brand new Ford Cortina MkV 1.6L on the Ford Sports and Social Club Lottery… it was in Caribbean Blue and it was indexed LYP 277X (LYP = Lucky Young Pete)
At a mere 18 it was horrendously expensive for me to insure the brand new MkV Ford Cortina, so I sold it - and bought a brand new Austin Mini Mayfair in flame red with a factory fitted black vinyl roof👍🇬🇧🚘  JHK 627Y
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Aged 18 - My Brand new 1983 Austin Mini Mayfair JHK 627Y - in flame red with factory fitted black vinyl roof. (Story above)
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Mini wins the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally (HISTORICAL FACT)….
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This is a replica of the plaque that was attached to the Morris Mini Cooper S 1071cc index 33 EJB driven by the late, great, PADDY HOPKIRK, that won the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964.
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The Mini went on to dominate the rally for the next 3 years. First past the post at each rally! However the Minis victory in 1966 (when it took 1st, 2nd & 3rd places🚘🚘🚘🇬🇧) was disallowed when FRENCH OFFICIALS 🇫🇷 disqualified the Minis (and 7 other cars) for having non standard headlamp bulbs fitted. With this stolen victory (3rd in a row at that point) Mini’s work’s team would have retained the trophy 🏆🏆🏆🚘🚘🚘 Spookily the 5th placed FRENCH Citroen DS 🍋 was awarded the victory 🤬🤬🤬 Its illegal white headlamps were ignored by the FRENCH OFFICIALS 🇫🇷🤬 To his credit Paul TOIVENEN the driver for Citroen🍋 🇫🇷 vowed NEVER to drive for Citroen 🍋 again! 🇫🇷 ⛔️ 🍋 
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MINI WENT IN TO WIN THE MONTE CARLO RALLY YET AGAIN THE VERY NEXT YEAR 1967.🚘🚘🚘🇬🇧
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Paddy Hopkirk’s 1964 Monte Carlo Rally winning  Mini Cooper S index 33 EJB.
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The other day's car show…
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Mini Cooper P773 GPF is delivered from importer “ClassicMiniMe” in Gateshead to my home in Norfolk.
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My previous 1974 Morris Mini 1000 ODL 676M that I rebuilt after the previous owner had a small welding fire 🔥 that took out the upholstery and the headlining! 
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I added Union flag stitched seats and door cards in body colour (Harvest Gold)
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Motolito walnut steering wheel and Union flag 🇬🇧 floor mats!
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Regrettably sold it for £6100 to South Norfolk Classics - to buy a very rare Ford Sierra Sapphire 2000E 1 of only 16 left in U.K.
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Photo shoot with Mini Cooper in Caister Norfolk Thank you Ron Marshall of Photogenic Photography
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Mini Enthusiast Pete with his Mini Cooper 
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MADE IN ENGLAND 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 
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Some classic Mini Advertising…🚘🇬🇧👍❤️
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