Chassis Numbers


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    When the DVLA were a lot less strict than they are now it was possible to chnage most of the details on a logbook. Sometimes this was done honestly, some times not so.


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    I have since had a chat with the vendor and the chassis plate definitely says A-Axxxxx – so it is not a Cooper.We have both agreed to back away from the sale !

    So what shall I spend that money on !

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    Well sometimes a wonky chassis plate needn't mean disaster.

    Let's face it the majority of Cooper S's out there ( in my experience anyway..) have been reshelled at some point, sometimesmore than once ! It's not unknown for a Cooper S to have been rebodied , say after a serious prang or lost a battle with tin worm, all the Cooper bits to be transferred over to a donor bodyshell and the donor's 850 chassis plate still to have been left in situ.The car may have been running around for many years like this with the Cooper S ID and registration.

    On the other hand, as has been suggested, humble 850's did get modded using Cooper S mechanicals, and the owner would ammend the logbook ,when DVLC allowed such things,to say 'Cooper S' still with the original 850 chassis number and registration.

    One's a reshelled Cooper S, the other's an uprated 850 !! . Confused !!!?

    Well either way there's not much between 'em is there. The thing to do is try and unravel the history,see what the story is,scrutinise the documentation and decide what you're looking at. If the logbook's still got the 850 chassis number, then it sounds like an 850 !

    I once looked at a Mk 2 'S' for a mate that had all the correct Mk 2 'S' mechanicals, interior, r/h tank, discs, wheels the whole kaboodle ! The original 'S' had been rolled and reshelled into a Mk 2 1000, but then the donor had kept it's original Mk 2 1000 chassis number and registration.The logbook was basically the donor 1000 document which had been ammended to state 'Cooper S', but the former Cooper S history could not be traced as the engine number had gone along with the original 'S' chassis number. Doh!

    It's wise to viewany potential purchase with suspicion, it really is a minefield ,and detective work may be required, but a continuous history is essential , be it a reshell or not.

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    How can a log book state it is a Cooper 'S' in the decription but have this as a chassis plate ?

    Quite simply, I bought this on ebay recently and have no intention of paying for something it is not.

    Yours, almost out of pocket !

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    Slim, I agree, it is a minefield. I have no problems with a reshelled car but as with anything, a price should be relevant to what you purchase. The car I almost parted money for didn't have a lot going for it and with this suspect log book, it wasstarting to turn in to a very poor Mk2 shell 850.. As you say, if it had all the right bits and a wrong log book, then I may have carried on.

    On the trail again !

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    Well …erm…no not really , the log book should be right, save a few typing errors like CA254 instead of CA2S4. At the end of the day, if the log book's right and matches the Heritage trace,which hopefully (?!) matches the shell you're almost there ! You can always replace the wrong bits on a 'right' car ,which will cost obviously, but much harder to give credance to a lemon with no or dubious historydespite all the rightbits !

    There's a lot to be said for a good honest replica, a nicely sooped up 850 with go faster bits and a Cooper make over,same grin factor for a fraction of the cost of the 'real' thing !

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    [i]'There's a lot to be said for a good honest replica, a nicely sooped up 850 with go faster bits and a Cooper make over,same grin factor for a fraction of the cost of the 'real' thing ! '[/i]

    Couldn't agree more, I ditched my reshelled (all be it very original) 1071 for a series of 850's in various states of tune and different engine specs. & do you know what. . . . . . .

    I have just as much fun, go just as fast, and it costs a hell of a lot less than an S or even a Cooper.

    I'll get my 1071 going again one day, but until then, I'm more than happy with my saloons.



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    Yep, I've owned several Mk1 850's and driven 'em all over the country, even did the Wye Valley Run ( oh happy days) in an old '60 and had bags of fun , kept up with everyone else, and sooo reliable, well apart from my dynamo packing up on the way to Edingburgh for new year, that was a hoot drivingthe last few mileswith no lights on in order to make the hotel, (please don't try this at home..!) 😯

    Had several Travellers tooincluding a Fiesta Yellow beauty which I should have kept, (and stuck an 'S' engine in! 😎 ). Shame the MCR doesn't cater for 60's Minis, I think there's room for an extra registrar to write about 60's modded Mins. Maybe replace a couple of the existing registrars (Mr 'Coachbuilt'!!) who write and contribute next to nothing :?.

    Oh , nice bit of politics, my names Ben Elton…good night !

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    I love driving around in my 850 Super Deluxe ! Not sure about being as fast as a 1071 !- well at least not in a straight line !! I am new to the club but must admit that if this Forum gets off and motoring, a new register or forum section on Technical / Modded MK1s/2s etc might prove popular. Now , to get that Paddy Hopkirk rear screen demister working …….

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