Mini Cooper Register
Mini World October. :)Car of the month 'Built in Cowley' must surely be the only Austin Cooper S ever built there. :DAlso, I understand that both Austin and Morris Coopers were all assembled at Longbridge, according to the bible. :dude:Steve.
That's journalists for you ! Not known for their accuracy in my experience.
Hey, it's very difficult to be a classic car journo – because every one out there knows more about their own cars than you do yourself – so what you do (in addition to book research – the net is usless and full of lies!) is interview the owner, record EVERYTHING they say, and then put it in print. Of course, if the owner gets it wrong…
But if you think about all the things you've read ON SUBJECTS YOU KNOW ABOUT AND KNOW THE ERRORS, then by the same token, items in the media (Press, radio, TV, News etc) will have similar numbers of errors in…and also much of the mainstream media has its own news agenda which it is foisting on us.
Still, being a classic car journo is a great job – just imagine, you need to be an expert on Jaguar series 2 XJ6s one week, Hillman Hunters, Singer Vogues and other Arrows body derivatives the next, while knowing more than Steve about Morris Coopers the next….and then you need to be able to quote chapter and verse on Vintage Renaults or some such when attending a centenary event – whilst writing about Datsun 240Z Samuri and 1955 Chevey race cars (you should see the amount of 'errors' I included in a story on a 1907 Renault Vanderbilt cup car) – all written in by the guy who sold the car to an interim owner 35 years ago, the interim owner than did lots of mods to the car before selling it to a German collector, (who owns a string of Renault dealerships in Eastern Germany) who then told me the car was completely original.
What do you do in that situation? – the original bloke refused me an interview when I did my original research – still, it's much better dealing with the MCR – straight bunch of people, no axes to grind and lots of fun – and the features I've written on Minis didn't fill the post bag (too much!)
Hopefully no errors on Tatras.:D
Most of the classic car journos I've met are diligent and don't WANT to get anything wrong…
To write about cars with any authority you need to have been very involved with them. I've been doing it since 1994 and know Minis inside out and backwards – well, the proper Minis. Ask me what the paint code is on a Mini Ritz and I don't know and care even less. John Parnell (an expert apparently) refused to believe that many early Minis have the numeric part of the chassis numbers stamped into the shell on the edge of the stiffener panel by the master cylinders.
What was the first British car with a coil spring rear axle with a panhard rod, front torsion bars and a 2.5 litre twin cam four cylinder engine?*
Series 2 XJ6's? The first British car to use fibre optics (instrument and switch lighting), 3.4 from mid 1975 (N reg) but whilst with the same bore and 106mm stroke as a 4.2 it shares nothing with the 3.4 engine from the Mark 2 and S Type. Coupes first shown late 1973 on the M plate but not built in series production until 1975. William Lyon's personal favourite Jaguar.
Being a good writer is a result of years of learning stuff from people who know. Bad writers just read and repeat the same old bullshit. The number of times I've read that the BMW 2002 Turbo/Saab 99 Turbo were the first ever production turbo car……..
Chevrolet did it with the Corvair. And someone else did it before that.
*A Riley Pathfinder:D
Thankfully some of us love all Minis, well Issigonis types from 1959-2000 anyway and don't ignore what came after 1970.
I've been driving Minis since 1984, owned more than a few and have no real interest in any other car.
I can certainly appreciate 1960's originals including the Cooper and Cooper S, but I'll happily drool over a nice Clubman, Limited Edition or Rover Cooper if it's well presented.
I've got my own Mini History/Celebration website, although I hope to host it elsewhere due to the pop-ups: –
I do not read Mini World:D
[b]618AOG wrote: [/b] “John Parnell (an expert apparently) refused to believe that many early Minis have the numeric part of the chassis numbers stamped into the shell on the edge of the stiffener panel by the master cylinders.
Well even the Lord Almighty cannot know everything 😀
My Oct 60 Mini has the numerical part of the chassis number stamped where you say – had a look today to make sure before posting a reply 🙂
But in each of the jobs we do, there are things we're good at and things we're less keen on.
It's one thing to know the knowledge one knows (if you see what I mean) and use it.
It's another thing completely to be in a job where you need to write (With enthusaism and knowledge) about cars that bore you stiff – so, if any Mini buffs want to complain about car journos, please first submit 1800 words on the Moskvich 412, written with enthusiasm for the model and explaining how and why it trounced Mini Coopers in 1970s clubbie circuit racing….he hee…oh, and please write it in the house style of ooh, what shall we choose? Classics Monthly or Practical Classics? And with nary a spelling mistake or punctuation error either. Oh, and you have 24 hours to complete this mission – coz that's the reality.
So to conclude, doing it on cars one likes and knows about is one thing – doing it in an interesting way (for a general reader to pick up and find interesting) while not alienating a knowledgable audience on cars one knows little about and has no interest in – that's what separates a good car-journo from a poor one in my book.
“Ask me what the paint code is on a Mini Ritz and I don't know and care even less.”
[b]Silver Leaf MET – MME (BLVC421)[/b]
And you may find these related websites of interest perhaps?: –
“John Parnell (an expert apparently) refused to believe that many early Minis have the numeric part of the chassis numbers stamped into the shell on the edge of the stiffener panel by the master cylinders.”
Well nobodies perfect, but his Mini Cooper Restorers Guide is still held in a high regard.
“so, if any Mini buffs want to complain about car journos, please first submit 1800 words on the Moskvich 412, written with enthusiasm for the model and explaining how and why it trounced Mini Coopers in 1970s clubbie circuit racing….”
Probably because the famous BMC Works department had closed in 1970, so the team who had helped make the Mini a star in the 1960's weren't there for the clubbie circuit racing?
Anyway who cares about that, the Mini more than proved itself with the 4 outright Monte wins which wasn't bad for a car that was initially thought to be nothing more than a gimmick.
“Mini World October. 🙂 Car of the month 'Built in Cowley' must surely be the only Austin Cooper S ever built there. 😀 Also, I understand that both Austin and Morris Coopers were all assembled at Longbridge, according to the bible. :dude: Steve.”
Journalists aside, that is supposed to be a dedicated Mini magazine run by people who really should now some of the cars history?
Should they 'now' it or 'know' it – we're all on a learning curve…if you studyany theories of learning, you'll discover that the fastest and easiest learning a person ever does is when the learning they undertake operates within the
'proximinal learning zone'. ([size=2]Cognitive [b]Learning[/b]-Vygotsky's Zone of [b]Proximinal[/b] Development, 1977 aka ZPD)[/size]
IE when the new stuff they find out has references within their already existing knowledge.
It's when leaps of knowledge are (or have to be) made that problems arise.
And on that topic, Isupplied a copy of a very well-produced BMW promo pack with CD imagery &c to the MCR archive, and in it there are references to the 3 Monte winning Coopers 'competing together' on the rallies…. obviously the BMW writer didn't know quite as much about BMC history as perhaps they ought to have done.
Also, and this is regarding the Abingdon Works, it was rare for any works team to compete in Clubmans racing in the UK during the 1970s. The Moskvich team was run by Satra, the importer/concessionaire, and the only other quasi-works entry I can think of in circuit racing was Dealer Team Vauxhall. The reason the Mosky's were so competitive is because the formula was based on purchase price, and the 1500 Mosky was about the same price as a 998 Mini.
Once a BMW 2002 cam was installed in the ohc Mosky motor (itself a blatant rip-off of the BMW '02 lump which went on to produce over 1000bhp in turbo form in F1 cars in the late 1970s) there was no way even a works Mini could keep up on the straights.
Of course, the Moskvich handling didn't give it such accomplishment in the corners – I know, I drove a 412 Estate on the SALT Rally in Cheshire last June – and it was initially understeery, then wallowing on to the outer front tyre, before a transition into either lift-off or power-on oversteer – the car didn't seem to mind what you did, it just wanted to let go!
Driving a Mini is much more relaxing, because it is faithful in corners.
Yes driving a Mini is something else and I just throw mine around the bends on the mountains behind my house and there's not much that can keep up on bends like these: –
I have to do it alone though, because the misses once threatened to pour a bottle of Pepsi Max over my head unless I slowed right down.
Anyway I believe the development work on the Mini Cooper S didn't go much further than fuel injection and those Amal carburettors? Plus there's only so much power you can get from a 1275cc block, even if it's been bored out.
But with British Leyland in command from 1967/68 and the profits from Minis being virtually invisible, they weren't going to develop it any further.
So it's still amazing that it lasted for over 41 years.
my brain hurts
The stamping continued on Cowley built cars for the home market for a lot longer than on Longbridge built cars.
The chassis number stamping on the stiffner was used for early cars exported where the destination country (like the Netherlands) required the car to be 'marked' with the chassis number – the plate is invalid as official identification because it is too easy to remove/replace it. Later the number was stamped in the shell with the prefix code (1970's) and located at the LH front floor panel, then in the top gutter of the bootlid and finally it moved to the top gutter of the bonnet.
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