Please help me identify my mini…


  1. Hello folks, I'm new here, and hope to solve a mystery with my car (or was a car until it was dismantled 20 years ago to start a restoration). I believed it was an Aussie assembled Mk1 Morris Cooper S. It has disc brakes, a 1275 Cooper S engine, oil cooler, brake booster, twin tanks, 120MPH speedo, wide rear drums and hydrolastic suspension. Importantly also it has wind up quarterlight windows on a Mk1 shell. This is what told me it was Australian assembled. I believe the doors and panels are likely original to the car body as the paint history is the same – chipping away on all parts reveals they started white, then went red, and then green. The thing is now some local experts have looked at it and said the shell is a UK one – apparently the roof gutter drain holes are different and the floor is different. Also the body number (this in the ONLY number that is still with the car) is apparently a UK number. It is FE10759?0 – the question mark I can't make out, looks like a small letter r that goes same height as the other characters, or a back to front digit 7. Can anyone cast any light on this???? Where is the body from and why would a UK Mk1 seem to have an original set of wind up window doors – and also a boot with the narrow Australian number plate recess? Oh yes, and the boot brackets for the parcel shelf and extra tank mount are riveted in (apparently the Aussie ones were all welded). Another thing is the number of holes in the body for holding the tail lights on – there are three, which I thought was an Aussie only thing (do UK bodies only have 2 holes for each light?). Can anyone confirm this? I know there are a lot of 'made up' Cooper S cars around, and I might need to accept mine as one of them – or at least a reshelled car, but I at least want to understand what its history is. Mainly I want to know if it is a UK body, and the body number is key to that I would guess? Thanks.

  2. imported post

    Hi, As far as I'm aware no Aussie assembledcar, either the early C.K.D or their own version had a FE number or a body number. Aussie cars had their own chassis number plate riveted to the bulkhead above the master cylinders, with the chassis number stamped into the bulkhead below it.

    Other differences include:- The hydro. pipes are boxed into the floorpan and the roof drain channel has eight holes instead of four slits. The ally engine number plate was removed and the number stamped directlyinto the block. Aussie rear lights have only two screws holding the lenses to the light body but still have the three fixings holding the light to the shell [as UK cars].

    UK cars had the boot board brackets riveted to the rear bulkhead up to mid. '66 when they changed to spotwelded. The rear support brackets were always riveted.

    Is the FE number spotwelded to the inner wing next to the radiator shroud? and are there two holes in the rad. shroud were the UK chassis number should be? Has the car got the two heater support brackets?

    Post some pictures of the second fuel tank bracketry , the 'B'post piller and the FE number. Mk3 miester should be able to match that up. regards Bob

  3. imported post

    Sounds to me like your original Aussie shell has been either damaged or rusted out, and replaced with an English one, and the Aussie doors and boot have been retained.

    Was it owned by the mini centre in Dunedin by chance?

    Interestingly, the shell is an ENGLISH one with an FE number, not a NZ assembled english shell like 98% of the English shells here in NZ.

    For a mk1 shell to have a FE number in NZ means it is a genuine Cooper shell, or that it is a shell from an 850 imported here privately

    The chassis number on your papers is 40341,
    And the engine number is 1350

    The chassis number for an Enghish cooper from 66 should range from 840 000 to 930 000 aprox, so not an English car.


  4. imported post

    Yes I was thinking along the same lines (being optimistic) – that it may actually be a UK cooper that someone has fitted aussie panels to. Maybe because they wanted wind up windows? I'm pretty sure now at least that its not an Aussie body. The boot brackets are all riveted. It must just be that whoever did it must have found white aussie doors, boot, bonnet to fit the white UK body. Also it must have been done a long time back. I've had the car for 20 years, and before that it was painted twice – once red and then green. The white red and green paint in the body and all panels. Also I am told Aussie engines all had a number stamped where the UK ones had a tag fitted? The tag is missing, but there is no number stamped.

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    The car has never been to Dunedin to my knowledge. The engine number and chassis number on the ownership papers I am just not confident about to be honest. I think the key is in the body number. If it can be shown that this was a cooper body number then thats great, otherwise I have myself a replica cooper S with all the right bits except for the body.

  6. imported post

    Are there any other numbers on the body?

    you are looking for a tag similar to the FE tag, but in the recess in the drivers side front floor.

    And a smaller tag on the bonnet slam panel.

    Your chassis number does look a bit like an english body number!

    Jolly confusing all this!!


  7. imported post


    Doubtless you have gained a lot of useful info for sure from a good source of genuine folk on this forum but I hope it hasn't disheartened you at all over the value and sale of your car.

    Here in the UK a large percentage of the cars that come up for sale are notdressed in theiroriginal bodyshells (although they may or may not be meticulously restored or built up exactly or as close as possible to their credentials) but they are not often marketed as ''Replica's''. (Indeed this very subject has been the topic of much previous forum debate which can be found on here.)

    The value will ultimately be decided by the buyers and they would or should consider what they would potentialy own after investing some time and enthusiasm into the project.

    It is a lot of peoples desire/dream to own and drivea genuineCooper Sand the person who ends up with this project has a great chance to achieve that in my opinion… at a fraction of the cost of the odd ''genuine'' example that crops up biannually in NZ.

    Keep it!!

  8. imported post

    The FE Number dates fromearly 1967 so it does at least tie in with it being a Mk 1 shell.

    If the remote gearchange cut out looks proper that would make it seem probable it was a Cooper or S shell and thn it is down to the bracketry in and around the boot for the tank breather pipes.

    Even if you have had the car 20 years, there were 20 years before that for things to be changed. Early Aussie wind up window doors fit without any mods.

  9. imported post

    Hello, No I am not disheartened at all. Actually it is all very interesting stuff. I was particularly interested to hear what Graeme came up with on the engine and chassis numbers. That seems to make sense – and it does seem to confirm that it is an Aussie car, and at least gives it an identity as to what it started as. And being an Austin would fit with the rego papers actually…. tonight I will scrape the paint back on the bonnet and boot and see if there were any holes in the panels that would have originally been for the Austin badges. Would be good if there was as it would all start to come into place. I'm not too concerned that it appears to have had a new shell, particularly as the doors, boot and bonnet seem the original ones. In my mind that still gives it more original steel than a lot of the 'genuine' cars that have been restored. Also because the shell must have been done quite early in the cars life (for whatever reason) to me it has become part of the original car. I don't like 'replicas' – to me there is a falseness or imitation about it. I am quite happy to have a genuine Cooper S that has had a new shell. To me thats not a replica at all. Having a replacement shell is just a part of the history of this particular Cooper S and I certainly won't be hiding it – the pommy FE tag will be displayed with pride!

  10. imported post

    On your papers the chassis and engine number look to have been transposed.

    I think you have an Aussie built car YKG2S2-1350 which has engine number 9FSAY/40341. This is entirely consistant with a 1966 car. Car number 1300 was fitted with engine number 40179 and was built in Sept 66.

    You car is an Austin as it would have been sold in NZ by an Austin dealer – all Aust cars were Morris's as they had no Austin dealers there – but they rebadged some carsas Austins for thedealers here in NZ. Odd about the Morris badges – maybe someones preference.

    Shell is UK as prob was rusty or accident damaged. Occasionally insurance companies names appear on the papers if it was written off. They didn't used to de-reg them back then.

    If the block is the Aussie originalthe engine number would have been stamped in.Although oftenremovedduring skimmingyou can apparently sometime read the number with an X ray.



  11. imported post

    'To throw a cat amongst the pigeons' … for those identity freaks out there, note that South African Minis also had Australian spec wind up windows (I think with dies from Aust), and there are of course other windups as well with quarter glass, although they appear distinctly different.

    The ID so far is likely, though. Australia built Austins for the NZ market. (But not for the home market, more's the pity!:()

    Another thread with discussion on this car


  12. imported post

    Hi guys,

    I went to look at the car for Bruce and I struggled to form an opinion during the visit. I've continued to make enquiriesthrough a couple of Australian Cooper S experts and Ibelieve we can now definately rule out the fact that it has an Australian body.

    The body is British and carries an FE number (partly damaged) by the radiator cowling of FE 10759?0. There are no holes for the serial number plate adjacent to it and all other plates are missing. The front panel has been replaced so I cannot say ifit hada Cooper S style front for theoil cooler.

    I think the most likely scenario isthat this car was an Australian Cooper S that has been reshelled with a new Britishbody.The glass is missing, as are quite a number of other dated small parts so identifying the build date is a little awkward. The boot lid lock says 29/65 and other things hint that it mayhave been built mid '65. There are holes in the correct place for the regulator, fuse box and some in roughly thecorrect placing for an Australian ID plate on the bulkhead. The switch panel is silver. The drive-screwholesin the block for the serial number plate don't appear to have ever been used, there is no sign of bruising, so I believe the block is a replacement but has a thin flange number of AEG 312.The gearbox is a 22G333 with for rubber joints.Brake servo holes are there but the front ones looklower than usual. Bruce is trying to make contact with a previous owner to see if he can shed any light so that will be interesting.

    Anyway, the above are some of my findings and I trust I have helped Bruce in some small way.



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