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Mini 1275 GT. British Leylands' successor to the Cooper S

Mini 1275 GT

At the end of the sixties, the builders of the Mini Cooper and Cooper S could look back on a successful period. The peppery Cooper S surprised friend and foe in the sixties by winning the Monte Carlo Rally three times officially and once unofficially. Two successful generations of the Cooper were followed by the ADO 20 variant of the sportsman. The Mark III made its appearance in that year. He was joined by his successor, the Mini 1275 GT. A bold choice that not everyone was happy with. A choice from British Leyland, moreover, that wanted to make savings in production costs and for this reason phased out the more expensive Cooper S and "handed it over" to Innocenti. 

The last Mark III Cooper S was built until 1971. He still offered the buyer the sporty features, the 1275 cc engine with two carburettors. An oil cooler and a double fuel tank were also retained as Cooper S features. The 1275 GT became the more modest and more economical version in terms of performance. It did get the well-known 1275 cc engine, but it was fitted with one SU HS4 carburettor instead of two carburettors. In addition, compared to the Cooper S, it brought 16 HP less to the crankshaft: 60 HP to 76 HP. However, the performance was also reasonably smooth by seventies standards. The top of this version was 140 kilometers per hour, although intimates claim that that speed would have been higher if the 1275 GT had been delivered with the old round front.

Inspired by the Clubman

The 1275 GT got the body of the Clubman introduced at the same time, which was actually seen as the new Mini for the seventies. The newcomer had a square nose and Roy Haynes was responsible for the design. The dashboard was now equipped with three-clock instruments behind the wheel. On the outside, this Mini was provided with striping with type designation on the underside of the flanks. The equipment of the 1275 GT was in good order. Disc brakes from the Cooper S were mounted on the front wheels, and the 10 inch wheels got the Rostyle rims. A close ratio gearbox was linked to the power source. From 1971 the standardrubber suspension as standard.


From 1974, the Mini 1275 GT received larger disc brakes. From that year, "Mini" also offered the possibility to equip the 1275 GT with the 12 ″ Dunlop Denovo run flat tires, which reduced the effects of a sudden puncture. Remarkably, the power of the 1275 GT decreased from model year 1975 to 55 PK. British Leyland made more changes. The interior was modified and given more luxurious materials. The protective plate in the luggage compartment disappeared, as did the Rostyle wheels. In the following years of its production, the 1275 GT was adapted to small details. For example, from 1977 the Denovo tires became part of the standard equipment.

More than 100.000 units in twelve years

He has always been somewhat maligned. Mini purists - and certainly the old Cooper fans - were never enthusiastic about the 1275 GT with Clubman nose. In the end, the modest sportsman sold reasonably well. 110.673 buyers bought this 1275 GT, which was built from 1969 to 1980. He blew the retreat in the first year of the eighties and did it together with the Mini version, with which he also made his entrance: the Clubman.

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