The Mini is an iconic motoring legend. Loved by all from famous film stars, musicians and millions of everyday drivers across the world, the Mini deserves
it’s place as one of the worlds greatest cars. Many remember its success in the Monte Carlo Rally during the 1960’s, with the Mini Cooper S winning the rally in 1964, 1965 and 1967. It is however the event of 1966 that most remember with the first three cars being excluded by French judges because a deemed headlight dimming modification. Needless to say the fourth placed car, a Citroen was promoted to 1st place!
The cars nimble size, low weight and sporty 1275cc engine enabled the Mini to quickly prove itself in a variety of international motorsport events.
In Australia the Mini Cooper S won the 1966 Bathurst 500 with local driver Bob Holden teaming up with Finlands Rauno Aaltonen to record a runaway success. Only three months later Rauno would win the 1967 Monte Carlo Rally with co-driver Henry Liddon.
Evan Green successfully rallied the Mini Cooper S in Australia with the traditional red/white cars being repainted in Leyland Australia blue/white livery in the early seventies. Evan and co-driver Peter Brown also took the Mini to New Zealand in 1971, where unfortunately they retired on the third day after leading the event. However the team
did return in 1972 to win the the event.
In 2014 the Classic Mini Cooper S is still taking on the stages. This example is a recreation of the 1967 Monte Carlo winning car. Presented in ‘tartan red N
o. 1 and old english white roof’ the car is a flashback to the days of classic motoring. The car was built by Dave King in the ‘mini Dave Garage’ based on the central coast in NSW. Dave has rallied for twenty years and has always competed in the small car class in state and national events, winning the Proton Trophy in 2002 and taking 1st place in the ARC P1 class in 2002 and 2003.
While the Mini will never again be contention for outright awards the aim of the team is keep the tradition alive and for the spectators to enjoy the sights and sounds of a heroic little car.
PHOTOS: John Douch