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

Mini 1275 GT. British Leylands' successor to the Cooper S
ER Classics Desktop 2022

At the end of the sixties, the builders of the Mini Cooper and the Cooper S could look back on a successful period. The peppery Mini Cooper S surprised friend and foe in the 20s by winning the Monte Carlo Rally three times officially and once unofficially. Two successful generations of the Cooper were followed by the ADO 1275 variant of the sportsman. The Mark III made its appearance in that year. He was joined by his successor, the Mini XNUMX GT.

A daring choice, which not everyone was completely happy with. Moreover, a choice of British Leyland that wanted to make savings in production costs and for this reason phased out the more expensive Mini Cooper S and eventually 'handed over' it 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 Mini 1275 GT became the more modest and more economical version in terms of performance. Of course it got the well-known 1275 cc engine, but it was equipped with one SU HS4 carburettor instead of two carburettors. In addition, compared to the Cooper S, it delivered 16 PK less to the crankshaft: 60 PK to 76 PK. However, the performances were also quite 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 Mini 1275 GT had been delivered with the old round front.

Inspired by the Clubman

The Mini 1275 GT was given the body of the Clubman introduced at the same time, which was actually seen as the new Mini for the 1275s. The newcomer had a square nose and Roy Haynes was responsible for the design. The dashboard was now equipped with a three-clock cockpit 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 Mini 10 GT was in good order. The Cooper S disc brakes were fitted to the front wheels, and the 1971-inch wheels were fitted with Rostyle rims. A close-ratio gearbox was coupled to the power unit. From 1275, the XNUMX GT was also standardrubber suspension as standard.


From 1974 the Mini 1275 GT got larger disc brakes. From that year on, 'Mini' also offered the option of equipping the 1275 GT with 12″ Dunlop Denovo run flat tyres, which reduced the effects of a sudden puncture. It was remarkable that the power of the 1275 GT dropped to 1975 HP from model year 55. British Leyland made more changes. The interior was modified and fitted with more luxurious materials. The skid plate in the luggage compartment disappeared, as did the Rostyle wheels. In the following years of its production, the 1275 GT was modified in 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 reviled. Mini purists – especially long-time Cooper fans – were never thrilled with the 1275 GT with Clubman nose. In the end, the modest sportsman sold fairly well. 110.673 buyers bought this 1275 GT, which was built from 1969 to 1980. In the first year of the eighties he retreated and did so together with the Mini version, with which he had also made his entrance: the Clubman.

Also read:
- Mini Cooper and the magical Cooper S
- Honda Civic. Supermini from Japan
- Audi 50. The first Supermini from Germany
- Austin Mini Cooper S (1977) look-a-like 
- The difference between a Mini Cooper 'S'
- Mini for sale among the classics

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


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  1. My first car was a Clubman Estate; I thought the square nose would fit better with the extended carriage, as a regular Mini I thought the nose was a bit clunky.
    Then had two Minis with 'normal' nose.
    Great design, fantastic little car that the BMW loft can't match..
    It's just a shame that, completely in keeping with the zeitgeist and just like all peers, they can rust so terribly.

  2. Actually, BL wanted the 1275GT as the successor to the Cooper and not the Cooper S…. But most people made the comparison with the S, which made the car indeed inferior.
    I myself had one of the first version bwj 1971 in a rather rare color. Sandalwood Beige with a light brown interior. Nice car.

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

  3. A few years ago I built a 'spaghetti' exhaust in the Mini of an acquaintance (a composite Mini with a 1275 engine on a box of a 1000). The old exhaust was a pretty rotten thing that only made noise and with which the thing didn't perform very well.
    After installing that high-efficiency exhaust, the SU carburettor had to be readjusted immediately and the ignition also had to be 'loved' for a while. As a result, we both couldn't get the smile off our faces. The thing ran like the fire brigade. Power unknown, but that didn't make the fun any less. Year of construction of that Mini was unknown to me. Was the first model with the original round nose. And soooo nice. Myself with 1,90m had the greatest difficulty to be able to drive decently in it, hi!
    And yes, the thing had its absolute charm!!

  4. The attempt to modernize the front of the mini came at about the same time as the attempt to Citroen 2CV to be modernized with the Dyane.
    Both models did not last as long as the original design.
    You have to respect the original design of good designs
    The model shown was in use in the 80s as a station version by the Mechelen police, supplemented with Volga taxis in the streets. I thought that was very special at the time.

    • Both the Clubman and the Dyane (aksook Ami8 and R6) had and still have their charms. And who cares about Beetle with flat or convex window 304 with vertical bars and rectangular taillights?

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