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Mini 1275GT. Peppered classic driving pleasure

Mini 1275GT. Classic driving pleasure guaranteed

Promise makes debt, and then debt is fun, very fun. Because there has been an appointment at Hofman Leek for some time to take a closer look at several classics from the extensive stock. This is how we end up on a cold, but bright day in the beautiful hinterland of Leek. With the Mini 1275 GT that is in Hofman's sales collection.

You read it right. The car pictured is a Mini 1275 GT. The purists will immediately catch on. “Not a real one, because he has the round nose”. The reason for this possible reaction is clear. The 1275 GT - successor to the legendary Cooper S - was released in 1969 and also received the new Clubman body. The curves of the Mini were accompanied by the angular and extended front in this version. So: the car on the page can never be a real 1275 GT, right? It is. We explain how that works in the magazine report in AMK 2-2023. And now we share an extensive impression of the Mini we drove.

Hofman Leek offers this beautiful and multiple special Mini. This classic has just over 90.000 km of life experience. The car spent a large part of its life in Spain and is cosmetically in a beautiful, original and rust-free condition.

The makers attached great importance to the detailing of the car. You can see that both on the inside and on the outside. The whole thing looks appetizing and gets under the skin. Within the interior you see some adjustments, such as a few rally handles and a map reading lamp. That is also why we do not rule out that the Mini has sometimes been used for a nice and active rally.

This Mini 1275 GT has a surprise under the hood, because it shows 1300 Cooper specifications. When you open it (with the pull button in the dashboard), you see 2 SU HS2 carburettors in the packed engine compartment. That already indicates more power than the specified factory number of 53 DIN horsepower. You also see a brake servo and a number of other adjustments, such as a beautiful valve cover and a ditto radiator, which is still nicely posted on the side here. Anyway: the specifications promise extra driving pleasure in advance.

And that comes true. Because it's a party to drive this peppery classic Mini. And what is remarkable: even with a length of 1.95 meters you will find a good place behind that beautiful wooden steering wheel with three shiny spokes and the beautiful steering wheel hub cap. The entrance is not easy with long legs, but it works. And then you find a position that is far from crazy. Yes, it is a bit of a compromise, but in practice you can live with that. Yes, A Mini fits everyone.

The front seats are fixed, the pedals are positioned close to each other and towards the centre. In practice you will not experience any hindrance from this. This also applies to the operation of the fairly flat steering wheel. It handles well and is easy to operate. Braking (powered installation with discs at the front and drums at the rear) is easy, the stoppers are easy to dose. You notice what you are doing, and the delay is proportional to the way you have thought it out. The same applies to linking. The clutch works lightly, and with a short travel. But you feel what is happening. The four synchronized gears are less easy to insert, a change of resistance feels rubbery, which is certainly a bit of a search at first. The longer you are on the road, you get used to that phenomenon. Then, thanks to the warmed-up oil, shifting is also smoother. But the fact is that it is best to operate the poker with a firm hand.

Every classic Mini is known for its wonderful cornering behavior. You can easily steer the Mini around the corner, which is very direct and smooth. The beautiful and sophisticated "1300" gearbox ratios also ensure that after downshifting (from three to two, or from four to three) the speed remains fairly high, so that you can accelerate out of the corner nicely. And that works fine anyway with the 1275 cc engine, which in this car has a fuel supply with two SU gas factories and generates 60 DIN horsepower.

In combination with the car weight, accelerating is a piece of cake. Especially when you all the way applied, that acceleration is very nice and can be used with feeling. The acceleration is accompanied by that nice sounding hum that the 1275 cc engine produces. Because Drive by Noise was still written tiny in the Mini stars in 1972, those sounds prominently penetrate the barely insulated interior. And that increases the fun of driving this car, it adds a Spartan and rally-like touch to this classic Mini.

The Mini and its technology are the best at communicating anyway. This version also has an undercarriage with the Hydrolastic suspension system on board. Very simply put: the front and rear wheel on each side of the car are connected to each other via a fluid pipe. The suspension and damping are controlled by pressure action on an incompressible hydraulic fluid. When the road is uneven, one wheel in the opposite direction compensates for the height of the other wheel. The system also ensures that the car hardly leans over, even during tighter corners.

There is no doubt that the Hydrolastic feature adds to the naturally excellent handling of a classic Mini. Yes, thanks to the compact dimensions of the car you can feel what is happening below you, but the whole thing is always accompanied by a soft and short final touch. We do not notice anything in this Mini of sloping movements when accelerating and dives during braking actions. This is a very stable jack-of-all-trades that drives amazingly well and actively. The Mini offers pure fun, and shows in everything why it did so well in the big rallies.

Is there nothing to criticize about this Mini 1275 GT? No, except for the fact that we have to say goodbye to this great evergreen. You want to take this special Mini home with you immediately. Because it is ideal for beautiful rallies. Or simply, for a nice game of steering on beautiful, winding and idyllic country roads. In any case, it offers tons of driving pleasure. And continuously reveals the secret of its historical and contemporary popularity. You want to take another turn. Or bring the Mini up to speed. Again, again, and again.

Many thanks to Hofman Classic and Sportscars, Leek

Note to the photos: the car has not yet been registered. The photos on which the Mini does not carry a license plate were taken on private property, and not on public roads.

Mini 1275GT. Classic driving pleasure guaranteed
Mini 1275GT. Classic driving pleasure guaranteed
Mini 1275GT. Classic driving pleasure guaranteed
Mini 1275GT. Classic driving pleasure guaranteed
Mini 1275GT. Classic driving pleasure guaranteed
Mini 1275GT. Peppered classic driving pleasure
Mini 1275GT. Peppered classic driving pleasure


Give a reaction
  1. Had an Innocenti 1300 cc myself, nice memory of, when you hung on the bumper of a sports car on the highway, I will never forget those surprised looks from people who didn't expect a mini to go that fast.

  2. Everyone can sit perfectly in an old Mini. Because you had seat extenders for that. I have mounted it many times and then you had enough space. Even the small backseat could seat two adults. For example, in 1977 I went to the cinema in Amsterdam with three friends in a Mini. There was still a spot in front of the cinema between two flower boxes of 3,45 and the four of us lifted the Mini between them. That was laughing, as the bystanders watched. The cinema still exists but it is now a walking area.

  3. Nice cart to look at but I think it is a combination of different types, I wouldn't call it a 1275GT, that just doesn't belong here, The 1275GT has the unmistakable Clubman nose. A true purist/enthusiast buys a real 1275GT. I myself have a 1993 Mini Cooper Spi.

    • Dear Ger.

      Thanks for the reply. Originally this is indeed a real 1275 GT, but it was not delivered in this capacity (ie with the round nose) in our regions. With 'us', the 1275 GT was indeed only supplied with the Clubman nose. But as said: this is indeed a 1275 GT from the factory. You will read about that in the magazine in a while.

  4. 26 Nov '22. With such a dashboard, I really like the Minis. My creepy brother (who screwed up my life quite a bit and likes to continue doing so) once had a British green Mini. Great little car until he threw it into the 'R' of race. Immediately Citroën Ami he drove head-on into a facade to prove that he dared to do so: he was left with a bowl of beer. He did other things with cats and dogs. But hey, I had planned to only remember the good things from my past and luckily we drove many occasions at home. Because every car has its own character and in terms of design I think Mini belongs to the top. That naughty rump, the tilting spoons and everything was on and on. I can keep looking at it.

  5. In the end no explanation why he doesn't have a square nose?
    Or did I miss something?
    My brother had a real Clubman 1275GT at the time, good memories!

  6. The mini of a friend has ever been equipped with a sports exhaust. Not just an 'open pipe' to give the illusion of power, but a 'spaghetti pipe'.
    4 in 2 and 2 in 1. 1275cc and a gearbox of a 1.0. It was like that. In any case, it was 1275, with a single SU carburetor. After re-tuning the carburetor and ignition to adapt it to the new exhaust, we couldn't get the smile off our faces anymore. That thing took off fast and the corners could almost be taken at right angles. Unfortunately not been on the power bank with it but the fun was no less.

  7. I really don't see a separate braking system. A single brake pot … come on, it is really no longer responsible to take it on public roads. My opinion then.

  8. Pure fun! That is very well worded. I recognize that because I have had a total of 4 minis, from 1000 to 1300 (injection). From bare (the first) to 'luxury' (the last series). Wonderful cars and that's how I got my love for English cars from Austin to Rover.

  9. I sometimes wonder, where have they all gone these minis that were for sale new with a production of 43 years and until 20 years ago? I never see them driving again.

    • Rust destroys more than you love Peter…
      the Mini was not tectylated at the factory and had a lifespan of 10 years at the most.
      The last one is also more than 20 years old…
      The Mini Seven Club Netherlands has hundreds of members, so you will still see them when the weather is nice.
      I've owned 3, all great cars

      • I've ridden one too, '79r 850cc
        Not really moving forward.
        An advantage, you didn't have to brake anywhere.
        Just throw it straight into the corner.
        Coming out of the Velser tunnel at 70 kmh….
        It only got better with a block of an Innocenti in it, there was more 'umpf' in it.
        The 850 block was finished….

    • True Mini enthusiasts are now very careful with their possessions, a good original Mini is no longer a cheap thing to purchase. It is not actually a car for everyday use, although some still do. Perfect original 60s Coopers go through the auction for 40 to 50 grand. I am a member of the Mini Seven Club Netherlands, and we have a lot of enthusiastic members with fun events where the New MINI is also welcome. I myself drive a 1993 Spi Cooper 1275cc with 63 hp., more than enough for such a light manoeuvrable car. It is professionally parked and goes on the road 1 to 2 times a month in good weather and/or at events.

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