Back in 2017, BMW Group Classic wanted to recreate a special moment in the history of the Mini brand. The year marked the 50th anniversary of the third title the original Mini won in the Monte Carlo rally thanks to the capable hands of Rauno Aaltonen and Hans Sylvan. Since Rauno is still around and was willing to do the stage once again, the guys from BMW Group Classic worked extra hard to get a period-correct car for him so that the race could be done once again.
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What they came up with was a replica of the original Mini Cooper S that actually won that race in Monte Carlo. So, what they did was set off to try and find a 1967 (or close to that date) model that they could convert into a proper rally car, just like the original was. They found a 1965 model that was raced in rallies over the years, somewhere in Sweden. The car was bought by its previous owner in the 1970s from a dealership and was used in competitions a number of times over the years.
The guys from BMW Group Classic put everything together so that, in the end, it looked and drove like the original did back in the 1960s. The interior is fitted with everything you could get in a rally car back then, from the bucket seats to the roll-cage. The dash is all purpose built and there are even shovels in the boot. The trickiest part, however, was getting 10″ studded tires. As you probably know, studded tires are already rare, let alone 10″ ones.
To solve that, the team went to Finland and found one man making such tires by hand and got him to do a set for this special Mini. The car participated in the 2017 edition of the Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique which is now a regularity contest, not about speed but about finishing the run. Luckily, with Rauno behind the wheel, this brave Cooper S did it.