We’re pretty big fans of the classic Mini Cooper S here at BMWBLOG, the small little bundle of joy winning both myself and Nico over as soon as we drove it. It’s quite amazing how fun these cars can be and there are plenty of people out there that agree with us, since there are even special competitions set up worldwide dedicated to the British car alone. The guys from Fifth Gear decided to take one for a spin as well and theirs was a Cooper S.
That used to be the most powerful and fastest car they made and it was with a Cooper S that Paddy Hopkirk won at the Monte Carlo rally in 1964, starting a streak of victories for the British brand. As the driver points out, what charms you in a Mini is the way the car handles and feels. You’re connected to it all the time, and there’s copious amounts of feedback, coming from everywhere: the front end, rear end, exhaust and even engine.
The steering is a bit vague dead center but very alive everywhere else and ‘everything is tiny’ about this car as the driver put its. And that’s very true. The pedals are minuscule and so is the gearshift knob. As a matter of fact, I still remember the day I drove one and my sneaker couldn’t fit between the gas pedal and the stick shift. That didn’t stop me though, as I drove it barefoot. But it’s that small, compact package that wins you over instantly.
This particular car seems to be a replica of the number 37 Mini that won the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally. It has the number on the sides, and the lights for it on the front end. As a matter of fact, the original Mini would’ve won the title in 1966 as well if it weren’t for some pesky rules about those extra headlamps that got the racer disqualified. Nevertheless, Mini would return in 1967 to win again.