Nov 24, 2015 update to the Austin Mini Cooper S project car

Test Driving Our Mini Cooper S

We were quickly impressed by a few things: how quick this little car is, how well it handles and how nicely it rides with the Hydrolastic suspension.

After finishing the grunt work of our Mini Cooper S restoration, it was time to test and tune.

Once inside, the first thing you notice about the car is how roomy it is. There is room for four adults in an original Mini Cooper with no discomfort. Ingress and egress is pretty decent, as the entire seat folds forward instead of just the back. This may not meet modern safety standards, but it makes it easy to get in an out of the car.

Our car started easily with just a quick pull of the choke. We were a little surprised by the vibration that came through the engine. But changing the bushings that mount to the engine stabilizer calmed that down some. Our car had come with NOS (New Old Stock) bushings and they had apparently hardened up some since the sixties.

First gear was also a bit noisy, but that is common on early, non-synchro Mini transaxles.

While we were not revving the engine past 3000 rpm, we were quickly impressed by a few things: how quick this little car is, how well it handles and how nicely it rides with the Hydrolastic suspension.

In addition, everything seemed to be working well. The clutch was light. The brakes worked well as soon as we bedded them in. The overall feel was pretty darned cool and we were starting to understand the Mini mystique.

We will have a full driving report and pictures in an upcoming issue of Classic Motorsports. Click here to get your subscription, so you don’t miss it.

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Comments
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Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA Dork
11/24/15 1:15 p.m.

[Karloff] It's...ALIVE! [/Karloff]

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
11/24/15 10:04 p.m.

Yes it is, and this one came out pretty good.

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