Mini MkII (1967)
It may have been touted as all-new, but 1967 MkII still features spartan principles of its predecessor, including sliding windows, simple door handles and a basic dash
After eight years of production, during which time the British public had fallen hopelessly in love with the Mini, BMC launched the MkII.
Yet it soon became clear that most of the updates were being introduced to make it cheaper to build rather than better. Thanks to over-optimistic initial sales expectations and a complicated production system, the MkI Mini had given BMC’s balance books a battering.
So, in 1967, the MkII arrived with a new look and a new price. The grille lost its famous ‘moustache ends’, while the rear screen was enlarged and new rectangular tail-lights added. The Mini also got its first power upgrade: a 998cc A-Series engine available alongside the existing 848cc unit.
Yet although the MkII was a more refined offering that – in 998cc guise – could take the UK’s expanding motorway network in its stride, it was still effectively the same engineering marvel that had appeared eight years previously. The MkII proved another big hit with buyers, with the Mini enjoying great sales figures. While the car’s rallying exploits were on the wane by 1967, there was a growing hunger for the model around the world.
But yet again, the Mini wasn’t contributing anything to the fortunes of its maker. Not only was it still earning peanuts for BMC, many of its buyers were trading down from the firm’s existing, costlier products.
Today, though, none of that really matters. As our beautiful example shows, the classic Mini remains a timeless piece of great design. The MkII may not be the default collectors’ item that the MkI is but, as a piece of Mini history, it’s right up there.
In this review
- 1IntroductionWe rank and rate the best and worst in exclusive 12-car shoot-out.
- 2Ex-Works Monte Carlo Rally MiniMonte Carlo Cooper was specially kitted out for endurance rallying, and boasts additional dials and controls. It still wears competition stickers with pride.
- 3Original Mini Minor (1959)Superb packaging gives space for four adults, although seats are tiny. Practical touches have become design classics, while on-road experience is sheer fun.
- 4MINI Cooper MkI (2001)With comfortable, well equipped cabin, 2001 car is a world away from original, although its retro styling both inside and out remains faithful to forebear.
- 5MINI JCW World Championship 50Special-edition JCW 50 pays tribute to F1 title-winning team of 1959 and bears the signature of racing legend John Cooper. It also features raft of racy upgrades.
- 6Clubman Mini 1275 GTReworked Mini GT clubman has boxy nose, 1,275cc powerplant, a more luxurious cabin and fresh instruments.
- 7Mini ClubmanFunky Clubman builds on Sixties’ rear barn-door set-up With a unique side arrangement to allow easy access for those in the back. Attention to design and engineering detail is true to original car’s revolutionary concept.
- 8Mini TravellerMinimalist, Colour-coded interior and dependable if diminutive engine give estate all the charm of the standard mini, but Traveller’s larger boot and barn-style rear doors ensure added practicality and versatility.
- 9MINI GP WorksHigh-performance Works gp ensured the first-generation new MINI went out in style, thanks to sporty body mods, stripped-out cabin and potent powerplant.
- 10Mini MkII (1967) - currently readingIt may have been touted as all-new, but 1967 MkII still features spartan principles of its predecessor, including sliding windows, simple door handles and a basic dash
- 11Mini MigliaEye-catching Miglia racer’s low ride height and super stiff suspension give it incredible cornering ability. Inside, carbon fibre dash and modern race instruments provide a touring car feel.
- 12Rover Mini CooperModel shares the same cramped driving position as the original, and familiar Cooper badging ensures it looks the part.
- 13ERA Mini TurboWith potent engine and sporty modifications, ERA MINI Turbo had all the ingredients for success, but appeal of fastest classic variant was hit by recession and sold in small numbers.