The Mini Cooper Sport 500 – An Insight
Instantly recognised around the world, the “classic” Mini is without doubt one of the most illustrious cars to be designed and manufactured in Britain. Produced by the British Motor Company (BMC) and Rover between 1959-2000, the Mini was actually conceived out of austerity. Sir Leonard Lord (Head of the Morris Company) commissioned his lead engineer, Alec Issigonis, to design a small fuel-efficient car capable of carrying four adults and yet be affordable to all. Since small was fashionable Issigonis was also told that the new vehicle had to fit into a box no larger than 10ft long x 4ft wide x 4ft high. It was from this challenge that the Mini was born. Amazingly, despite a few minor modifications over the years, the overall concept and design for the vehicle remained largely true to Issigonis’s initial idea. Though small in size, the Mini’s space-saving transverse engine and front-wheel drive arrangement allowed for 80% of the floorplan area to be used for occupants and their luggage, a layout that influenced a generation of car manufacturers.
While the car would prove to be a great example of well-engineered micro design, the iconic Mini persona is really its most enduring legacy. The crowning glory came in 1999 when the Mini was voted the second most influential car of the 20th century (behind the Ford Model T) by the Global Automotive Elections Foundation. Awarded merely a year before the final Mini would roll off the Longbridge production line, it was perhaps a fitting farewell to a car which had endured largely unchanged for over 4 decades, had sold 5,387,862 examples to every corner of the globe, and whose honest construction had entered the hearts of us all.
The Cooper Sport 500 was the final edition of the classic Mini, released in a strictly limited production run of 500 units. They were only available in four exterior colours; British Racing Green, Tahiti Blue, Solar Red and Anthracite, with a contrasting Platinum Silver roof and bonnet stripes. Each car was appropriately built to a high specification, including a bank of four fog and spot lamps, 13” Sportspack alloy wheels and arches, a high-level brake light, leather seats in black and nickel silver, alloy door trim and an engine-turned dash with chrome bezel gauges.
Every Mini Cooper Sport 500 rolled off the production line with a 'Last 500' certificate signed by John Cooper, and a unique plaque within the glove box, reading “This Mini is one of the last 500 built to the original Sir Alec Issigonis design”.
Our Mini Cooper Sport 500 For SaleOur Mini Cooper Sport 500, number 241, is presented in British Racing Green with wonderful black and grey leather interior. In 2012 the car had an ‘S-Works’ conversion carried out by Mini specialist Palmer Brothers Works, comprising of an engine head upgrade and exhaust and air filter enhancements to push out 25bhp more than standard.
The Mini has covered just 38,000 miles from new – a mere 500 miles in the past 6 years – and is in lovely condition having been carefully maintained. It is sold newly serviced and MOT’d to July 2021 (no advisories). All four wheels have been refurbished and the car has benefitted from a comprehensive valet. Accompanied by two sets of keys, full service history and a file of invoices and sundry literature including the official “Last 500” certificate and Palmer Brothers conversion certificate.
Find out more here.
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