Classified Info

Austin Mini Cooper S Group 2 Works Replica

To Be Auctioned


Austin Mini Cooper S Grp 2 Works Replica – An incredibly accurate tribute to the 1964/5 Works Rally Cars from almost 25 years of care.


Having followed the exploits of Paddy Hopkirk, Henry Liddon, Rauno Aaltonen and Tony Ambrose in their little red and white Mini Coopers during the mid-sixties, our vendor grew up wanting a 1275 S for longer than he could remember. The ‘Works’ Cooper S Monte Carlo victory of Makinen and Easter in 1965 set the seal on it and nothing else would do until he was the proud owner of a ‘proper’ 1275S.

His first Mini was a nearly-new Mini Deluxe, but the prohibitive cost of a Cooper S, at the time, ruled it out. Until one day, he acquired LTV 444F, a one-owner car back in 1989 that was in a serious state of disrepair, essentially a rolling shell. The plan was to create a ‘Works tribute’ with the intention of doing a bit of rallying. Plan ‘A’ was to paint it Tartan Red and Old English White and do a ‘quick job’, however, ‘the best laid plans of mice and men’ and all that meant that Plan ‘B’ or perhaps a bit further down the alphabet was the reality when he realised quite how much needed to be done. The car was almost complete, however, it was mostly in boxes. There were a good number of parts missing and this is where the timeframe simply got away.

Off it went to RestoraSports, his local specialists for a full restoration, welding and painting and so on but they were professionals and enthusiasts and it was decided by all concerned that they should ‘do it properly’. Stripped to the bare metal, the shell was seam-welded, as per the original works cars, to build the structural integrity. The engine was rebuilt by Dave Palmer, likewise the suspension and drivetrain. A straight-cut box was purchased complete and the dry suspension maintained. Our client had gradually realised during the early 90s that he was becoming disinclined to actually rally the car, it meant too much to him and had become a labour of love, and rally cars have a hard life and bump into things, so the decision was taken to transform LTV into the very best Works Replica he could create. Acquiring parts was to prove difficult, of course’ as many parts had been tailor made for the original cars. The original engine is still fitted, but its now been taken out to 1293cc and has a Richard Longman 12G940 head. With compression ratio of 11.5:1, its important to be careful about the fuel used.

An Autospark wiring loom of the works-type was located and fitted and period-correct harnesses were sourced with aircraft buckles of the type in the works cars. Likewise, twin Heuer clocks and a Halda Twinmaster were acquired at a substantial cost, even then, and if you could find them now they may cost £5,000 or more alone. The dashboard in works cars was padded to prevent distractions when driving at night, likewise here and the small frame above the steering wheel to contain driver’s notes is replicated. Many an expert has been fooled by just how well put together this tribute is, even some drivers of a similar vintage. Parts were acquired over a long period of time, never willing to compromise, he simply waited to find the right part rather than making do, who knows where you would find a set of original BMC mud flaps? The replication of every detail of the factory cars is remarkable, perhaps even a little obsessive, but the end result was absolutely worth it.

Thirteen years later, the car was almost ready, but our vendor couldn’t bring himself to put it at risk, and so it has simply been cherished ever since. First running and shown in 2002, this tribute is a remarkable testament to the ingenuity and determination of one man. LTV 444F has a BMIHT Heritage Certificate and is supplied with a substantial quantity of invoices and correspondence from the last thirty years

Given that ‘Works cars’ now command prices well in excess of £150,000, this remarkable tribute is offered at a guide so inviting that anyone who ever wanted to be Paddy Hopkirk or Rauno Aaltonen or Timo Makinen  or Tony Fall might be tempted to acquire this one, whether for their own collection or to enjoy occasionally on club road rallies or regularity runs.


We are now inviting entries for The Classic Sale at Silverstone Festival – one of our biggest auctions of the year. This is our 13th year as the event’s exclusive Auction partner and this year we will be holding a Race and Competition Car Sale on Friday 25th August followed by a Sale of Collectors’ and Classic Road Cars on Saturday 26th August. Join us for one of the best historic motorsport weekends of the year, attracting around 110,000 visitors, where you can also enjoy incredible live music, family fun, a foodie fest and of course our fabulous auctions.

Seller Info

by Silverstone Auctions
Published: 20 July 2023 (2 months ago)
To Be Auctioned
Member Since
19 Dec 2013
Phone Number
+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Currency Options
To Be Auctioned
Seller Accepts
Bank Transfer
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