Classified Info

Morris Mini Cooper S 1275 ex-John Wadsworth/RAC Rally

To Be Auctioned


Morris Mini Cooper S 1275 ex-John Wadsworth/RAC Rally – BMM 917A is a previous RAC, Coupe des Alpes and Spa-Sofia-LiegMorris Mini Cooper S 1275 ex-John Wadsworth/RAC Rallye rally entrant, restored by an enthusiast over recent years into fast-road spec.

The 1,071cc Cooper S was the first Cooper S produced by BMC, and the first of the Minis to succeed at the Monte Carlo Rally. Visits to the winners’ circle became a regular event as the Mini chalked up numerous international race wins – including three at the prestigious Monte Carlo rally from 1964 to 1967. The definitive ‘Giant Killer’, only 4,000 or so 1,071cc-engined Mini Cooper S cars were made between April 1963 and August 1964.

The car presented here started life as an early OEW/black 1963 Morris Mini Cooper 1071 S, which was built and first registered in May 1963 (according to its accompanying British Motor Industry Heritage Trust Certificate, number 92/784). It caught the eye of a young John Wadsworth (1937 – 2021) who went on to become a BMC Works Team driver and, although the car was despatched to Loxhams of Blackburn, it was registered in Middlesex, as John wanted one of the then new style, suffix registration numbers. John’s father was a customer of the Chequered Flag Garage in London and arranged for them to register the car as  ‘BMM 917A’ in late May 1963.

John and BMM’s first major outing was on the 1963 Coupe des Alps, as car #57 (see image), where they finished in ninth place and second in class, winning a coveted Coupe. The Spa-Sofia-Liege followed as car #32 (see image), on which they retired and also graced the RAC Rally as car #61 (see image of it on the start ramp in Blackpool).

Nothing is known, at the time of cataloguing, of BMM’s history after this time, before it was bought by our vendor’s father in June 1993 as a retirement project. He was an avid Mini enthusiast and, over the following years, he set about restoring the car, utilising a later shell. The car was painstakingly worked on, and finally finished, however not long after, the owner was taken ill, before sadly passing away in February 2024. The family now wish for the car to be sold, and below is the information that they have been able to glean from handwritten notes left in the workshop:

Bodyshell – Professionally restored and resprayed in red with a white roof, ‘Works’ alloy doors, fibreglass boot lid.

Engine/drivetrain: 1,275cc engine bored out to 1,293cc (fully balanced), Longman big valve head, 11:1 compression ratio (not unleaded), 649 full-race camshaft, duplex chain, Weber carburettor, double SU fuel pumps, oil cooler, Aldon distributor, lightened flywheel, high performance radiator, LCB manifold and RC40 exhaust; straight-cut gearbox, competition clutch, Salisbury LSD/Hardy Spicer couplings

Suspension/wheels: 1.5-degree negative camber bottom arms, adjustable shock absorbers, 7.5″ front brake discs and rear Minifin drums, powder-coated Cooper S reverse rim wheels

Other: Top-tint laminated windscreen, 120mph speedometer, classic bucket seats and full harnesses; twin fuel tanks, leather bonnet strap

The family are also keen to state, ‘Even though the car is classed as an historic vehicle, it was still presented for MOTs between 2013 and 2018; in that time, it always passed with ‘No Advisories’, covering just 465 miles. Since the last MOT, it has covered just ten miles before being laid up. The car has not moved since then (due to the owner’s ill health) and has been stored in a dry garage.’


Entries have now closed for our Supercar Fest Sale of Iconic & Classic Cars at Sywell Aerodrome, Sywell, Northamptonshire on the 18th May. This year’s auction will also incorporate a special sale of Ferraris in association with the Ferrari Owners’ Club GB. Viewing is available in person on Friday 17th May from 10am to 4pm (no show ticket required) or on the morning of Saturday 18th from 9.30am. Show tickets can be purchased at Registration for bidding is now open, either by clicking the register now button below or by emailing [email protected]. Bidding is available in person, online, on the telephone or via a commission bid. We look forward to welcoming you to the auction.

Seller Info

by Joseph Watts
Published: 25 April 2024 (4 weeks ago)
To Be Auctioned
Member Since
04 Dec 2023
Phone Number
07779 082707
Currency Options
To Be Auctioned
Seller Accepts
Bank Transfer
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