The Cooper S is back
Now this could possibly be a complicated subject,
why ? Because a lot of cars done at different times had slightly different
specifications. Now some cars were converted when new, some at some point when
the Factory Warranty was still valid. The first Mini Cooper S since June 1971
was a modified Mayfair, it had the chassis number of a normal Mayfair but with
an S type plate affixed to the crossmember by the drivers door. The number on
the plate was #0001-P, the first proper S was Mike Coopers own car, H15 FUN,
which was actually a Mainstream car, that was #0001-S. The numbering of carb'd
Coopers, whether they be RSP or Mainstream was the same, and adds much confusion
to people like me who try and work out some kind of logical order from it.
This is the very first Cooper S since June 1971.
It's the modified Mayfair which was John Coopers prototype. It has all the
extras from the catalogue for the 1000cc Cooper conversion, including the white
The first 'production' Cooper S was in fact John
Coopers own car, registered G808 KJW, although this was an RSP version, it
wasn't one of the really early cars, though still under the 30's. Luckily, this
car is now owned by a member of the register, so the details are readily
available from it.
The standard RSP and Mainstream gave a rather
disappointing 60-ish bhp, I say disappointing because the old Cooper S 1275 from
1964 was giving somewhere in the region of 76bhp, that was not my idea of over
25 years of progress !
There are however, reasons for this, one of the
main reasons is the fact that the RSP runs on 95RON (unleaded) fuel, which in
itself brings it's own problems. It also has a catalytic converter to clean-up
The Cooper S pack aimed to put back some of the
power lost to poor fuel and catalysts, it boosted power to 78bhp by virtue of a
gas-flowed head, modified by Janspeed, allied to twin 1.25" SU carbs to
give it a proper S look of old.
|This was the legend that adorned the bootlid of an S Pack
car, it's slightly smaller that the side decals. They were in 2 different
colours, depending on the paintwork, the other colour cars had white laurels.
|This is the underbonnet of a car featured earlier, H15
COO. It has minor detail changes from original in the form of a
non-original coil and a pair of K&N filters. The standard filter
casing was a new design, it could only use one filter, unlike the earlier
Cooper and S which used two. Outwardly, it looked the same.
|This not only boasts an S pack, it also has the handling
pack, which consists of some 165/60x12" Dunlop tyres and some Koni
shock absorbers, as if this isn't enough, it also has a non standard 5
|This is the side decal found on the Flame Red RSP Cooper
with an S pack fitted, it appears the same as the rear decal, but it is
|This is a comparison between the S Pack air filter case and
a Cooper S Mk3. You may notice that the S packs case (the one at the
front) is a fair but thicker in height, it also has the air-feed tube
welded instead of clamped.
|This is the sticker on the air-filter case of the S pack,
this sticker is unique to the RSP and Mainstream models as other cars
converted are the fuel injected models with different parts included.
|Here you'll see that the internals are different too, the S
pack only uses one filter in it's housing, whereas, the older model uses
two. Sadly, this setup is very poor for performance and the twin filter
case is far more efficient at filtering air and gaining power.
|This is the twin filter case from the Mk3 Cooper S version,
please excuse the dirtiness of the filters, they will soon be put in the
dustbin. Also note that this filter casing has a breather at the front,
not present on the S pack of 1990.
|On the left you'll see the lid of the filter casing for the
Mk3 Cooper S and on the right is an RSP S Pack lid. Even if you wanted to
try and put the superior twin filters in the S pack case, you'll see that
the design prevents it, as there is a metal locator groove for the single
|I can make no excuses for the state of this engine bay as
this is my car, I also have to make apologies for the ignition leads,
which are not only hideous, but non-original. There should be an ignition
shield fitted, but it has been taken off to allow this photograph. Main
differences to the non S Pack cars are the MG Metro rocker cover and twin
carburettors. Although it isn't very noticeable in this shot, S pack cars
have a red block with a dark blue painted cylinder head. The heads have a
stamping behind the thermostat hosing with a number on it. The inlet
manifold of the S pack is also a slightly different design too, not
noticeable in this shot. Just noticeable on the slam panel is a sticker
telling you to use 95RON fuel, which is a left-over from the standard RSP,
the S pack cars use Super unleaded (97RON), but it is correct that the old
sticker is left in place, even though the S pack is fitted. I think
I'd better pay this engine bay some attention soon and take some better
|This is the stamping on the cylinder head to identify an S
Packs' modified head, they were only lightly modified with Cooper S size
inlet valves (35.6mm) and standard exhaust valves. The gas-flowing was
only very slight, to keep fuel consumption to as near as standard as
possible. You can just about see that the head is painted blue.
|Now this is a very special car, it has a unique place in
Mini history, let alone the history of the RSP. This was the very first
Cooper S since June 1971. It's now owned by Roger Hunt, who obviously
keeps it in outstanding condition as can be seen here. This was John
Coopers actual car, and features just about every S pack option available,
including the Mk1 type bumpers kit.
||This was the steering wheel offered by John Cooper in his
catalogue, it is made by Moto-Lita and has an engraved John Cooper
signature in the spokes, very stylish, very expensive, again, this one
fitted the John Coopers own car.
This is the kit that John Cooper Garages offered to people
who weren't particularly impressed with the 78 bhp offered in the S pack. This
kit known as the MCC1400BC offered 115bhp and a 0-60mph time of just 7.95
seconds. It comprised of a set of 74mm Forged pistons, a seriously modified head
and twin 1.5" SU carbs, allied to a set of forged 1.5:1 ratio roller
rockers it made a real difference to the performance. It wasn't cheap though,
which is why it didn't sell particularly well. It cost £4930:00. Other parts of
the kit included a lightened flywheel, high capacity water pump and some K&N
air-filters. As this kit was only offered to carburettor cars, it also included
an oil-cooler for the Mainstream cars. It also included a slightly more
'classic' type of alloy rocker cover, not the plentifully seen MG Metro one
given to S pack owners.