This very special 1275 GT was built in 1968 by Austin / Morris Cowley, in Division 2, to specifically compete and promote the forthcoming new Duckhams Race Series. The car was purely a Factory Road Saloon Race car, and it was not registered for the road until 1972. Leyland ran a celebrity guest driver car, and the drivers were ineligible for any championship points. Drivers included Mike Smith and Tony Pond who personally competed in three races coming 3rd at LLandow on 11th April 1968. It was not the intention of going out and winning, but to promote. At the end of the season the team came 5th overall. The original body colour was ‘Blaze’ and the Clubman was unregistered until 1972 when it was given the number UWL 744K. It was then sold to a member of the general public. Mike Smith purchased the car in 1983, with the view of initially racing on the track, and then after a couple of events he decided to undertake a rebuild into International Rally Specification Group A rally car to contest the European Championship Tarmac Rallies in the South of France. It was thought that the Mini’s eligibility ran out at the end of 1985, so an entry was put forward for the 1200 kilometre Rally D’Entibes, a qualifier for the European Championship. When the Homologation ran out it was extended for the final year of 1986, so a team of three Minis were independently prepared for this seasons events with UWL 744K entering the numerous events as listed below:
1968 race series – Car 12
1968 Duckhams Road Car Race Series - Class win
1985 Uniroyal Tyres Production Saloon Car Championship 1300 Class - Car 16 – Smith/Barnet
1985 Coronation Rally – Smith
1985 Rally D’Entibes – Car 99 – Smith / Baud
1986 Alpes Maritime – Car 79 – Smith/Baud
1986 Tour de France – Car 42 – Smith/Baud
1986 Rally De Entibes – Car 99 – Smith/Baud
1989 Coronation Rally Pembury – Car 84 – Coulter/
1989 Mike Spence Historic rally – Coulter
1990 Longleat Historic Rally – Car 63 – Coulter/
1990 Top Gear (Television) – Telford Rally – Goffey
2000 Mike Spence Historic Rally – Car No. 16 – Northmore/
2003 Jubillee Historic Rally – Car no. 64 – Northmore/
2004 Ikley Satges – Car 77 – Northmore/
Our 1275GT has features in many publications to include:
Car Magazine – January 1986
Numerous copies of Motoring News 1985/86
Rallysport – 1985/86
Mighty Minis by Chris Harvey 1986
Cars & Car Conversions - January 1987
Four folders of paperwork accompany the 1275GT and included in the files are Full Homologation Papers from October 1970 and `December 1984, Mini 1275 GT RAC M.S.A. Rally Special Stage Vehicle Log Book. The full history of the cars is available and owners from new are below:
British Leyland Austin-Morris, Cowley – 1968 - 1972
Sheila Mannion – 1972 - 1978
Dale Robinson – 1978 - 1980
Michael Feasey – 1980 - 1983
Michael Smith – 1983 - 1989
Jeremy Coulter – 1989 - 1991
Nigel Channon – 1991 - 1999
Geoffrey Northmore – 1999 – 2018
Further interesting history include Triple RAC Champion Martin Bolsover loaning the car to gain his National Race Licence, and the Mini also featured on BBC Top Gear, driven by Chris Goffey and a video has been kept with the history file.
Alloy wheels were fitted during the early racing days due to the wheels breaking up under load whilst racing, this was endorsed with the RAC and Homologation. In July 1989 Jeremy Coulter had the drivers’ floor pan replaced and the car repainted. An MOT certificate confirms the 1275GT had a recorded mileage of 15325 in 1981 and 30817 by 2005. The Mini now records 31145 having had very little use over the past 12 years.
This famous and very collectable car has arrived with us in typical rally car fashion,
far from pristine but completely solid. It’s very presentable, it’s unbelievable to drive and incredibly quick. It was test driven on immediate arrival, and is fabulous fun giving the option of use for further events, or being driven as a road car. Handling is impressive, the engine sounds and performs superbly, and has an impressive spec to include Powermax pistons, balanced rods, Piper camshaft, ultra-light cam followers, light balanced push rods, Duplex timing gears and chain, up lead copper big ends and main bearings, Metro Turbo conrod bolts, Hoburn Eaton oil pump, Metro Turbo water pump, lightened and balanced flywheel, Race ring gear, and Orange diaphragm clutch and competition pad clutch plate.
This true collector’s piece holds strong provenance, and is a real part of UK rally car history. Finding such a special Mini of significance, at anywhere near this price could prove very difficult, and therefore we feel that the car represents exceptional value. There are so many reasons to buy this car, and it certainly does offer an unrepeatable opportunity to purchase a car that disappeared off the radar for the best part of 15 years.
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