Magnificently preserved, the vehicle is of museum / investment quality having covered only 5,892 miles. V997 is point perfect in every detail and has the desirable combination of rarity, originality, competition history and a wonderful patina. Included with the car are extensive history files, tracing the progression from single seat (Cooper) formula junior racing cars to the Mini Cooper launch in 1961. Following on to this story are the links to the development of the Mini Cooper 'S' model in advance of production. V997 being a 'working' test bed for many of the special Cooper 'S' parts that eventually found their place in mainstream production cars. There are correspondence letters and invoices on file from the British Motor Corporation. The Cooper Car Company and Downton Engineering Works, some referencing experimental, prototype or first batch tuning components.
Further within the fascinating history file is a letter from Iain Fraser (original owner of V997 until 1985). The letter confirms the history of V997 and provides the provenance and an insight into the importance of this car. Most interestingly included in the file are the original embossed R.A.C Homologation documents for the Mini Cooper V997 was one of the very first Mini Coopers to be used in the 1962 Motorsports calendar and returned immediate results, often exceeding class breaks and finishing ahead of much larger engine competition. After despatch from the Longbridge factory where V997 was built on the 11th of October 1961, the car was delivered to Downton Engineering Works for engine and transmission modifications. This Consisted of cylinder head porting with larger valves, twin 1.5 carburettors and an oversized engine bore with special pistons. To increase gas flow a new 'extractor' tubular exhaust manifold was fitted combined with the race '649' camshaft profile (invoice on file) It is true to say that V997 was the second '997' conversion undertaken by Downton Engineering and running concurrently with 860 MW (Daniel Richmond's critically acclaimed 997 Cooper) The immaculately prepared V997 has a successful competition history reflecting the high specification of the engine tuning and suspension modifications. V997 also retains and extensive competition record that traces the evolution of homologated components as developed for the Mini Cooper and Cooper 'S' Unquestionably V997 is one of the finest examples from this period and remains complete and intact, just as it would have been in the early 1960's Golden Era of motor racing and at the very beginning of the Mini Tuning and accessory boom V997 Retains the complete early type interior of the original factory colour of powder blue and gold brocade. Featuring are the original to the car carpet set and matching over mats and additional microcell seats, arm rests and driver protection padding. All trim pieces are in near perfect condition. The car was shown to John Cooper in 1988 and he recalled memories of the car and said it was 'probably one of the best prepared and fastest club Mini's in the day’ not to mention one of the prettiest! John Cooper was a friend of Iain Fraser and had met through the Racing Driver Club where Fraser was later introduced to a young Bruce McLaren, who contributed towards modifications on V997 at the Cooper Car Company (invoice in file) For further information on this Historical Mini and its fantastic paper and photographic story please do not hesitate to get in touch.
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