Driven by many of the great drivers of the period including Aaltonen, Hopkirk and Makinen, the Mini Cooper was a true game changer; its size was deceptive and the boys from Abingdon developed it into the most successful works rally car of the 1960s. From Hopkirk’s unexpected victory on the 1964 Monte, the Cooper became the Works’ frontline car from 1965 onwards, winning the Monte Carlo, Circuit of Ireland, Geneva, Czech, Polish, 1,000 Lakes, Munich-Vienna-Budapest and RAC rallies outright in just one season alone. It was an outstanding achievement. Success continued until 1968, when the Mini finally began to share the silverware with other manufacturers.
‘DJB 92B’ was first registered on 8th December 1964 and made its international debut in February 1965 in the Swedish Rally driven by Makinen/Easter, when it retired (car ‘31’). In July ’65 Hopkirk/Liddon drove it to 6th place (1st in class) at the Nordheim Westfalen Rally (car ‘58’) and in November ’65 (Lusenius/Wood) finished 6th overall (1st in class) in the RAC (car ‘44’). Makinen/Easter retired from the Swedish Rally in February 1966 (car ‘35’) and then in April ‘DJB 92B’ gained its first victory, winning the Circuit of Ireland crewed by Fall/Liddon (car ‘4’). A second win followed in May ’66 when Hopkirk/Crellin drove the car to overall victory in the Austrian Alpine Rally (car ‘4’).
Its privateer career began midway through the 1966 season when it was sold by the factory to John Spritzel, who immediately launched an attack on the Coupes de Alpes. This was Spritzel’s only event in DJB, selling it to its second private owner. He went on to compete in the 1966 RAC Rally and Welsh Rally, then in 1967 the Rallye Del Fiori and Circuit of Ireland, and in 1968 back to the Monte Carlo Rally, Circuit of Ireland and finally the Danube Rally. Like many works Minis, ‘DJB 92B’ was re-shelled in period, the last time in 1967, so is today one of the few surviving Works mini’s that competed in period with its current body.
Bought by Arthur Carter in 1978, it formed part of his famous collection until 2005, when it was secured by the current owner from the Bonhams Festival of Speed auction. DJB was completely rebuilt by Paul Gaynor to exacting standards, fitting it with a standard cam and production final drive to make it a more tolorable drive on longer continental tours. Since this complete restoration, it has been used regularly at events such as the Goodwood Festival of Speed and is one of the most active of the original BMC Works cars.
DJB has had continual history from its early Works competition days through to the current private owner, is in excellent condition and retains many of its original Works parts – including the original chassis plate – so rare in many similar cars today. There is an extensive history file. This includes a wealth of photographs from its rally career, as well as the meticulous pre-event notes issued by the Competition Department. Also on file are copies of news publications throughout its competition life.
There are only a small number of cars with BMC Competition Department heritage. This is a rare opportunity to acquire a genuine Works BMC Mini Cooper S with international rally-winning history.
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