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Identifying Minis by Mark

Now that you know a little bit about what a Mini Mark means, heres a listing of Marks and their
The following covers the most common Minis; i.e., those built in the UK. The ones built there for the
UK market make up about 46% of the 5.3 million Minis built. You can be reasonably safe in
extending the information in this article to Minis built in the UK for export sale, or those built in the
UK as CKD (Completely Knocked Down kits) that were assembled in other countries. There are
exceptions, but they are few enough. This accounts for another 46% of total Minis. So, figure 92% of
all the Minis built were done in the UK and will follow the Mark system to some extent.
Youll also notice that the Mark years overlap. Major changes were during a year, not conveniently at
the beginning of a year. So, you can have a 1967 Mk II and a 1968 Mk II because the Mk II Minis
were offered to the public starting in October 1967. The lesson here is that knowing your cars Mark
is only one (incomplete) method of identifying it. Knowing when it was built can be more important.
When discussing with your buddies the differences between Minis, the Mark system is handy. It
helps when buying parts, but is of no use when facing an inspection for importation of a car to your
country or to meet emission or safety requirements to get the car licensed and on the road. In those
cases it is best to know the build date.
The dates listed below generally follow the dates the Marks were introduced for sale to the public,
not necessarily the date a particular change was made on the manufacturing line, nor the date the
cars may have appeared at a manufacturers car show. The first two dates are usually close enough
for most purposes. (Knowing the Chassis Number or VIN becomes important see Identifying Minis
by Chassis Number/VIN Standard Cars.)For instance, an October release date may mean that the
assembly lines actually started producing the new Mark in August or September.
You can explore our Mini Mark decision tree (Matrix for Identifying Minis by Mark), or follow along
with the narratives below which are listed roughly in date order.
Mk I Austin and Morris: 1959 1967
Mk I Riley Elf and Wolseley Hornet: 1961 1962
Mk II Riley Elf and Wolseley Hornet: 1962 1966
Mk III Riley Elf and Wolseley Hornet: 1966 -- 1969
Mk II Austin Morris: 1967 1969/70
Mk III: 1969/70 -- 1976
Clubman: 1969 1980/82
Mk IV: 1976 1984
Mk V: 1984 1991/2
Mk VI: 1991/92 -- 1996
Mk VII: 1996 2000

Mk I Austin and Morris: 1959 1967

ADO 15 (for Austin Design Office model 15) was introduced to the public in August 1959 in standard
saloon/sedan form under the Austin and Morris badges as the Austin Seven and Morris Mini Minor.
The Seven name was dropped early during the Mk I run and the Minor name only lasted until the

end of the Mk I Minis. The cars became simply the Austin Mini and Morris Mini. Some countries, like
the U.S., received the cars badged as Austin 850 and Morris 850.
During the eight year run, there were many detailed changes up until October 1967 (when the Mk II
took the Mk Is place). New models were introduced. Interiors changed. Exterior paint schemes and
trim changed. Seven different engines were offered. Two major suspensions. Five different braking
systems. The list is lengthy.
Common to all the Mk I Minis were the exterior door hinges, sliding windows, smaller oval tail lights,
and the rear, swinging license plate holder. There were more than half dozen grillevariations but they
all had the moustache and whiskers surrounding the half-oval grille attached to the body only.
Engines were originally only 848ccs, but 997 and 998cc Cooper, 998cc non Cooper, and 970, 1071
and 1275cc Cooper S engines were added. These engines were the A-series type as were all Mini
engines up until roughly 1980 when the A+ version was introduced. (See A versus A+ in Identifying
Minis by Engine/Power Unit.)
The gearboxes had many internal variations and improvements, but were always four speeds with
no synchromesh on first gear. The 848cc engines used the magic wand gear shift with the long
lever coming out of the floor towards the front of the foot well. The Cooper and Cooper S used the
remote shift mechanism with the lever back between the two front seats. An automatic gearbox was
introduced as an option in May 1965.
All the saloons changed to the hydrolastic suspension starting in September 1964. This commonly
called wet suspension was originally intended for the Mini right from the beginning, but that didnt
happen, and it was introduced on the ADO16 cars first (1100s).
Front brakes for cars with the 848cc engine went to dual leading shoes in September 1964;
although, they remained a single line system. The Cooper introduced small, 7 disc brakes when the
997 was first marketed in 1961. The Cooper brakes changed slightly a couple of times including
improved calipers for the 998 Cooper. The Cooper S from the start in March 1963, used the much
better 7.5 front disc brakes (servo assisted ) with rear drums incorporating a spacer to match the
front track increase of the discs.
The Van was the second version of the Mini to be introduced when it appeared in January of 1960. It
had the same longer wheel base of the later Estates and Pick-ups, but had the fuel tankunder the
rear floor right from the beginning instead of like the early Estates with the tank inside the car. Power
was through the basic 848cc engine and gearbox with the magic wand shifter.
The Van was a two-seater only, but for a while a rear seat conversion was available.
The Van, like the Pick-up introduced later, had a one piece front panel with the grille part of the
stamping rather than being a removable item. This continued right through the entire production run;
although, it was not uncommon for owners to cut the panel out and replace it with a standard grille
either for looks or engine access, or both.

Also, like the Pick-up and Estate, the Van retained the standard (dry) suspension, not converting to
the hydrolastic (wet) suspension with the Saloons in September 1964.
The Estate Minis (Station Wagons in US-speak) in the form of the Austin Seven Countryman and
Morris Mini Traveller were introduced in September 1960, as the third body style to be released.
These longer wheel based (LWB) Minis came with wood trim on the exterior and are commonly
known as Woodies.
Like the Saloons, the Seven name was dropped early during the Mk I run, and the Minor name was
dropped at the end of the Mk I run.
The earliest Estates had the fuel tank located inside the cabin behind the left rear wheel well. This
was soon moved to an under floor position behind the rear subframe the same place as used for
the other two LWB Minis, Van and Pick-up, right from their introduction.
By October 1962, the Estates could be purchased without the exterior wood trim making the cars
cheaper, but they were still Countryman and Traveller depending upon whether Austin or Morris.
The Estates followed closely the changes to other 848cc Minis of the period with the major exception
being that they stayed with the standard (dry) suspension not converting to thehydrolastic (wet)
suspension with the Saloons in September 1964.
Following after the Estates, the Pick-ups were introduced in January 1961, as the fourth body style.
They were the third long wheel based (LWB) Mini.
Like the Estate and Van, the Pick-up used the 848cc engine and gearbox with the magic wand
shifter. And like the Van, the grille was part of the front stamping and was not a separate piece. This
continued right through the entire production run.
Also, like the Estate and Van, the Pick-up retained the standard (dry) suspension, not converting to
the hydrolastic (wet) suspension with the Saloons in September 1964.
The Moke was the sixth body style (the Riley Elf and Wolseley Hornet were fifth) and was the last of
the body style variations (until the 1990s Cabriolets unless one wants to count the Clubman).
Introduced in 1964, this was the shortest of the factory Minis (by !) and looked much like a Jeep
run through the clothes dryer under too hot a setting!
Under development almost from the very beginning of the Mini, it didnt measure up to its designed
task as a light military vehicle, but, once introduced to the public, it caught on as a cult car.
The wheel base was the same as the saloons and the engine and transmission were the standard
848cc, magic wand arrangement.
The Mokes were produced with the standard, dry suspension only. No conversion to hydrolastic was

Riley Elf and Wolseley Hornet: 1961 -- 1969

Mk I Riley Elf and Wolseley Hornet: 1961 1962
The Riley Elf and Wolseley Hornet Minis, the 5th body style, were introduced in October 1961. Under
the skin there were no changes from the standard Saloon. Same brakes, same 848cc engine, same
magic wand, 3-synchro gearbox, same suspensionand the same wheel base. These were not
members of the LWB, long wheel base, club.
What set these two cars apart was the extended boot turning the 2-box shape of the standard
Saloon into a more conventional 3-box look. They are often called The Booted Minis.
Also, the two cars featured a wood trimmed dash (full in the Elf, just the center pod in the Hornet),
partial leather seats (on all but the earliest of the Mk Is), and a front grille traditional to the older Riley
and Wolseley marques.
The cars were sold as up market versions of the Mini. Because of this, and the slight increase in
weight, the brakes and engine were judged not quite up to the standards of the market for which
they were aimed, so the Mk I quickly gave way in November 1962 to the Mk II.
Mk II Riley Elf and Wolseley Hornet: 1962 1966
Only a year and a month (November 1962) after the first Riley Elf and Wolseley Hornet went on the
market, the Mk II was introduced. Although many systems followed the trend of the main stream
Saloon (conversion to hydrolastic suspension in September 1964, for instance), these two marques
became a pioneer for many changes not to find their way onto the main stream Saloon until much
The Mk II Elf and Hornet were badged as such the first Minis to sport the Mk II badge.
Brakes were upgraded to twin leading shoes, almost two years before the rest of the line, and the
engine that was to power more Minis than any other was introduced: the 998cc engine. It didnt show
up in other Minis until 1967.
The Mk II gave way to the Mk III in October 1966, so the Mk I and II Elf and Hornet came and went
while the main stream Mk I Minis still had a year to run.
Mk III Riley Elf and Wolseley Hornet: 1966 -- 1969
In October 1966, the Mk III Elf and Hornet appeared. They sported the Mk III badge (on the boot)
and were the only Minis to do so.
Still in 998cc form, these cars continued to pave the way for later Minis. They featured roll up
windows, fresh air vents, and had an option of a heated rear windscreen.
The Elf and Hornet started getting the all-synchromesh gearbox with the rest of the Minis in August
1968, but they retained the smaller, main stream Mini rear window right through to the end.
Because the Mk III Elf and Hornet spanned the main stream Mini Mk I and II runs (ending in August
1969 just before the Mk III main stream Minis were introduced) the earlier Mk III Elf and Hornet have

more in common with the Mk I main stream and the later having more in common with the Mk II main
stream. Sort of a Mk IIIa and IIIb!
Mk II Austin Morris: 1967 1969/70
All of the body styles from the earlier cars carried over with some major changes, and the Minor
name disappeared from the Morris Minis.
The major changes from the earlier cars were a different shaped front grille (incorporating trim on the
leading edge of the bonnet), a slightly bigger rear window, and larger, square tail lights. The bodies
were adorned with Mk II badges and the earlier cars started taking on the Mk I name as a popular
way to differentiate them from the Mk II Minis.
The 997cc Cooper engine had been dropped during the Mk I run, as had the 970 and 1071cc
Cooper S engines. Left were the basic 848cc as well as the 998cc Cooper and 1275cc Cooper S.
Added to the line up was the non-Cooper 998cc engine in the Super Deluxe the engine introduced
originally with the Mk II Riley Elf and Wolseley Hornet way back in November 1962).
The gearboxes were still non-synchromesh first gear until August 1968, when the 4-synchro began
to be introduced, and, although the 998 used the Cooper-type remote shift, the 848 retained the
magic wand shift mechanism.
An often overlooked, but important change, was the introduction of a new steering rack and steering
arms that finally made the turning circle smaller in keeping with the small size of the car.
The change in steering, the square tail lights, the bigger rear window, and the new front grille shape
remained with the Mini with only small variations until the end of production in 2000.
All of the Mk II Saloons retained the hydrolastic suspension.
All saloons except the Cooper S were replaced in October 1969, by the Mk III Minis. The Cooper S
Mk II was produced through February 1970.
Vans, Estates, Pick-ups
The Estate inherited the 998cc engine and the Mk II grille shape, while the 998cc became an option
for the Van and Pick-up. The Van and Pick-up retained the stamped in grille. This continued right
through the entire production run.
For the most part, other changes in these three types of Minis followed the Saloon.
These long wheel based Minis stayed with the standard (dry) suspension.
The Moke changed little (no 998cc option), as one would expect from such a utilitarian vehicle, but
you could get it in white instead of only green!

By October 1968, the English Moke was discontinued. Of the various body styles, with less than
15,000 produced, the only one made in fewer numbers is the 1990s Cabriolet.
Mk III: 1969/70 -- 1976
With the introduction of the Mk III in October 1969 (Cooper S in March 1970), the Minis underwent
major changes. Note that the cars were not badged as Mk IIIs.
In almost all cases, the Austin, Morris, Riley and Wolseley names disappeared from the Mini scene.
The Marque simply became Mini. There were some exceptions. For example, English built Minis for
the Canadian market retained the Austin name for several years, and Minis built in Australia
continued on as Morris Minis for a while.
The most noticeable features of the ADO20 Mk III Minis were the roll up front windows and the lack
of exterior door hinges. The roll ups were not new to Minis. The Riley Elf and Wolseley Hornet had
them by October 1966, and the Australians and South Africans had been building Minis with roll up
windows for some time. But this was a major change for the main stream Mini.
The English Moke was gone before the end of the Mk II minis, the Cooper stopped at the end of the
Mk II Minis, and the Estate also disappeared in round nose form showing up in the Clubmanline
only durring Mk III time.
In spite of the changes and the death of many former models (or maybe because of it) the peak
sales years for the Mini were during the Mk III time period. See the Mini Time Line on the web site
for details.
Saloons (Non-Clubman)
Along with the roll up windows and lack of external hinges, the rear quarter windows were larger and
the boot lid, swinging license plate mount went away with the rear plate now mounted right to the lid.
For the most part, the interiors were similar to the Mk II, but the large front door pockets disappeared
to make room for the roll-up window mechanism.
The three engines left were the 848, 998 and 1275cc (Cooper S only) units. The 848cc still used the
magic wand gearshift to start; although, a few special order 848s seem to have been made with
remote shifts. The 998 and 1275s used the remote to start with. In January 1973, Mini gearboxes
went to the rod change shift mechanism and that is the way they stayed until the end of production.
Also, in January 1973, the Mini finally came with an alternator as standard.
By April 1973, the two types of inboard U-joints had been replaced with the plunging inboard CV
joints more commonly know as pot joints. They, like the rod change shift mechanism, remained
with the Mini until production ceased.
Braking continued with dual leading shoes; except, for the Cooper S which retained the 7.5 brakes
with servo assist.
Suspension on all but the Cooper S reverted to standard (dry) suspension. When the Cooper S
went out of production in July 1971, hydrolastic disappeared from the Mini line and never came

Also, when the Cooper S went out of production, the only 1275cc engine still available was in the
The first of the specials, the Limited Edition, was issued by the factory in January 1976. It was
basically a tarted up Mini 1000 (all for show and no extra go) and was the first of many such
vehicles the factory built over the years.
Vans and Pick-ups
The Vans and Pick-ups followed the mechanical changes of the Saloons; although, in some
instances a little slower. For example, the pot joints didnt start showing up on these two LWB Minis
until June 1973.
The two engine choices (848 and 998cc) remained as did the sliding windows.
Clubman: 1969 1980/82
The love-them-or-hate-them, square-nosed Minis in the Clubman line were introduced in October
1969, at the same time as the Mk III Minis. They were produced during the Mk III main stream cars'
run and overlapped into the Mk IV Minis.
Clubman Saloons
The two saloons, Clubman and 1275GT, looked much like other Minis; except, for the extended and
squared off front nose with rectangular grille and raised front bumper.
Underneath they were, for the most part, the same as the main stream saloons, and the interior
didnt differ much with the notable exception of the gauges being moved from the center of the dash
area to in front of the driver: two pod gauges for the Clubman and, with the addition of
a tachometer (a first for factory Minis), three for the 1275GT.
The engine, gearbox and other mechanical specifications were mostly the same as the main stream
Minis with changes made during the years sometimes lagging a month or two behind. The 848cc
engine was not a Clubman option. The 998 was used for all automatics. The 998 was also used for
standard gearboxes up until October 1975, when the 1098cc engine finally made its appearance in
an English built Mini body shell. The 1275GT used a 1275cc engine (no relation to the Cooper S
1275) in single carburetor form during its entire run.
Both the standard Clubman and the 1275GT used hydrolastic (wet) suspension like the Cooper S
until the Cooper S went out of production in July 1971. From that point on, all Minis were on
standard (dry) suspension.
The Clubman used the Mk III and IV Minis dual leading shoe drum brakes. The 1275GT used the
Cooper S 7.5 discs (servo assisted) until mid-1974.
Denovo safety tires were an option on the 1275GT by August 1974, and became standard in August
The 7.5 imperial gallon fuel tank was fitted mid-1974. This was the first appearance in a Mini of the
larger tank. At the same time 12 wheels showed up on the 1275GT along with the 8.4 front disc

brakes and deletion of the servo. It was 10 years before the 8.4 discs made it as the standard Mini
The Clubman Saloons were discontinued in August 1980. With their demise, the 1098cc engine
disappeared from the Mini line forever, and the 1275cc engine was not used again until the
introduction of the Rover Cooper RSP in July 1990.
Clubman Estates
The Clubman estate took the place of the Austin Countryman and Morris Traveller Minis when
introduced in October 1969. The wood siding option was gone. Instead you got vinyl covered metal
around the belt line for a few years until a more pleasant stripe replaced the fakery.
The same 998cc engine and transmission as the Saloon was used to begin with, and the dry
suspension continued on this LWB, long wheel base, Mini. Like the Saloon, the 1098cc became
standard in October 1975 unless an automatic was ordered. Then the 998 was used.
Other changes followed the pattern of the Clubman Saloon and Mk III Minis.
The Clubman Estate was discontinued, in name only, in August 1980. It was renamed the HL Estate
and was around until February 1982 (with a 998cc engine), when Minis of any name were no longer
offered in an Estate version.
Mk IV: 1976 1984
What are commonly called the Mk IV Minis replaced the Mk III in May of 1976. They looked pretty
much the same with the biggest change being the attempt to isolate the cars body from road noise
by using rubber mounts between the body and front subframe and increasing the size of the rear
subframe rubber mounts. This succeeded to a small extent at some sacrifice to the handling. The
extra sound deadening added in 1980 helped the cabin noise issue, too.
The 848cc engine disappeared in 1980, except in the Vans, and the Vans and Pick-ups were finally
discontinued in 1982.
The Mini clutch also was in for a big change in 1980. The Verto clutch showed up with much
changed internals as an attempt to lighten the clutch pedal feel. Along with the internals, almost
everything external was changed as well except for the master cylinder. See Pre-Verto versus verto
Clutch inIdentifying Minis by Engine/Power Unit.)
Since there were no official factory Mk IV Minis (dont look for Mk IV badges!) some argue that the
Mk IV ended earlier than 1984. October 1980 is one date. This would make the Mk V from 1980 to
1984 and slide the rest so that the last Minis were Mk VIII instead of Mk VII. Its not worth the time to
argue about. Here we will stay with the Mk IV through to 1984, and the Mk VII convention for the last
Other changes over the Mk IVs life were more evolutionary than revolutionary. Reclining seats made
their appearance along with a reversing light and an inside, dipping, rear view mirror. The Clubman
style gauges took over near the end of 1980 so another of the characteristics of early Minis was lost
for good.

In August 1979, the second special edition (and the first of the anniversary specials) made its
appearance as the 1100 S LE or the 1100 Special. It was kind of a cross between a round nose Mini
and a Clubman. The Clubman 1098cc engine made its only appearance in an English built round
nose and the 1275GTs instruments were used on the inside.
Also, starting in 1979, the alphabet and name changes took off. The Mini 1000 became the Super.
The City was introduced. The Super became the HL, or City. The City became the E. The HL to the
HLE and then the HLE became the Mayfair all by October 1982. It was confusing then and is still
confusing today!
The next special edition showed up in October 1983: the Mini Sprite LE. (Not to be confused with the
1992 base model Mini also called the Sprite.) It was followed by the second of the anniversary
specials, the Mini 25 LE in June 1984. The Mini 25 is important because it introduced the major
changes that would be standard on almost all Minis from Mk V on, and really fits into the Mk V realm;
although, the Mk IV Minis continued on until October 1984, when the 25s introduced changes
became standard.
During the Mk IV time the rubber cone/spring composition was changed to make it softer.
Foot pedals became larger with the throttle pedal now the size of the former brake and clutch
pedals, and the brake and clutch pedals growing in size and changing shape to 6-sided.
The single, multi-function stalk on the steering column gave way to twin stalks and by 1977 the
square rear tail lights incorporated a backup light.
Vans and Pick-ups
Although the 848cc engine was dropped from the saloon line up by 1980, the Pick-up continued with
it as an option until November 1980, and it was available in the Van right up until December 1982
when both the Van and Pick-up were discontinued.
Mk V: 1984 1991/2
The first Mk V was really the Mini 25, the 25th Anniversary Mini, and it was introduced in June of
1984, but the big changes it brought to the main stream Mini scene didnt get introduced until
October 1984.
The big changes with the Mk V were the 12 wheels, 8.4 front disc brakes and the flares/wheel
arches needed to cover them. Nothing really new, but now these were the Mini standard.
The only body style was the Saloon and the 998cc engine was the only engine option until the
resurrection of the 1275 (related to, but not the same as either earlier 1275) with the 1990 RSP
More specials were produced during this period than at any other time. After the early release Mini
25 in June 1984 came:
January 1985
January 1986
May 1986

special edition
Chelsea LE
Piccadilly LE

January 1987
May 1987
January 1988
June 1988
January 1989
June 1989
February 1990
June 1990
February 1991

Park Lane LE
Advantage LE
Red Hot and Jet Black
Designer LE
Racing, Flame, Sky and Rose SEs
Mini 30 SE the next anniversary Mini and considered one of the best of the
Racing Green and Flame Red (revised versions of earlier cars) and Checkmate
Studio 2 SE
Neon SE

Almost hidden among all the decal swapping specials was the fastest production Mini ever built.
The ERA Turbo showed up in 1989 and by making use of a Garrett T3 turbocharger claimed top
speed of 115mph and 94bhp. Suspension and brakes were beefed up; low profile tires and a special
body kit were added.
The bigger news, though, was the reintroduction of the 1275cc engine in A+ form and under the
Cooper name. The Mini Cooper RSP was produced in very limited numbers starting in July 1990, but
with the names Cooper and 1275 tied to the Mini once again, they were a big hit and the factory
promptly released the Cooper as a regular model in September 1990. A special S version was
available by adding a factory approved conversion kit starting in March 1991.
Another interesting version showed up in the late Mk V range: the Lamm Cabriolets, in June 1991.
Only 75 were built, but they were harbingers of things to come, not only for the introduction of the
first factory cabriolet body style, but also for their 13 wheels.
Count the end of the Mk V Minis with the end of the carb version of the 1275 Cooper in September
1991, and the end of the 998cc engine in the rest of the line in May 1992.
Mk VI: 1991/92 -- 1996
Like the Mk V, the start of the Mk VI has some overlap with previous years. There is no one cut off
date. By October 1991, the Cooper version of the Mini had incorporated the Mk VI updates while the
main stream Mini didnt pick them up until later. Admittedly, the Mk V to Mk VI change is a little fuzzy.
Remember these changes are not factory changes you wont find factory listings for either a Mk V
or MkVI. Even the Roman numeral labeling convention gets blurred. Youll see Mk 6 written often,
instead of Mk VI.
The common way of cutting off the Mk V and starting with the Mk VI is to divide Minis into two
camps: Cooper and non-Cooper. The Mk VI Cooper starts in October 1991, when the carb version
was dropped and the SPi (single port) throttle body injection/fuel injected engine became standard. A
catalyst was introduced at the same time.
The other branch of the Mini family, the non-Coopers, went to a Mk VI in May 1992, after the demise
of the 998cc engine in April 1992 and the introduction of the carb 1275 as the base engine. The

Mayfair and the Sprite (not a special edition car, but the name used for the City replacement) both
used the 1275 equipped with a catalyst.
The carb to SPi changes get confusing, so heres a summary:

Cooper Minis were carb during Mk V time. Changed to SPi in October 1991 (Mk VI).

Non Cooper Mk VI started as carb and didnt change to SPi until August 1994.

On the Cooper side of things, there were many changes during the Mk VI time frame, almost all of
them having nothing to do with performance. Interiors changed. External colors varied. Lights were
added. Wheel options added. Alarms. Locking wheel nuts. In car entertainment. Internal bonnet
release. And more. There was an Italian Job addition one could order: some lights, bonnet
stripes and a boot liner (to hold all the gold?). Then an RAC option: sunroof, mud flaps and tinted
As far as performance was concerned, early on there was a factory warranted conversion offered for
the Cooper making the car an Si and dropping the 0 60mph time by 1.5 seconds and upping the
top speed by 8mph.
In July 1994 (some sources say January), the factory issued the Mini Cooper Monte Carlo SE to
trade on the Minis famous Monte Carlo victoriesthree decades before. Then the Mini Cooper 35
LE was issued in 1996 as a Cooper anniversary edition celebrating the first Coopers introduction in
1961. Lots of retro styling touches, but underneath it was just a late model Cooper.
The Mayfair and former City, now the Sprite, followed the Cooper trend of making interior and
exterior changes, adding security, and making little if any changes in the way of performance.
The Mayfair and Sprite continued the specials. By far, the best of the bunch was the British Open
Classic introduced in June 1992. You could call it the first of the Mk VI specials and the full length,
folding, electric sun roof, alloys, chrome trim and tasteful interior did make it special. (Another
version was built in LHD for European export and it was introduced in 1993.) Then came:
October 1992
June 1993
October 1993
June 1994
May 1995
April 1996

special edition
The Italian Job SE
Mini Rio SE
Mini Tahiti
Mini 35 SE (the European version was based on the British Open Classic)
Mini Sidewalk
Mini Equinox

Although produced in small numbers, an important model was introduced in this period of time: the
Rover Mini Cabriolet, a logical progression from the Lamm Cabriolet of June 1991. The Rover
version, announced in late 1992, was available in July 1993. If you dont count the very limited
edition cabriolets via Lamm this was the first new body style since the Clubmans debut in 1969.
Based on the SPi Cooper it featured a special body kit and an upgraded interior. About 1100 were

The Mk VI run ended for all the cars in August 1996. The last big changes to the Mini line were due
out in October of that year.
Mk VII: 1996 2000
The big change in the Mk VII was the introduction of the twin-point (or multi-point) fuel injected
engine. The MPi also did away with the distributor and moved the radiator to the front (except for
Japanese market cars). A drivers side air bag was added along with door side impact beams.
The Sprite was gone, and the Cabriolet was gone. Left were simply the Mini and the Mini Cooper.
The final drive went to a very high 2.76:1 in the manual gearbox allowing much lower rpms for
highway cruising, and the automatic was dropped from production.
Over the years there were many variations in dress up options and the Mini (especially with the lack
of an entry level model) had drifted far from its original roots. A good example is the Sports Pack
version offered first in 1997. This ultimate in bling added, among other things, huge tires on 13 x
6 wheels and covered them with very wide flares/wheel arches. The front wheel wells had to be cut
to clear the huge tires and a limited movement steering rack had to be used to keep them from
rubbing on turns. All these additions allowed you to own a car to show off but one that dropped 6
mph in top speed and was over second slower in 0 60 time. Fashionable form over function.
In April 2000, the last specials (or variants?) were offered: Se7en, Cooper and Cooper Sport. A
luxury version for the German market was also produced, the Knightsbridge. The Se7en look was
made to recall the cars earliest days. The Cooper wasnt much changed from other Coopers of the
Mark, and the Sport offered some upgrades that had nothing to do with performance: polished alloy
gear knobs, and black leather dash tops, for example.
In October 2000, the 42 year run of continuous production ended.