The Monte Carlo Minis

 

There are four Monte Carlo Rally Minis, but only three model numbers.

  • 1964 No.317 RN37, Spotlight on the roof, No jewelled spotlights

  • 1965 No.321 RN52, Plain roof, Three jewelled spotlights

  • 1966 No.321 RN2 Autographs on the roof, Two jewelled spotlights

  • 1967 No.339 RN177 Roof rack with spare wheels, Four jewelled spotlights

I was contacted via the website by one of the BMC Competition Department engineers of the time who was retired and living in South Africa and who remembered these cars being left to rot behind his workshop, here is a quote from his email:

"During my career I worked with Sir Alec Issigonis and had Colin Chapman after me to join him; alas I turned Colin down twice and never worked with him which think now was a shame. I found a Lotus Eleven here in South Africa I finally got hold of it and took four and a half year rebuilding it. What a lovely car it is to drive. While with Sir Alex trying to design and built the replacement Mini, code name 9X, it was very enjoyable time in my career indeed I knew BL would not last too long so I left and joined GKN. We had all the red Monte Carlo Minis, 1800ís and the odd Healey around the back of our work shop for years just gathering dust and I would guess plenty of rust too. Now they are all in Gaydon Museum."

317 Mini Cooper S, Monte Carlo 1964

This is the first of a series of Monte-Carlo Rally winning Minis. The Mini-Coopers were rushed out within weeks of the end of the rally, and as the Minis kept on winning we got a new model of that year's works car each year. I've seen the survivors at Gaydon Motor Museum in Oxfordshire - very much tidied up and restored. This is the easiest one to pin down. It always has the roof mount spotlight and racing number 37. All versions are highly priced but you will get a little more if the roof is pink.

321 Mini Cooper S, Monte Carlo 1965

This is the one from 1965, released in February to get maximum publicity from the great performance of the brilliant Minis in the rally. All the Monte Carlo Minis are both very popular and very hard to find, which drives up the price significantly. There are no variations to the car within each year, but if you are lucky enough to find a boxed example it will either be in a pictorial box which is correct for the car or a box for the previous year's Monte Carlo Mini with an over-sticker. With the 1965 car the over-sticker box gets a premium, with the 1966 car it is the other way around.

321 Mini Cooper S, Monte Carlo 1966

Well drat those pesky French. Timo Makinen crosses the line first in his Mini and the French dob him in for illegal headlamp bulbs and take the prize for themselves! Typical of them, it was not just BMC, the French managed to swipe all the British cars' prizes, Cortinas & Imps too because the British had used non OEM light bulbs. The Minis finished 1,2,3 with Roger Clark in a Cortina in 4th and Rosemary Smith winning the Coup des Dames in a Hillman Imp, all disqualified over the filaments in their light bulbs! Which was the better rally car though? If that is what it takes to win..... Read all about it here

339 Mini Cooper S, Monte Carlo 1967

This is Rauno Aaltonen's winning car from the 1967 Rally, hotly pursued by three Lancias and a Porsche 911. Paddy Hopkirk's Mini came in 6th. No messing about with headlamp bulbs in 1967, but it was the Mini's final winning year, although they managed 4th 5th & 6th in 1968 the 1st & 2nd place cars were Porsche 911. in 1969 BMC entered the Austin 1800 and came nowhere. The Corgi Mini is seen in a range of boxes, with or without over-stickers. It can have spun or cast hubs and what is described as an Austin grille or a Morris grille. The Austin grille is correct with wavy bars, the Morris grille is actually the slotted grille off the van, a Morris Cooper S grille would have horizontal chrome bars.

333 Mini Cooper S, RAC/Sun Rally 1966

The model bears an uncanny resemblance to 339 the 1967 Monte Carlo Mini with the removal of the roof rack and a change of decals. The interior has been changed from the standard mini. There are two rally seats in the front and a lot of recovery gear in the back. Altogether a nice little package. The Sun Rally Mini was made only in 1967 and not many were produced. Like the Monte Carlo Minis it was rushed out and consequently there were no boxes ready so the correct box for this is for the 225 Austin Mini with a label stuck on top reading '1966 Sun RAC International Rally, Tony Fall/Mike Wood' It appears that most of the cars were based on the Austin Mini and a few based on the Morris Mini as 339 above and the same issue applies, they can have spun or cast hubs. They are rare and always going to be expensive. The Morris grille cars more so than the Austin according to Ramsay, however to get anything like full value that temporary box is vital. This car finished 5th in the 1966 RAC Rally driven by Tony Fall, Harry Kallstrom's Mini finished 2nd behind the winning Lotus Cortina.

308 Mini Cooper S, Monte Carlo 1967; WhizzWheels

This is a reissue of the 1967 Monte Carlo Mini Cooper S with Whizzwheels. The Whizzwheels don't really detract from the model, especially as a set of extended wheel arches have been added to the casting. There are some problems with this one though - for a start off, why paint it yellow? It is a model of a real car - it even has the correct registration number on a decal back and front - and the car of which it is a model is red and white, not yellow. The yellow paint they have used is thick and hides the casting detail too. The Whizzwheels Monte Carlo Mini was introduced in 1972 and remained in the range until 1976 it is almost always bright yellow and values are fairly high, however there is a gold plated version known which is very scarce indeed. Prices for those are stratospheric.

 

         
Corgi Toys 317; BMC Mini-Cooper S; 1964 Monte Carlo Rally 1st; Hopkirk & Liddon; RN37 Corgi Toys 321; BMC Mini-Cooper S; 1965 Monte Carlo Rally 1st; Makinen & Easter; RN52 Corgi Toys 321; BMC Mini-Cooper S; 1966 Monte Carlo Rally Disq, Makinen & Easter; RN2 Corgi Toys 339; BMC Mini-Cooper S; 1967 Monte Carlo Rally 1st; Aaltonen & Liddon; RN177, Morris Grille Corgi Toys 339; BMC Mini-Cooper S; 1967 Monte Carlo Rally 1st; Aaltonen & Liddon; RN177, Austin Grille
Corgi Toys 317; BMC Mini-Cooper S; 1964 Monte Carlo Rally 1st; Hopkirk & Liddon; RN37 Corgi Toys 321; BMC Mini-Cooper S; 1965 Monte Carlo Rally 1st; Makinen & Easter; RN52 Corgi Toys 321; BMC Mini-Cooper S; 1966 Monte Carlo Rally Disq, Makinen & Easter; RN2 Corgi Toys 339; BMC Mini-Cooper S; 1967 Monte Carlo Rally 1st; Aaltonen & Liddon; RN177, Morris Grille Corgi Toys 339; BMC Mini-Cooper S; 1967 Monte Carlo Rally 1st; Aaltonen & Liddon; RN177, Austin Grille
Corgi Toys 333; Mini-Cooper S RAC/Sun Rally; Austin Grille; RN21 Corgi Toys 333; Mini-Cooper S RAC/Sun Rally; Morris Grille; RN21 Corgi Toys 333; Mini-Cooper S RAC/Sun Rally; Morris Grille; RN21 Corgi 308; Morris Mini Monte Carlo (with Whizzwheels)  
Corgi Toys 333; Mini-Cooper S RAC/Sun Rally; Austin Grille; RN21 Corgi Toys 333; Mini-Cooper S RAC/Sun Rally; Morris Grille; RN21 Corgi Toys 333; Mini-Cooper S RAC/Sun Rally; Box With Over-Stickers Corgi Toys 308; BMC Mini-Cooper S; 1967 Monte Carlo; Whizzwheels  

 


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Last Edit: 27/06/2022 Page Added 22/05/2022