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  Mini Clubman & 1275GT  

In 1969, under the ownership of British Leyland, the Mini was given a facelift by stylist Roy Haynes, who had previously worked for Ford. The restyled version was called the Mini Clubman, and has a squarer front, protruding some 10cm / 4in further forward, using the same indicator/sidelight assembly as the Austin Maxi. The Mini Clubman was intended to replace the upmarket Riley and Wolseley versions. At launch all Clubmans were powered by the 998cc engine as already used in the Mini 1000, with 38bhp. A more sporting model with the 1275cc single-carburettor 59bhp engine, the 1275 GT, was the replacement for the 998 cc Mini Cooper, the 1,275 cc Mini Cooper S continued alongside the 1275 GT for two years until 1971. The Clubman Estate replaced the Countryman and Traveller. The original "round-front" design Mini remained in production alongside the Clubman and 1275 GT in 850 and 1000 forms as lower-priced models in the new Mini range.

In 1971, the 1,275 cc Mini Cooper S was discontinued in the UK, leaving the Mini 1275 GT as the only sporting Mini on sale for the rest of the decade. Innocenti in Italy, however, continued making their own version of the Mini Cooper for some time. While the UK-built 1275 GT was not nearly as quick as a 1275 Mini Cooper S, it was cheaper to buy, run, and insure. It was the first Mini to be equipped with a tachometer. It also featured a standard-fit close-ratio gearbox, and initially had 10-inch (25.4 cm) Rostyle wheels covering the 7.5inch (19.05 cm) Cooper S type disc brakes, and a boot board; both were dropped in 1974. Performance of the 1275GT was lively for the time, achieving 060 mph (97 km/h) in 12.9 seconds, and the excellent mid-range torque offered a 3050 mph (4880 km/h) time in top gear of only nine seconds. The bluff front, however, meant that the model struggled to reach 90 mph (140 km/h).

From 1975 the standard Clubman and Clubman Estate received the 1098cc engine (as also fitted to the Austin Allegro) with 45bhp. Throughout the 1970s, British Leyland continued to produce the classic 1959 "round-front" design, alongside the newer Clubman and 1275 GT models. The Mini Clubman and 1275 GT were replaced in 1980 by the new hatchback Austin Metro, while production of the original "round-front" Mini design continued for another 20 years. At the end of Clubman and 1275 GT production, 275,583 Clubman saloons, 197,606 Clubman Estates and 110,673 1275 GTs had been made.

My own first car was a 1974 Mini Clubman Saloon 998cc in white. It was three years old when I bought it with 18,000 miles on the clock. It was also already rusting away and the carpet was a rag. While great fun to drive and a real revelation after the big Triumphs and Humbers I had driven previously, my parents' cars, it was an incredibly harsh ride. The noise and vibration were so bad you could neither hold a conversation with a passenger or use the rear view mirror because it shook so much. In less than three years the body had rotted through.

Vanguards VA13500; Mini Clubman; 1275GT; Bronze Yellow, Trevor Vanguards VA13501; Mini Clubman 1293S; 1970 Scottish Rally 2nd; Hopkirk & Nash; RN14 Vanguards VA13502A; Mini Clubman 1100; Black (RHD) Vanguards VA13502B; Mini Clubman 1100 Black (Japan) Still Looking
Vanguards VA13500; Mini 1275GT; Bronze Yellow, Trevor Vanguards VA13501; Mini 1275GT; 1970 Scottish Rally 2nd; Hopkirk & Nash; RN14 Vanguards VA13502A; Mini Clubman 1100; Black (RHD) Vanguards VA13502B; Mini Clubman 1100; Black (Japan) Vanguards VA13503; Mini 1275 GT; 1979 British Saloon Car Championship Overall Class A Winner Richard Longman
Vanguards VA13504A; Mini Clubman 1275GT; Vermillion RHD; UK Press Photo car Still Looking Vanguards VA13505; Mini Clubman 1275GT; White, 4 Millionth Mini Vanguards VA13506; Mini Clubman 1100; Reynard Metallic Still Looking
Vanguards VA13504A; Mini 1275GT; Vermillion, RHD; UK Press Car Vanguards VA13504B; Mini 1275GT; Vermiljoen LHD, Netherlands Vanguards VA13505; Mini 1275GT; White, 4 Millionth Mini Vanguards VA13506; Mini Clubman 1100; Reynard Metallic Vanguards VA13507; Mini Clubman Special Tuning, Press Launch Car, Auto Car Magazine
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Vanguards VA13508; Mini 1275GT Black Tulip        

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Last Edit: 07/01/2023   Page Added 07/01/2023