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The first Mini Cooper was launched in July 1961 and is still revered today as the second most important car in history after the Ford Model T. It had been developed by the designer of the original Mini, Sir Alec Issigonis, with racing driver and engineer, John Cooper - who in 1959 had driven a prototype Mini to the Italian Grand Prix and had been greatly impressed by the car. It was initially produced with a 997cc version of the BMC A series engine which was fitted with twin SU carburettors, revised cylinder head, and an improved exhaust system. The car was also fitted with a close ratio gearbox which had a remote gearshift, a higher axle ratio than the standard Mini and was fitted with front disc brakes. The Mini Cooper and Cooper 'S' were extremely successful as rally cars, famously winning the Monte Carlo Rally four times from 1964 through to 1967 under the stewardship of famous drivers such as the legendary Paddy Hopkirk, Rauno Aaltonen and Timo Mäkinen.This extremely rare Morris Mini Cooper S 970 was first registered on 22nd March 1965 by Stuart and Arden Ltd in Acton and was finished in Almond Green with an Old English White roof with matching green and dove grey interior. Chassis number 550 540 was bought by its current owner in March 1969 with the intention of using it for rallying and taking his children to school. In 1969 the car came second in class at the Welsh International Rally having led the field for the majority of the event. However, a fuel line problem resulted in a costly 5 minute delay on the last stage. The current owner continued rallying the car across the UK throughout the 1970s and it was a regular entrant in local events in the Brecon Beacons. With a documented 6 owners from new and a believed genuine 49,500 miles from new, this is an example of a true homologation 970 Cooper S that has been cared for and used by a single owner for 43 years. Approximately ten years ago the car underwent a comprehensive bare metal restoration back to original road specification using the original rebuilt engine, gearbox and Cooper S components. The work was carried out by the vendor, himself a skilled engineer and notorious mini enthusiast, over a 5 year period and the car has been used sparingly since. Supplied with an original buff log book, heritage certificate and current MoT test certificate, this Cooper S can be enjoyed as it is or equally returned to its former period rally specification for any number of coveted historic events.