The Complete Guide to Buying a Used Mini Cooper

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The Complete Guide to Buying a Used Mini Cooper

Mini Coopers have long been one of the most iconic cars on the road. Since their initial release in the 1960s, these compact vehicles have become style statements and the ultimate urban vehicles. With their one-of-a-kind body styling and quality engineering, Mini Coopers provide a fun and reliable way to get from point A to point B. Whether a consumers is in the market for a vintage Cooper or one of the recent revamps of this modern classic, he or she has a range of features, looks, and advantages to consider when shopping for one of these vehicles. Learning about the range of choices that can be made when settling on a Mini Cooper can help streamline the purchasing process for these cars.

Consumers may also benefit from learning about the retail options available to them beyond traditional automobile vendors. Online retailers, especially aggregators such as eBay, can give consumers access to an impressive range of Cooper models from the classic styles to the modern, BMW-engineered varieties. Finding out more about the purchasing process on this site can also help consumers find the best Coopers for their needs.

Classic Mini Coopers

Classic Mini Coopers manufactured between 1963 and 1971 were the result of a partnership between the British Motor Corporation and engineer/designer John Cooper. Cooper's goal in designing the original Mini was to create a mini car that had enhanced performance and features. He took the basic engine block used in the existing mini cars of the day and increased the stroke to 997cc's to deliver amped up performance power in the car. He also added an upgraded camshaft, bigger inlet valves, twin SU carburettors, and a three-branch exhaust manifold and domed pistons. In this way, Cooper and his design team were able to increase performance while still maintaining the efficiency and reliability of a mini form factor.

The Classic Mini Cooper continued to evolve from that starting point until 1971. After 1963, the Cooper was revamped to leverage a 998cc engine based on the Riley Elf and Wolseley Hornet units. The Cooper S was also introduced for consumers who wanted a more full-featured Mini. A Mini Clubman and its slight variant, the 1275GT, were released in 1969, as well. These featured nose designs that were more squared than the classic Coopers. Over the eight years that the classic Mini Cooper was in production, more than 120,000 units were produced with three different versions of the original A-series engine, the 1,071cc engine, the 970cc engine that appeared briefly in 1964, and the ubiquitous 1,275cc engine.

Finding Authentic Classic Mini Coopers

Despite the fact that more than 120,000 classic Mini Coopers were made during the years of its release, there is still a good number of replicas in the marketplace. Finding an authentic Mini Cooper from this era is not difficult, however. The easiest way to identify an authentic Mini Cooper is to check the chassis number of the vehicle. This number is typically found on a plate affixed to the radiator cowling. A seller of a classic Mini Cooper should share this detail as verification of a Mini's authenticity. The following table lists the chassis numbers associated with the vintage line of Coopers.

Chassis Code

Chassis Numbers

Date

Model

C-A2S7

138301-555232

1961 to 1964

Austin Cooper Mk1 997cc

C-A2S7

486096-1068160

1963 to 1967

Austin Cooper Mk1 998cc

C-A2S7

549501-549992

1964 to 1965

Austin Cooper S 970cc

C-A2S7

384101-563570

1963 to 1964

Austin Cooper S 1,071cc

C-A2S7

551501-1066319

1964 to 1967

Austin Cooper S Mk 1 1,275cc

C-A2SB

1068151-1370956

1967 to 1969

Austin Cooper Mk 2 998cc

C-A2SB

1068451-1375331

1967 to 1970

Austin Cooper S Mk2 1275cc

K-A2S4

138311-522751

1961 to 1964

Morris Cooper Mk1 997cc

K-A2S4

491251-1064876

1963 to 1967

Morris Cooper Mk1 998cc

K-A2S4

550501-550980

1964

Morris Cooper S 970cc

K-A2S4

384601-563492

1963 to 1964

Morris Cooper S 1,071cc

K-A2S4

552501-1066320

1964 to 1967

Morris Cooper S Mk1 1,275cc

K-A2S6

1068197-1365476

1967 to 1969

Morris Cooper Mk2 998cc

K-A2S6

1068471-1375346

1967 to 1970

Morris Cooper S Mk2 1,275cc

XAD1

34127-458987A

1970 to 1971

Mini Cooper S Mk 3 1,275cc

Consumers can also look for body paint as a reference point for finding authentic vintage Minis. Classic Mini Coopers were monochromatic and not treated with accents like racing colours or bonnet stripes. If a classic Mini has one of these body paint variations, it is either a replica or it underwent aftermarket changes made by an owner at some point.

The New Generation of Mini Coopers

The first production version of the new generation of Mini Coopers appeared on the scene in 2000 after the takeover of the Rover car company by BMW. At a time when more and more consumers were looking for compact driving alternatives, the new Mini Cooper proved to be a popular option because of the added benefit of resurrecting a well-loved classic.

The Cooper S is also available in the new line of Minis. Both the Cooper and the Cooper S were manufactured as three-door hatchbacks until a cabriolet option was introduced in 2005 and an estate Clubman was brought to market in 2008. The Mini Coopers and Cooper S's received modifications in 2005 that improved the Cooper S's performance rating to 170 hp.

Powerdrive in New Generation Mini Coopers

The Mini Coopers of the BMW generation remained pretty consistent in terms of engine packages until recently. The following table illustrates the performance and consumption specs for the various model years of Mini Coopers in the marketplace.

Model Year

Engine

Fuel Consumption

Power

2011

1.6-litre, in-line, four-cylinder DOHC

Variable valve timing

Four valves/cylinder

29 MPG city

37 MPG highway

32 MPG combined

121 hp @ 6,000 rpm

2010

1.6-litre, in-line, four double overhead cam with VVT

28 MPG city

37 MPG highway

32 MPG combined

118 hp @ 6,000 rpm

2009

1,598 cc, 1.6 litres, in-line, 4-front engine

28 MPG city

37 MPG highway

32 MPG combined

118 hp SAE @ 6,000 rpm

2008

1,598 cc, 1.6 litres, in-line, 4-front engine

27 MPG city

36 MPG highway

31 MPG combined

118 hp SAE @ 6,000 rpm

2007

1,598 cc, 1.6 litres, in-line, 4-front engine

32 MPG city

40 MPG highway

35 MPG combined

118 hp SAE @ 6,000 rpm

2006

1,598 cc, 1.6 litres, in-line, 4-front engine

28 MPG city

36 MPG highway

31 MPG combined

115 hp SAE @ 6,000 rpm

2005

1,598 cc, 1.6 litres, in-line, 4-front engine

28 MPG city

37 MPG highway

115 hp SAE @ 6,000 rpm

2004

1,598 cc, 1.6 litres, in-line, 4-front engine

28 MPG city

37 MPG highway

115 hp SAE @ 6,000 rpm

2003

1,598 cc, 1.6 litres, in-line, 4-front engine

25 MPG city

37 MPG highway

115 hp SAE @ 6,000 rpm

2002

1,598 cc, 1.6 litres, in-line, 4-front engine

24 MPG city

37 MPG highway

115 hp SAE @ 6,000 rpm

Consumers should look for aftermarket changes to engines and vehicles in general when shopping for used Mini Coopers. Owners may have made modifications using parts other than the OEM originals, and this can either enhance or detract from performance, depending on the modification. Effective and open communication with a seller is the best way to discover and understand any modifications made to vehicles.

Buying a Used Mini Cooper on eBay

The online retail site eBay aggregates multiple vendors from around the UK to create a large catalogue of used Mini Coopers from which consumers can choose. It has a wide range of vintage options, as well. Looking through this large catalogue does not have to be overwhelming. In fact, eBay provides you with a user-friendly search interface that allows you to search through the listings quickly and easily. Enter a search term into the search bar to pull up only the listings on the site that relate to the Mini Cooper you want to buy.

Communicating with eBay Sellers

The eBay purchasing process is particularly beneficial to those who are shopping for used vehicles because it allows you to communicate directly with a seller. Message a seller by visiting that seller's own page. You can reach a seller's page by clicking on the vendor's highlighted name in a listing. You can also use your visit to a seller's page to review any feedback other consumers have submitted. This can help you figure out whether or not a seller has a good reputation for providing reliable items.

Conclusion

For consumers who want a compact mini and who are looking for a combination of reliable engineering and style, Mini Coopers are a great option. Since 1963, this originally British car has continued to define road style for drivers around the world. Vintage Minis are still available for sale in the marketplace, along with recent models. Consumers only have to follow a few simple steps to ensure they are purchasing true vintage models. The new generation of Minis has introduced enhanced power packages and additional body styles, including the Clubman estate-style mini and the cabriolet version of the classic. By reviewing the specs for the new generation, consumers can quickly focus on their ideal choices.

By choosing to use the consumer-friendly, used marketplace on eBay, consumers can follow a simple purchasing process in their searches for Mini Coopers. With its wide array of choices, eBay gives Cooper fans one of the easiest and most reliable ways to find vintage or modern classics. That is not to say that this is the only purchasing option. These cars can also be found locally through traditional channels, although it may be much more challenging to find a vintage model in this way.

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