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The Mini Cooper RSP (Rover Special Products) introduced in 1990, was the first collaboration between John Cooper and the Mini brand in 21 years. The car was produced in small numbers initially, with it selling out before the model had hit showrooms fully. A total of 1050 were produced for the UK market, like this example, and 650 for Japan.
The car featured distinct styling in the form of bonnet stripes with the John Cooper signature, Cooper badges on the car and body coloured wheel arches and wing mirrors, and sunroof.
In addition to the styling changes, the car featured; a 1,275cc engine, minilite wheels, oil cooler, and twin driving lamps.
Gerald bought this car at auction around four months ago after it caught his attention. It’s a lovely example of the Mini Cooper RSP, and with its low mileage of 2,700, it’s no surprise that it caught his attention.
Gerald is a classic car man, and runs a restoration and rental business for classic VW camper vans. He’s never owned a Mini before and so the condition of this car particularly caught his attention and spurred him on to capture it.
Having bought the car though, Gerald feels with its original condition and low mileage, it would be a bit of an injustice to drive it around daily, and so is looking for the car to go to a new home where it will likely be stored and preserved carefully.
Finished in Black with the signature Cooper white stripes and decals across the car, it looked a little beauty in the sun. This car has barely been used in its life since 1990, and cared for in that time, and this shows in the condition of the exterior.
Wheels & Tyres
The minilite style alloy wheels across the car are unmarked as can be seen in the video review, and plenty of tread on the tyres too. This car has only covered 2,700 miles and so this is in line with our expectations.
We looked over the car from top to bottom, as can be seen in the exterior review. From our observation, as you would expect with the car having done very low mileage from new, there were no defects. All the shut lines and panel gaps across the car are as expected.
The car is finished in black, with the white roof and stripes on the bonnet, along with the Cooper badge detailing. The paint looked great, deep in colour and even in consistency across the car. There’s a very small defect to note that’s near the windscreen rubber near the skuttle – please review the images and videos.
Glass and Trim
The car has been well looked after and dry stored over the years, and this shows when you look at the trim across the car. The glass all looks in original condition, and the chrome across the entire car shows no signs of rusting or pitting. The only defect we observed was a small dent on the front grill, as can be seen in the video review.
Finished in its original correct upholstery, the cabin of the car, like the exterior, is in time warp condition. A combo of black and red across all the details inside, it presents itself in a very smart light, the clear sunroof allowing lots of light in to the cabin, leaving it almost feeling spacious!
Seats and Carpets
Finished in leather and cloth across the interior, with a black and red combination of colours, the upholstery is in great condition throughout. We didn’t observe any defects when consigning the vehicle, the leather on the seats showing very little sign of age at all, and the carpets look fresh.
The dashboard is in mark free condition, no warping or cracking visible. And also no fading of colours. The dials look factory fresh, with the odometer showing just over 2,700 miles completed.
Steering Wheel / Gear Stick
The car features a Cooper badged steering wheel with red leather trim, in immaculate condition. The gearstick and leather shroud again, no defects and looking factory fresh.
We went on our normal test drive of the Mini Cooper, around the local area, and you’ll see the cold start in the “on the road” video. The car performed without fault, and further detailed below.
Engine and Gearbox
The car started from cold on first attempt, and with the choke on, idled as expected. With the choke off and the car still not up to temperature fully, it still idled without issue. We went through the gears while on a short run and the car performed as expected.
Suspension and Brakes
On the local roads, the car handled without issue. As a passenger the ride was smooth, and you could tell that the car was responding to Gerald’s inputs as you would anticipate. Braking was no issue either, and no knocking, rattling or untoward squeaks were observed.
The 1,275cc engine pulled us along the country roads without fault, building up speed as we worked our way through all the gears.
Electrics and Other
All the dials on the dash worked as expected, and Gerald informs us that everything works as it should.
The car is showing just over 2,753 as of 07.09.2018.
HPi Check Results
– Check in progress
– 22.08.2001 – 2,130 miles – MOT
– 23.08.2002 – 2,236 miles – MOT
– 22.08.2003 – 2,277 miles – MOT
– 26.08.2004 – 2,330 miles – MOT
– 23.08.2005 – 2,435 miles – MOT
– 23.08.2006 – 2,480 miles – MOT
– 22.08.2007 – 2,501 miles – MOT
– 20.08.2008 – 2,519 miles – MOT
– 19.08.2009 – 2,539 miles – MOT
– 21.08.2010 – 2,573 miles – MOT
– 13.08.2011 – 2,618 miles – MOT
– 18.08.2012 – 2,639 miles – MOT
– 26.08.2013 – 2,662 miles – MOT
– 26.08.2014 – 2,695 miles – MOT
The Mini, and the sportier Mini Cooper are British design icons. There is no doubt that they will stand the test of time, and always have a place in peoples’ hearts the world over.
When Rover decided to work with John Cooper in 1990 to reintroduce the Mini Cooper, it was an instant success, and the car produced in a low volume in its first run (dubbed RSP) was sold out before it even hit all the showrooms.
Cars like this, with low mileage and virtually time warp condition do not come up for sale very often, as most are tucked away in storage, and so it was a real pleasure to consign.
We think this car would be perfect for the discerning Mini enthusiast, or for a classic car collector alike. The low mileage and all original condition of the car will help it hold its value and potentially increase for years to come.
KULRAJ SINGH SALH
This auction listing was written by Kulraj Singh Salh from information gained from Gerald, the owner of the car, and having visited and photographed the vehicle.
If you have any specific questions about the vehicle then please use the comments section below. Gerald will receive a notification and will reply as soon as he can.