MINI 850 and 1000
The car that started the fashion for front-drive, transverse engines, and minimum dimensions is still extremely popular with its economy, nippiness, and easy parking. Now in its 16th year, the Issigonis-designed miracle has all-independent rubber suspension, and is available with either an 848 or 998 cc engine. Both models have four-speed manual gearboxes as standard but AP's intriguing four-speed fully-automatic is available as an extra. In spite of its modest outside dimensions the Mini's interior has all sorts of storage pockets, bins and shelves.
The basic Mini now gets extra power with a cleaner exhaust as twin benefits from the SU HS4 swinging-needle carburetter, while a new exhaust, new cooling fan and shroud reduce the noise level. Rocketing petrol prices have renewed demand for this 15-year old Issigonis masterpeice with the transverse engine and front wheel drive which set the pattern for later economy cars from France, Italy and Germany.
Saloon : £1,425
There is increased comfort in the sporty Mini Clubman for 1976, with modified seats and nylon cloth contact surfaces. With transverse engine and front wheel drive it has the same layout as the original Issigonis-designed Mini, but features the 'widefront' which was introduced six years ago and is shared by the 1275 GT model. The Clubman models are nippy rather than very fast, and are available as two-door saloons or as three-door estates with surprising carrying capacity. Both cars are available with four-speed automatic transmission as an optional extra. Suspension on saloons is Hydrolastic, with rubber units on each wheel interconnected front-to-rear by fluid in pipes to prevent pitching over bad roads. The Estate has the rubber suspension with telescopic dampers.
MINI 1275 GT £1,572
The hottest of the Mini range, the 1275 GT has plenty of motor to haul its modest dimensions, and acceleration is impressive. Front disc brakes are standard to cope with the performance, and perforated sports road wheels play their part in keeping the discs (and rear drums) cool. For 1975 the GT has several interior modifications aimed at increased comfort, including nylon cloth on seat contact surfaces. Driven with restraint the GT will use little petrol, and is one of the few cars which can be specified with Dunlop's Denovo safety tyres as original equipment.
The 1275 GT now has 12-inch wheels instead of 10-inch, with low profile radial tyres, which reduce revs when cruising fast, giving more relaxed driving, better road holding, better tyre life, and lower fuel consumption without significant loss of acceleration. All Minis now have the SU swing-needle carburetter giving 2-3 extra b.h.p. with lower emissions, twin-silencer exhausts and quieter cooling fans.