Who would have known at the time that the designer of the Mini, Sir Alec Issigonis, created a vehicle in 1959 that would be known throughout the world. The Mini was to be a four seater, small and affordable. It almost seemed that everyone wanted a Mini during the 1960's. This car was a British icon during the 1960's and was the car of choice for several celebrities during that era.
The automobile was named one of the more influential cars of the world. In fact, the original Mini was voted second to the Ford Model T as being the most influential car of the 20th century. That in itself says quite a lot.
The automobile featured in this article is a 1967 Austin Mini Countryman 1275 Woody. The wood trim you see on this vehicle is real wood. Austin produced the estate version Countryman and Morris the Traveller.
Luxury models had wood inserts in the rear body as you can see in these photos. The automobile featured here has a 1300 cc engine and a four speed manual transmission. The Austin Mini Country man was produced from 1961 to 1969.
Cooper’s finest achievement was the 1275S, the Mark I version of which was built from 1964 to 1967. From 1968 to 1971 the models were built as Mark II's. These cars dominated the Monte Carlo rallies of the 1960s.
Sir Alec Issigonis
Sir Alec Issigonis, who was knighted in 1969 by Queen Elizabeth and had not even seen a car until he was twelve years old, was a British automobile designer who created the Mini and the Morris Minor.
Issigonis was the son of a Greek merchant and after studying engineering he joined Morris Motors in 1936. His first job there was as a suspension designer. While at Morris Motors Sir Alec developed the Morris Minor, which was in production from 1948 to 1971.
In 1943, as a project engineer for Morris, he designed a two-seater that represented his idea of what a small car should look like. It was this design that ultimately became the Mini except with four seats.
Issignois left Morris but returned to what had become the British Motor Corporation in 1959. The Suez Crisis in 1956 called for a small, economical automobile on the lines of the Volkswagen Beetle. As a result, Sir Alec created the Mini which could seat four people comfortably. The car went into production in 1959 and the last original Mini was built in October 2000.
The Mini was marketed by the British Motor Corporation up until 1969 as either an Austin or a Morris. The automobiles that Sir Alec Issignois designed, the Minor, Mini and Austin 1100 were some of the top selling models in British automobile history.
1967 Austin Mini Countryman 1275 Specifications
The 1967 Austin Mini Countryman was built with a BMC Austin-A Series 998 Inline four cylinder 60 cubic inch engine producing 58 horsepower. The front wheel drive vehicle was claimed to have a top speed of 75 MPH. Zero to 60 MPH rating was 20.8 seconds. Certainly not a muscle car but very economical to operate.
Beginning in June 1967 BMC announced the larger 1275 cc engine.
Transmission was a four speed manual.
Front and rear suspension were Independent Hydrolastic.
Brakes on the 1967 Austin Countryman were disc up front and hydraulic drums in the rear.
Dimensions for the 1967 Austin Mini Countryman was a wheelbase of 84.2 inches, an overall length of 129.9 inches, a width of 55.0 inches and a height of 53.5 inches. The curb weight came in at 1,455 lbs.
The Mini Countryman's chassis was extended by about four inches and retained the same front end design as other Markk II Minis.
Considering the rear door the Austin Countryman was a three door vehicle.
While the 1967 Austin Mini Countryman 1275 had a station wagon style it was also classified as a microcar.
About 108,000 Austin Mini Countrymen and 99,000 Morris Mini Travellers were manufactured.
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A few books about the Austin Mini which you may find interesting include...Complete Classic Mini 1959-2000 by author Chris Rees. Also, Wheels of Misfortune: Rise and Fall of the British Motor Industry by author Jonathan Wood.
1960's Austin Mini Cooper Collector Cars
What you may find with these original 1275 Mini's is that the cost of restoring one to pristine condition may be more than the vehicles market value.
With that said, a 1960's Austin Mini Countryman with the luxury wood trim might be a good start for a collector. Generally, the automobiles are not expensive to acquire and if bought correctly should hold their value over the years. The car does have icon status and is a good candidate for auto shows.
As of this writing, asking prices for totally restored 1967 models appear to be in a range from about $15,000 to 0ver $50,000. This obviously is a wide range. The original 1275S Mark II's being priced in the higher range. We see a 1967 Austin Mini Countryman without the wood trim with a sales price of $17,000. We also see a non restored 1967 Austin Countryman with a 850cc engine with an asking price of $9,000.
(Article and photos copyright 2014 AutoMuseumOnline)