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1970 Mini 1000 updated as 1990 Rover Mini Cooper lookalike MkIII [ADO20]

1970 Mini 1000 MkIII [ADO20] in Soccer Dog: European Cup, Movie, 2004 IMDB

Class: Cars, Supermini — Model origin: UK

1970 Mini 1000 updated as 1990 Rover Mini Cooper lookalike MkIII [ADO20]

Position 00:06:29 [*][*][*] Vehicle used by a character or in a car chase

Comments about this vehicle

AuthorMessage

Matthias DE

2007-09-28 03:28

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Rover Mini Cooper MK VI.

kazimann IE

2010-06-17 01:43

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The plate seems to be actually genuine!

Registration ABL509J
Make B M C
Model UNKNOWN
Description Not Available
Fuel Type Petrol

kazimann IE

2010-06-17 01:44

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The vehicle details for ABL 509J are:

Date of Liability 01 06 1989
Date of First Registration 07 10 1970
Year of Manufacture Not Available
Cylinder Capacity (cc) 1275CC
CO2 Emissions Not Available
Fuel Type Petrol
Export Marker Export
Vehicle Status Unlicensed
Vehicle Colour RED

dsl SX

2020-03-16 17:30

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A genuine 1990+ Rover Mini Cooper would have side indicators. ABL 509J seems to be in California now, described as "1970 Austin Mini w. 1275cc" which is wrong as Austin branding ended Oct 69. A pity if this was created from an original Mk3 Cooper S as they were rare things, but it only has a single filler and my guess is an ordinary 850/1000 given a comprehensive remix.

-- Last edit: 2020-03-19 17:11:21

Gag Halfrunt UK

2020-03-16 21:28

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The film was shot in California, so that fits.

Sandie SX

2020-03-16 21:45

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For me the car on the link has side repeaters, they're just difficult to see due to the colour. It also has a somewhat modern dashboard.

The VIN plate may be from 1970, but I suspect the rest of the car isn't.

-- Last edit: 2020-03-16 21:45:22

dsl SX

2020-03-19 19:46

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This one still intrigues me, and I'm beginning to think like Sandie that there's more than one car involved. The plate info for ABL 509J is unusual - why BMC Unknown instead of a normal Mini entry? Also noted that several works rally Minis had xBL + suffix combinations, and that Oct 70 was also the month that BL Competitions Dept in Abingdon closed. ABL 509J is not a known plate for works Minis, but with red and 1275cc might have been a 1275 GT cleared in the closure, and there are faint references to a couple of fuel-injected Clubmans being prepared for the Spanish Rally but pulled when it closed; there was no known factory activity with Mk3 Cooper S which is the only other 1275cc Mini permutation in 1970. However red/BMC/1275cc/saloon might also be ADO16 of some sort with factory plate.

So perhaps there was a red Mini special with factory plate in Oct 70, which was eventually exported in or shortly before June 89, presumably to US, and maybe as a collectable with some significance. One point is that the plate data would probably be fossilised at that point - once it's gone to wherever, DVLA would not be interested in any retrospective amendments. This is may be a key point as Rover Mini Coopers arrived in 1990, therefore whatever was exported was almost certainly not a Rover Mini Cooper. The plate also has no legal significance after it's exported, so can be switched around as much as its new owner overseas likes - it only regains any status if the car returns to UK and DVLA re-instate the identity.

As seen above and in the link to presumably recent pictures, we have an almost completely normal 1990-ish Rover Mini Cooper - I'm now easy with the point that it has 85+ side indicators. It does however have 3 trivial quirks in the link pics - the coachline should have the Cooper rosette on the rear wing, the rear plate housing should be body colour not black, and the wood dash is not the normal fixture. A very late Mini Mayfair (March 93+ update) would tick the last two points, with a fairly easily achieved Cooper make-over. Or it's a Cooper with minor tinkering. Or as a third and perhaps less likely possibility it's actually ABL 509J after a reshelling - British Motor Heritage offer a range of options, including a "Mk V standard body complete".

So my best guess is that Mini Guy in California has privately imported an early 90s Rover Mini Cooper or Mayfair and dresses it up with a legacy plate. And whatever ABL 509J originally was disappeared, maybe both physically as a car and on any records which can be traced. But that's only one idea from a range of possibles, so am not plugging it very strongly.

Gag Halfrunt UK

2020-03-19 20:07

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IIRC there was a time when VW Beetle enthusiasts in the US bought cheap rustbucket Beetles and took them to Mexico for "restoration", which really meant cloning their chassis numbers onto Mexican Beetles under 25 years old (too young to be imported legally). Perhaps someone did the same thing here, which would explain why it is being offered for sale as a 1970 model.

-- Last edit: 2020-03-19 20:08:47

the sad biker UK

2020-03-19 20:48

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What's the cut-off age for a vehicle imported into California to avoid smog etc?

IMO the paperwork was massaged specifically for this purpose, there's no way a 90's Mini would get through EPA tests.

-- Last edit: 2020-03-19 20:51:16

Gag Halfrunt UK

2020-03-19 21:02

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25 years is the minimum age for importing a classic car that does not comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards into the USA.

dsl SX

2020-03-19 21:24

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No idea about EPA tests, but 90s Minis were officially sold in J very successfully, where emissions tests were probably similarly stringent. I'd also re-emphasise the point that ABL 509J apparently left UK over a year before Rover Mini Cooper was launched, so there is no direct link between the historic info and the Mini as seen and we probably should not make any assumption along whatever lines. DVLA info adds that its last recorded logbook change was in 1987, but that does not tell us anything specifically useful.

rtsbusman1997 US

2020-03-20 14:45

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Could this have been a Rover prototype mule? May have had long term used as a test bed for various internal projects for BMC, later Leyland and then Rover before being sold off in 1987-1988 and exported in 1989? It’s not unusual for automakers to take old factory vehicles laying around and toy with various updates for the next iteration of that model.

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