Rally Giants Series - Mini Cooper
Graham Robson’s latest offering is part of a series of about a dozen books, on the greatest rally cars of all time.
Written to a formula and set out in a similar style, they set out to tell the history and success of each car in a way that makes each easily comparable.
The Cooper book is the main one of interest here, but others in the set include Austin Healey 100-6 & 3000, Lancia Stratos, Subaru Impreza, Audi Quatro, Ford Escort (Mk1 and Mk2 in separate books), Ford RS Cosworth, Toyota Celica, Fiat 131 Abarth, and Peugeot 205 T16.
While not being an alternative to Anatomy of the Works Mini by Brian Moylan or Works Minis by Peter Browning, Robson’s book on the Cooper is worth a place on the bookshelf of any enthusiast.
It takes a brief look at the development of the early Mini and its limited place as a rally car, before moving onto the Cooper models in more detail. There is a good selection of photos, in colour and black and white – most you may well have seen before, but some you may not have.
The book is enjoyable to read and covers most aspects of the works rally Coopers. As usual, though, Australia gets very little mention, despite the documented history of four ex-works cars that came here to rally.
There is a comprehensive list of registrations used on Works Coopers, but as Robson says at the intro to the list; “Note that as structures wore out, or were crashed, some of these identities were ‘cloned’, and reappeared on newly-built cars, keeping their original registration plates, and chassis plates too. The confusion was that in later life, long discarded and ‘worn-out’ shells have been rescued, rebuilt and re-created as so-called ex-works cars. In some cases there is/was more than one claimant to a particular registration number/identity.”
In short, although there are no revelations or recently uncovered gems in the book, it is an interesting and informative guide to one of the most successful rally cars of all time.
As a set, the series is a valuable collection on the history of rallying. As a lone book, Mini Cooper is a great reference in any Mini library. Because of our obvious Mini bias, we are only selling the Cooper book. Other books in the series are avaliable through most motoring book stores.