This identification guide has been written to assist people in correctly identifying a Leyland Mini 998 LS, and to provide details of their original specifications. For the 1275LS identification guide, please click here. For further information on the 998 LS, we also highly recommend getting a copy of The Mini Experience, Issue 15.

The Leyland Mini 998 LS is a late high specification Australian version of the Mini, and one of the last Minis to be produced in Australia during 1977 and 1978. The 998 LS was for a short period of time the highest specification mini available in Australia until the introduction of the 1275 LS. Most 998 LS cars were in metallic blue, but several other colours were also applied including Hi-Ho Silver, Nugget Gold and Green Iridium.

Although the 998LS was fitted with the standard pollution controlled 998cc engine, the car had many additional features above other Leyland Mini models available in the Australian market at the time. This guide outlines the various features and provides information with respect to the relevant engine and chassis numbers applicable to these cars.

Number Produced: Unfortunately, no production records seem to have been retained for the 998 LS. Our best estimate is between 1,500 - 3,000 units produced in total, however, we have no formal evidence to confirm this estimate is accurate.

Period of Manufacture: It is believed that the 998 LS was produced from June 1977 into early/mid 1978. We have identified two cars on our register built in February 1977 (which we believe may have been demonstration cars / promotion cars), and another produced in May 1977. The vast majority of cars on our register were produced between June and December 1977, with the latest car on the register being a Hi-Ho Silver 998 LS of May 1978. We will update this as more data comes in over time.

Please note, this guide has been written based on a variety of online sources and enthusiast input. You should not rely on this guide to make any purchasing decision and we make no representation that all information is accurate. You should always seek independent professional advice when looking to purchase a unique car. If you have additional information, photographs or corrections you believe need to be made to this page, please contact us by clicking the button at the top of this page, or comment below.

1. Exterior Features - Leyland Mini LS (998cc)

The Leyland Mini LS (998cc) had the following external body features as listed below. Many features listed here were also available on other Leyland Minis of the same era (often as options). Where a feature is unique specifically to the LS, this has been noted.

  • Fitted with spot welded flare support arches, capped with plastic flares which were usually pop riveted onto the welded support panels, with a silver finishing trim added over the seam. These were the same as those fitted to the 'GT', 'S', 'SS' and 1275 LS Minis. 
  • Front roof mounted antenna. These were stainless steel, with a small nut for angle adjustment at the base, and sat on a plastic seating/base against the roof panel. The same unit was applied to the 1275 LS.
  • Unique side decals stating "Mini LS". Alternative decal colours were available, depending on the paint colour of the car. This is further detailed in the paint colour / code section of this guide.
  • Most 998 LS cars are believed to be originally fitted with a vinyl roof. The body paint colour used determined the colour of the vinyl roof, which is discussed in the below paint code section of this guide. Many cars suffered rust issues as a result of this, and owners tended to paint the roof rather than re-apply vinyl when restoring.
  • All LS cars came with tinted windows standard.
  • 'LS' badges on rear bootlid and front grille.
  • Fitted with grille mounted/integrated foglights. These were optional on the 1275 LS and some other models, but standard on the 998 LS.
  • Fitted with 10" x 5" ROH wheels. These were a Contessa style mag wheel, which should have a Leyland badged centre cap as shown in the images. These wheels were standard on the LS and SS minis, but optional on some other models.
  • Front bumper under-riders fitted standard.
  • Various additional body options were available, and these options have been detailed later in this guide.
  • Chrome exhaust extension.
2. Paint Colours / Codes and Accessory Colours - Leyland Mini LS (998cc)

The Leyland Mini 998LS was available in four colours, three of which are very rare. The paint code is detailed on a large sticker which sits next to the pop riveted ADR compliance plate on the driver's side of the engine bay (see images for a better description).

The colour of the car's body paint determines the colour of the side decals, vinyl roof and wheel colour applied, as outlined in the below table:

Body Colour Body Paint Code Side Decal Colour(s) Vinyl Roof Colour Wheel Centre Colour(s)
Green Iridium Dulon, Paint Code 562-17329 Gold Cream vinyl Gold or silver
Hi-Ho Silver Dulon, Paint Code 562-17553 Black Black Silver
Nugget Gold Dulon, Paint Code 562-30825 Black or Brown Black Black or Silver
Silver Blue Dulon, Paint Code: 562-30341 Dark Blue or Black Dark Blue Silver

 

It is rumoured that around 15 cars were produced in each of the colours Green, Silver and Gold, as a test case for the launch of the 1275LS. This however has not been formally confirmed. If anyone has information on the number of LS 998cc cars produced (and the colour breakdown), please get in contact with us. 

 

3. Interior Trim and Features - Leyland Mini LS (998cc)

The trim applied to the 998 LS is relative to the vehicle's paint colour. Seats were trimmed on the front surface and back in the materials / colours as outlined below:

Blue 998 LS:  The seats of the blue 998LS were trimmed in a blue cloth (spotted pattern), with black vinyl backing. Door card inserts were also trimmed with the blue fabric inserts, and black vinyl forming the surrounding card. The blue cars had black carpet as standard. Note, there is a company that can re-do your blue seats if you need them done - click here:

Silver 998 LS: Hi-Ho Silver 998LS cars came with red velour cloth seats (corduroy style), with black vinyl backing. Black vinyl was used throughout the rest of the car, and also extended to the roof lining and pillar linings, which made the flame red seats stand out very well. (Same as 1275LS counterpart).

Gold 998 LS: Nugget Gold cars came with chocolate brown velour cloth seats (corduroy style), with a cream vinyl backing. Cream vinyl was used throughout the rest of the car, and also extended to the roof lining and pillar linings. (Same as 1275LS counterpart).

Green 998 LS: Iridium Green cars came with crème coloured cloth seats (spotted pattern like the blue LS seats), and door card inserts, with a cream vinyl backing. Cream vinyl was used throughout the rest of the car, and also extended to the roof lining and pillar linings. This gave a very nice contrast on the dark green paint.

4. Original Interior Features (dashboard and accessories) - Leyland Mini LS (998cc)

The Leyland Mini LS had the following interior features:

  • All 998 LS cars should have high backed front seats. The front seats in an LS feature a lever to rest the seat forward for rear passenger entry. These seats (despite appearing the same as the 1275 LS), have a different base (they do not have the front bar and track mechanism as the 1275 LS which allows the seat to slide forward or backward.
  • Fitted with retracting inertia reel seatbelts. The rear seats had the belt tower (hump) in the middle, as opposed to the flat back seat in earlier models. The rear seat also had lap sash seatbelts, however, these were not pre tensioned / retractable.
  • Triple gauge instrument cluster (rev timer, speedometer, heat/fuel).
  • Park brake and brake fail warning lamps. These are always present on the top dash pad, and may also be present in the top corners of the instrument cluster in some cars. These lights were an ADR requirement for 1977 and 1978 and therefore appeared on all LS models.
  • Radio/cassette in the centre of the dashboard with twin speakers. The unit applied to the 998LS differed to the single speaker unit often fitted to the later 1275 LS. Radio types seem to vary, with the most common demonstrated in the images.
  • Below the radio unit, the LS instruments included two additional switches. On the left side, a foglight switch, and on the right the rear window heater switch.
  • The standard steering wheel fitted to LS cars is the 'Formula GT' wheel, with aluminium spokes, leather surround and rubber centre cap. This wheel appears on the majority of cars. A similar type was also used on late mini Mokes. From what we can ascertain, other wheel options could be requested when purchasing a car, and there are several different common examples, a couple of which are provided in the images.
  • A vinyl boot floor mat with hessian underlining is a standard feature for the LS, designed to open out and cover the floor of the boot as well as the bootlid once unfolded.
  • A rear window demister was standard. This you can identify by the thin circuit stripes across the rear window, and connecting wires coming through small metal rings / holes in the C pillar linings on either side of the screen (see images).
  • All cars were fitted with black carpet, regardless of seat trim.
5. Chassis Number / VIN - Leyland Mini LS (998cc)

The chassis prefix and number for a 998 LS should be visible in two locations:

  1. Embossed on the aluminium ADR compliance plate which is pop riveted to the top of the driver's side inner mudguard (in the engine bay).
  2. Stamped into the top of the radiator shroud panel on the passenger side inner mudguard (in the engine bay).

 

The vehicle's year model will determine its chassis prefix as outlined below:

1977 LS: 

These cars can be identified by the ADR plate which will specify “Leyland Mini LS”, followed by a 9 digit chassis prefix, and a 5 digit unique chassis number. The chassis prefix should read: 022X2S4M09. All of the cars we have on the 998 LS register (except for three) conform with this rule. The cars that don't conform were built in February 1977 (well before the official launch of the LS which followed in June). These two cars are believed to be pre-production / demo cars, which we understand was discussed in issue 15 of The Mini Experience. We now have 3 of these non-conforming cars on our register, and they had a chassis number prefix 022D2S1M09.

1978 LS: 

Identifying a 1978 LS is not the same as identifying a 1977 car, as Leyland changed their chassis code practice, which has led to some confusion. The correct prefix for a 1978 Leyland Mini 998 LS is XNFAB18Y, followed by a 6 digit unique chassis number. This is not to be confused with the 1275LS, which had a chassis prefix XNFAD18Y.

Note, a couple of the images used for the radiator shroud are from a 1275LS, and are for example purposes only, demonstrating the stamping typeface used. Examples of all prefixes are provided in the images.

6. Engine Number - Leyland Mini LS (998cc)

Like most Mini engines, the engine number for a Leyland Mini 998 LS can be viewed at the front left hand side, at the top of the engine block (just above where the alternator sits). The location and typeface has been demonstrated in the images.

From our research, we understand that the engine from a 998 LS cannot be distinguished from other 998 engines which were used in standard Leyland Minis in the late 70’s, being pollution controlled engines compliant with ADR27 of the time. These were all imported units from Europe.

The vast majority of engine numbers we have viewed start with the prefix 99H834AJH - followed by a 6 digit unique engine number. We have relied on a small sample of engine numbers to confirm this, and will update this information as more information comes to light, as well as information with respect to dating the engines based on their individual serial numbers.

7. Mechanical Features - Leyland Mini LS (998cc)

The 998 LS had the following mechanical features (many of which were shared with the standard Leyland Mini):

  • 998cc 4 cylinder engine compliant with ADR27 (pollution control), which included a carbon air filter (as seen in the attached images). The engine number prefix for cars of the ADR27 compliant era of 1977 - 1978 should be 99H834AJH. See the engine number section of this guide for further details.
  • Single 1.5 inch SU carburettor.
  • Engine blocks were always painted a mat black, and the rocker covers were painted silver.
  • 4 speed full synchromesh remote change gearbox.
  • 25 litre fuel tank (unfortunately, the 998LS did not get the larger tank as was installed in the 1275 LS)
  • Drum brakes on all wheels. Stepped drums were used on all wheels (1 inch wider than standard) providing a wider stance and making the flares necessary. 
  • Hand brake and brake fail warning lights on top of dash (ADR regulation in 1977-78).
  • Dual circuit brake system.
  • Dry (rubber cone) suspension.
  • Halogen headlamps.
8. Options / Aftermarket Features and Promotional Material - Leyland Mini LS (998cc)

Optional features, or period alterations commonly installed on the 998LS included:

  • Alternative steering wheels.
  • Window weather shields.
  • Font-side body Mudflaps.
  • Rear window louvre (Many 998 LS's were fitted with plastic rear window louvres, as shown in the image. This was a common dealer or aftermarket accessory).
  • Sunroof (Sunroof's were normally dealer installed on the 998 LS. As a result, a variety of sunroofs can be seen on LS cars, including sliding panels, or basic pop top types, which were commonly available in the 70's, either from dealers, or aftermarket.

 

We have collected several copies of original advertisements, brochures, etc for the 998 LS, which are attached in the images. These are for historical purposes only, and have been uploaded in a lower quality than the originals. If you have any copies of other brochures or original reviews / information for the 998 LS, please get in contact with us.

9. References - Leyland Mini LS (998cc)

The following sources, among input from various individual enthusiasts, have contributed to the production of this guide:

  • Ausmini forums (Ausmin.com).
  • MK1 Mini Forum (MK1-Forum.net).
  • The Mini Experience (Issue 15)
  • The Mini LS Facebook Group (contributions from various members/enthusiasts).

If you have any additional information you believe should be added or amended in this guide, please don't hesitate to contact us by clicking the 'Contact Author' button at the top of this guide, or comment below. We hope this guide has been of assistance. Please like our Facebook page to keep them coming!