The Leyland Mini 1275 LS is a rare 'runout' version of the Mini produced by the British Motor Corporation (Leyland) in Australia, and was the last version of the original Mini to be produced in Australia (other than the Mini Moke). The 1275 LS was intended to be a long term production model, representing the highest specification mini available in the Australian range. The most notable features included the 1275cc engine, front 8.4" disc brakes and 12 inch wheels. These features were unique to the 1275 LS in 1978, and Australian mini’s had not seen a 1275cc engine or disc brakes since the Clubman GT of 1972.
Unlike earlier Australian Mini’s, the 1275LS engine was sourced as a pre-built unit from Europe. Peter Davis from British Leyland Australia travelled to the UK to select an appropriate engine already in production, and chose one designed for the Swedish and Canadian markets, as that was the closest design that would comply with the Australian emission control regulations. The pollution control gear resulted in a reduction in power when compared to earlier 1275 motors, however, owners have in many cases disconnected this equipment and carried out other modifications to improve performance.
Should you be interested in LS cars, follow the Facebook page to see the latest cars for sale from around Australia, as well as other information submitted by members. I can also highly recommend issue 16 of the “Mini Experience” magazine, which provides a lot of information on the 1275LS, including first-hand accounts from BMC employees.
Number produced: Estimates suggest between 800 - 900 cars were produced.
Period of Manufacture: July 1978 - October 1978
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.
The 1275 LS shared many exterior features applied to other special edition models such as the Mini S, SS and 998 LS. Where features are unique only to the 1275 LS, this has been noted:
The Leyland Mini 1275 LS was available in two paint colour options, which are detailed on a large sticker which sits next to the pop riveted ID plate on the drivers side of the engine bay (inner mudguard). These paints were produced by the Dulon/Dulux corporation of Australia. The colours and their respective colour mixing codes (which are displayed on the stickers) include:
Hi-Ho Silver (Dulon, Paint Code: 562-17553)
This is a metallic grey/silver. Hi-Ho Silver 1275 LS cars came with red velour cloth seats (corduroy style), with black vinyl backing. Black vinyl was also applied to the door cards, and in some cases, the pillar linings and roof lining. However, creme vinyl was more commonly applied to the pillar and roof linings. Hi-Ho silver cars had black "1275 LS" decal stripes down the side.
Nugget Gold (Dulon, Paint Code: 562-30825)
This is a metallic gold colour. Nugget Gold cars came with chocolate brown velour cloth sears (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. This made for a very different feel to the silver LS. Gold LS cars mainly came with black side stripes. However, our research suggests that a dark brown stripe was also an original option, perhaps was to coordinate with the brown interior colour.
See images for the locations of the stickers and examples of the colours.
The correct engine number prefix for a Leyland Mini 1275LS include:
12H902UH (followed by a series of six numbers). This prefix accounts for the majority of 1275 LS cars.
12H897UH (followed by a series of six numbers). Note, this prefix is less common - 1 example seen.
Like most mini engines, the engine number for a Leyland Mini 1275 LS can be viewed at the front passenger side of the engine. It is at the top of the engine block, just above number 1 spark plug, behind the alternator. You may need to take some degreaser and a light brush to view the number clearly. See the attached images for a better understanding of the location.
Note, an engine number may not be present if the block has been shaved, or the area is otherwise damaged. In such instances, you will need to confirm the engine is a 1275 through other means, but this may not confirm the engine is an original 1275 LS engine. One unique feature of the 1275 LS engine (and all late european 1275 engines), is the presence of timing teeth in front of the crank wheel. These timing teeth were present on late model 1275 engines, and not on earlier Australian engines used in earlier Minis and other BMC models, which relied on the flywheel mark to adjust timing. An image of the timing teeth is shown.
The correct chassis prefix for a Leyland Mini 1275 LS is:
"XXXXXX" represents a series of six numbers unique to that particular vehicle. This is not to be confused with the 998LS, some of which had the chassis prefix XNFAB18Y. The chassis number on a Mini 1275LS should be visible in two locations:
1. Embossed in the aluminium Australian Design Rules (ADR) plate - pop rivitted to the inner mudguard in the engine bay.
2. Stamped into the body of the car, on top of the radiator shroud panel, next to the radiator head.
These locations are described in better detail in the attached images. There are no other locations on the vehicle where the chassis number can be viewed.
The Leyland Mini 1275 LS had the following interior features listed below. Where a feature is unique to the 1275 LS, this has been noted. We note that the interior fabric colours and materials have been outlined in the paint section above.
A 1275 LS should have high backed front seats, trimmed on the front surface in a velour corduroy style cloth.
Hi-Ho Silver cars received red cloth, with black vinyl backing on the seat, and black piping on the seams. Nugget Gold cars received a chocolate brown cloth, with cream vinyl backing on the seat, and brown piping on the seam.
The front seats in a 1275 LS also feature an adjustable base, to slide the seat back and forward. This feature was unique to the 1275 LS, being more advanced than the seats installed in the 998 LS. A slightly different lever on the side of the seat used in the 1275 LS to fold the seat forward, for rear passenger entry.
The rear seat in a 1275 LS had the belt tower (hump) in the middle, as opposed to the flat back seat in earlier models, and had lap sash seatbelts.
The Leyland Mini 1275 LS had the following unique mechanical features as listed below:
Fog lights were standard on the 998LS, however, were an option on the 1275 LS. 1275 LS cars with fog lights will have the same grille as pictured, with the headlight cut-outs, and the pictured lamps with small gold fox shaped symbols. If an original fitting (although this can also be done aftermarket), they will have the fog light switch on the lower dash rail switch panel, on the left hand side (opposite side to the demister switch).
Rear window louvre:
Many 1275LS cars were fitted with plastic rear window louvres, as shown in the image. This was a common dealer or aftermarket accessory.
A sunroof was normally dealer installed on the 1275LS, or done aftermarket. 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. Several images showing the multiple versions of sunroof commonly seen on the LS are attached.
The 998 LS came standard with a vinyl roof, however, this was not a standard feature on the 1275LS. Several enthusiasts have suggested that customers were able to order their cars with a vinyl roof, and this may have been a dealer option. Unfortunately, when cars were fitted with vinyl, they tended to have a few more rust issues in the roof than usual.
This section details information on the very final cars produced with numbered plaques on the dashboards, and also documents any original promotional material we find for these cars.