This identification guide has been written to assist people in correctly identifying a Leyland Mini 1275LS. For the 998 LS identification guide, please click here. 

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. 

1. Exterior features - Leyland Mini 1275 LS:

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:

  • Unique to the 1275 LS were silver painted 12 inch steel wheels with plastic hubcaps (same as used on UK / NZ 1275 GT and Mini 25th Anniv. model). The plastic hubcaps should have a grey Leyland centre cap, and the wheel nuts originally had balck plastic caps. Genuine 1275 LS wheels are unique in that they have support 'bumps' for the plastic hubcaps. These are different to the steel rims found on other late Austin / Rover Minis.
  • Like the Mini GT, S, SS and 998 LS before it, the 1275 LS had spot welded steel flare arches/support panels, capped with plastic flares which were usually riveted onto the flare support panel with a silver finishing trim over the seam. These can still be purchased as new from Minisport.
  • Standard on all LS cars was a front centre roof mounted aerial. These were stainless steel, with a small nut for angle adjustment at the base, and sit in a plastic seat against the body.
  • The 1275 LS was fitted standard with side decals, stating "1275 LS", running between the wheel arches above the sill panel. The majority of cars (both gold and silver) were sold with black stripes, however, our research suggest that some Nugget Gold 1275 LS cars were sold with brown decals.
  • A pin stripe originally applied the full length of the car from the front top of the mudguards along the side body crease (5cm below the windows).
  • "LS" badging on front passenger side grille, and "1275 LS" badging on rear rhs bootlid.
  • Front bumper under-riders were standard on the LS (optional on other Leyland Minis).
  • Factory tinted windows (both 998 LS and 1275 LS had these as standard).
  • Factory metallic paint (see paint colours / codes section of this guide).

 

2. Paint colours and codes - Leyland Mini 1275 LS:

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.

 

3. Engine number - Leyland Mini 1275 LS:

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.

4. Chassis number - Leyland Mini 1275 LS:

The correct chassis prefix for a Leyland Mini 1275 LS is:

 XNFAD18Y/XXXXXX

"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.

5. Original interior features (dashboard and accessories) - Leyland Mini 1275 LS:

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.

  • 3 guage instrument cluster as standard (rev timer (5500rmp redline), speedometer, temperature/fuel).
  • LS cars (both 998 & 1275) were fitted standard with a single speaker radio in the centre of the dashboard. Radio brands seemed to vary based on our research.
  • The 1275 LS had an additional demister switch on the silver switch panel below the radio. If the 1275 LS was fitted with grille mounted foglights, there will also be a separate switch for those on the other side of the panel (this was only an option however, and most 1275 LS’s came without this foglight switch).
  • All LS cars are fitted with a three spoke Formula GT steering wheel, with a large rubber centre cap encasing a small Leyland badge. A similar type was also used on late mini Mokes. From our research, customers could specify different wheels when purchasing the car, and there are a few cars out there with period alternatives.
  • A vinyl mat in the trunk area with heshem underlining is a standard featue of the 1275 LS, designed to open out to cover both the trunk floor and the the inside of the bootlid.
  • All LS cars came with a rear window demister. This  can be identified by the thin circuit stripes accross the rear window, and connecting wires coming through small metal rings / holes in the C pillar trim linings (see images).
  • Additional vinyl trim was applied to door apertures and sills which was left uncovered on most other Leyland Minis.
  • All 1978 Minis had a park brake and brake warning lamps in two small square LED lights above the instruments in the top dash pad.
6. Original seat trim fabrics and colours - Leyland Mini 1275 LS:

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.

 

7. Mechanical Features - Leyland Mini 1275 LS

The Leyland Mini 1275 LS had the following unique mechanical features as listed below:

  • 1275cc A series 4 cylinder engine, producing 59 bhp (44kw).
  • The 1275 LS benefited from the desperately needed long range fuel tank, as sourced from European Minis. A comparison of the small vs the large is shown in the images.
  • Unique to the 1275 LS were 8.4 inch disc brakes and a larger brake booster to match. These are not to be confused with the 7.5 inch brakes used on the Cooper S. The large brakes are the reason the LS required the 12” wheels, and are a very beneficial feature to have when compared to the braking performance of other Leyland Minis.
  • Rear brakes were stepped drums (1 " wider than standard drum brakes).
  • The tyre specification sticker will also confirm whether the car is a 1275 LS. This may have peeled off over time, but if still in place, confirms the tyre pressure for 12" wheels This is unique to the 1275 LS, as the only model with 12 inch wheels. This sticker is located on the passenger side of the engine bay, next to the radiator (see images).
  • The 1275 LS was fitted with two engine steady bars as standard.
  • All LS cars were distinguished from others by their rocker covers which were painted silver in the factory, making an easy first step to identifying whether the engine is correct for the car. If original, there should also be a Silver Leyland sticker on top stating “Hot run tested and electronically tuned”. Engine heads and blocks were painted mat black, and aluminium cast parts such as the gearbox casing, were left unpainted.
  • Pollution equipment covered the engine in the 1275 LS (and most late model Minis). You should see several pods and hoses recycling the engine block exhaust and feeding it back into the carburettor (see images).
8. Options / aftermarket features - Leyland Mini 1275 LS:

Fog Lights:

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.

Sunroof:

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.

Vinyl Roof:

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.

9. Original promotional material and additional information - Leyland Mini 1275 LS:

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.

  • The last 15 or 20 1275LS's (the exact number we have not confirmed) were fitted with a special plaque on the centre of the dashboard confirming they were one of the last produced (see images). The highest number we have come across is the 13th last produced car.
  • Several original articles for the 1275LS are attached, and if anyone has further information or magazine articles from around when the car was released, please get in contact with us as we would love to showcase these here in the images.