This identification guide has been written the Austin MK1 Cooper S (970cc) produced in 1964 and 1965. Follow this link for the equivalent 970cc Morris Cooper S.
The 970cc MK1 Cooper S was a special homologation version of the Cooper S produced by BMC under both the Austin and Morris badges, allowing the Cooper S to compete in the <1000cc racing class. The 970 is a desirable version of the MK1 Cooper S, particularly considering its low production numbers. The 970 Cooper S was produced in the UK, with a few exports to markets including South Africa, Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Ireland, Belgium, and Chile.
Given the value difference between standard Minis and the Cooper S, it is important that a buyer understands the unique features to look for to confirm they are purchasing a genuine car. This guide attempts to provide a detailed summary of the Austin MK1 970 Cooper S in this respect.
Period of manufacture:
17 June 1964 – 5 April 1965
The majority of sources viewed confirm that only 963 MK1 970cc Cooper S cars were produced. This figure includes both Austin and Morris versions of the car.
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 Mk1 Austin Cooper S 970 had the following external features as listed below. Note, many of these features can easily be replicated on any MK1 mini body, and therefore these features should be analysed in conjunction with the other criteria outlined in this guide.
The MK1 Austin Cooper S 970cc had the following interior features, which should be present on an original car:
- Powder Blue / Silver Brocade Grey.
- Powder Blue / Gold Brocade Grey.
- Dove Grey / Dark Grey.
- Dove Grey / Porcelain Green.
- Tartan Red / Gold Brocade Grey.
- Camulus Grey / Gold Brocade Grey.
The MK1 970 Cooper S was available in the following 6 paint colour combinations from the factory, as listed below. Like Coopers, the Cooper S came with a contrasting roof colour. An example of each of the colours / combinations has been provided in the attached images. Also attached is a table detailing the paint colour of the car, and its associated / matching interior provided from the factory, as well as an original colour chart.
Unfortunately, the MK1 Cooper S 970cc did not have its original paint code printed on any sticker or plate on the body. Unless you have early documentation, it can be difficult to confirm whether the paint colour on a Cooper S today is in fact the original designated colour (particularly if a car has undergone a thorough restoration). The best you can do is to confirm it complies with one of the above factory available colours.
An Austin Cooper S 970cc should have a specific chassis prefix, followed by a unique chassis number for that particular car, as outlined below:
Chassis Code = C-A2S7 (For LHD market cars, the chassis code was followed by an “L”, (ie. C-A2S7L).
The chassis code will be followed by the unique chassis number, which should be within the range of 549501 - 549992.
Location of chassis code and chassis number:
The chassis code and number are located on the small aluminium ID tag, which is secured with self-tapping screws to the top of the radiator cowling (between the radiator and inner mudguard). See images for a better description. Unlike the Australian models, this number was not stamped into the body, and the tag is the only reference available to confirm originality. Note that blank chassis plates are widely available, and can easily be stamped with any chassis number to replicate a Cooper S.
Cooper S models had an exclusive body number sequence identified by the beginning prefix letter “A”, followed by a 5 digit unique number. The body number was stamped on a metal plate, approximately 3 inches long, which was spot welded to the bonnet slam panel. See images for a better description of the location.
An Austin Cooper S 970cc should have a body number in the range between 28155 - 38585.
An Austin Cooper S 970cc should have an engine prefix in one of the the following formats listed below.
9F/SA/X (followed by a unique 5 digit engine number) = 970cc engine without closed circuit breathing (1964), or;
9F/SA/X (followed by a unique 5 digit engine number) = late 1964/1965 prefix used for the late 970cc cars with closed circuit breathing and warning switch type oil filter head, or;
9FD/SA/X (followed by a unique 5 digit engine number) = 970cc engine with closed circuit breathing (1964), or;
9FE/SA/X (followed by a unique 5 digit engine number) = 970cc engine with closed circuit breathing and warning switch type oil filter head (1964).
A unique 5 digit engine number will follow the prefix, being in the range of 29001 - 30029.
Engine Number location:
The engine number is embossed into a tag, found of the top front right hand side of the engine block (if you are facing the car), immediately in front of the cylinder head, and behind the alternator/generator. See images for a better description.
As with body tags, it is worth noting that blank engine tags are readily available and easily forged. Engine numbers should therefore be assessed in conjunction with other identification criteria, and not taken on face value. It is worth noting that an engine may be missing its tag, if it was reconditioned (the alloy tag can often dissolve of the block has been dipped or blasted.
Verification of a genuine Austin 970 Cooper S can be further achieved through checking certain casting or stamping numbers on certain parts. Several examples are provided below.
The 970 Cooper S should have gearbox casing casting number 22G190 or 22G333. These are the correct numbers for the type A and B remote gearbox. Synchromesh on this box was only available on gears 2 - 4.
Cylinder Head Number:
The 970 Cooper S should have a casting number on the cylinder head of AEG163. This number was also used on some 1071cc engines, and 1275 engines, being applied to the Cooper S from late 1963 - 1969. All Cooper S cylinder heads are referred to as 'eleven stud' (as opposed to 9 on non-Cooper S cars), referring to the number of studs attaching the head to the cylinder block.
Other part numbers:
Certain components on Mark I cars were stamped with a production date. This is in the format of month / year, (eg., 10/64 for October 1964). These dates can be useful for working out the age of a car, or judging how original it is overall. The following parts are known to be date stamped: (bootlid lock, brake drums, coil, distributor & dynamo, floor start button, fusebox, glass (using the Triplex system of placed dots under the letters), headlamp bowls, horn push surround, ignition switch, indicator arm, light dip switch & light switch, regulator, starter, wiper motor & wiper switch).
The MK1 Austin Cooper S 970cc had the following mechanical features:
The following sources, among input from many enthusiasts, have contributed to the creation of this page. If you have any further information you believe can be added, please let us know by contacting us or commenting below.
Book: Original Mini Cooper and Cooper S, by John Parnell, Paul Debois, Motorbooks International, 2002
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