Saturday, 30 September 2017

282 and 308 BMC Mini Cooper S Whizzwheels

As there are just a few of each of these I have listed them both in this post.

There are just two 282 editions:


The body style is very similar to type 2 but does not have the wheel arch extensions of 2a, and has the separate radiator and chrome decoration as for the 334 Mini Manifique.



Four 308 editions:


For the red interior editions you need to look out for different base colours. For the blue interiors it is the wheel style that differs.



For an explanation of the different types, please see my article titled Minis - the different types in September 2017.

249 Morris Mini Cooper 'Wickerwork'

Just three of these to find. During the production run cast wheels were introduced and then shortly afterwards, a change of casting was made.





I have read of editions being issued with no red roof but, at this stage, I am not sure that these may not just be mistakes or samples so do not list them.

For an explanation of the different types, please see my article titled Minis - the different types in September 2017.

227 Morris Mini Cooper

I have recently written about these so I shall not repeat what I said there. Here is the latest list of editions.


There do seem to be quite distinct shades of primrose, the lighter of which some call pale lime green. Like the 226 shades of pale blue, however, I am not sure whether there are two colours or a range running from one to the other extreme. As adding another colour would mean an extra four rows I have decided, for the time being at least, to list just 'primrose'.

I had previously listed the free-spinning wheel editions as having a type 2 base but I believe that nearly all would have a type 1b base. I have seen this example of a type 2 base, however, but it has only been the one and I am by no means certain that it will have occurred more than very rarely across the range and so, at this stage, I have omitted it.

227 with type 2 base (but no post)


You will find racing number decals of 1, 3 and 7 on all colour combinations and the digits have two clear types - a thick style and a noticeably thinner style.







For an explanation of the different types, please see my article titled Minis - the different types in September 2017.

226 Morris Mini Minor

This is the most difficult Mini to list. There are so many possible variations to look for!



There is a wide range of shades between the pale blue and lilac blue that I have listed. It seems that the early models were mostly shades of pale blue, including a quite bright baby blue and sky blue, whereas later editions were predominantly lilac blue or similar.

Free spinning wheels would have been introduced on this model by 1962, possibly earlier and may be found with base type 1b, although I have seen any yet. In 1966 the cast, spoke effect type will have been fitted and shortly afterwards a switch to the type 2 body casting would have been made. This will have resulted in very short production periods for some editions.









For an explanation of the different types, please see my article titled Minis - the different types in September 2017.

225 Austin Seven

The second Mini issued, a year after the Morris Mini Minor, was the Austin Seven in January 1961. It can be found in many shades of red as well as primrose.







For an explanation of the different types, please see my article titled Minis - the different types in September 2017.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

317, 321, 333 and 339 Rally Mini Coopers

'Monte Carlo' Mini Coopers were issued in 1964, 1965, 1966 and 1967, as well as a Sun International Rally edition in 1967.

The first three seem to be pretty straightforward, with just one version of each!

The 1964 issue was 317, with Morris Mini Cooper on an early base. That base was also associated with fixed shaped wheels but I think all the 317s would have free spinning wheels.




Some make a distinction of a pinkish roof as opposed to white. 

The 1965 and 1966 issues were both, confusingly, numbered 321. Fortunately they are easy to tell apart with different racing number transfers and different sets of jewelled fog lamps too. The 1965 edition had quite a different front end, with two fog lamps included above the grille in the casting.




1967 saw two Rally Minis. In February the 333 Sun Rally edition and the Monte Carlo 339 followed a month later. The 333 started as an Austin-badged type 1 casting and shaped wheels, surprising as cast wheels were generally available at that time. When the second cast type was used for this model it gets the Morris badge. There may be Austin-badged cars with cast wheels but I have not yet found any.







In a similar manner to the 333 model, the 339 Monte Carlo edition spanned the period when cast wheels became the norm and the change of casting to type 2. In addition, paper labels were used for the racing numbers on the doors, making it important to examine these models carefully! I am not sure whether Austins did appear with the paper variety as these had a comparatively short production life but good quality reproductions are available that tend to confuse matters!

For an explanation of the different types, please see my article titled Minis - the different types in September 2017.



334 Mini Magnifique and 349 Morris Mini Minor 'Mostest'

With just two editions of the Mini 'Magnifique' and the one 'Pop Art' Mini 'Mostest', it seems sensible to list these in the same post.

This is quite different from type 2 but still shows the horizontal line along the wing.

There are some photos of the 334 with a different roof screen showing wide stripes instead of thin ones. I have yet to see one myself but it seems they do exist.





These will usually have a gold coloured steering wheel but editions with a grey steering wheel are known. I haven't listed these separately, however.



There is just the one 349 'Pop Art' Mini. It is a later edition 226 Morris Mini Minor with added jewelled headlamps.




For an explanation of the different types, please see my article titled Minis - the different types in September 2017.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Minis - the different types

It is time to make a comprehensive list of all the Minis. I have put it off for too long. Rather than write an extremely long-winded article, I decided to deal first with the main variations that apply pretty much across the whole range and then write about each model separately. With about 80 different Minis to list, this should make it a little easier for people looking for information about a specific model.

Colour

Now this may seem simple and hardly worth writing about but the difficulty I had with listing 226s has been one of the reasons for taking so long in doing this. For most models it really is quite simple, with just the one or more obviously different colours. However for the 225 Austin Seven and the 226 Morris Mini Minor it could have got complicated.

The Austin is now pretty straightforward. Whilst there are many shades of red, from an orangey shade, through tomato to whatever fruit you might identify with deep red, I've decided to call them all simply 'red'. There's also primrose, of course.

The Morris was not so simple. I've settled for pale blue and lilac blue but accept that there are umpteen shades in between, especially for the earlier editions.


Interior colour

That's easy. Barring factory mistakes, there should be few difficulties in this section.

Make

Believe it or not, for some models, you do have to look at the badge on the bonnet to determine whether it is an 'Austin' or a 'Morris', regardless of what the box or base may say it is, or, for that matter, what newspaper pictures may tell you that the real thing the model depicts actually was! 

Windows

All models will have editions with clear windows but some Whizzwheels models will also have editions where they are tinted.

Wheels

These should be pretty obvious, the choice being between:
  • fixed smooth wheels
  • fixed shaped wheels
  • free shaped wheels
  • cast wheels (with a spoke effect pattern)
  • 4 spoke Whizzwheels
  • 5 spoke Whizzwheels



5 spoke Whizzwheel

4 spoke Whizzwheel

Base

There are five main base types for the non-Whzzwheels models.

Type 1a holes and two flat rectangular panels

Type 1b (note: the front is to the right in this image)
 panels but no holes, full width front lower bumper


Type 1c panels and narrower lower bumper

Type 2a no panels, text in centre sections


Type 2b no panels, text in centre sections
and a round post near the front

  • type 1a bases all seem to have fixed wheels
  • type 1b bases can be found with fixed (early) or free (late) wheels
  • type 1c bases all seem to have free wheels
  • type 2a and 2b models all have free wheels.

For Whizzwheels models there are another three bases across the range, distinguished by colour:
  • matt black
  • gloss black
  • silver

Some models can be found with each type!

Body

There are three distinct castings used:

  • type 1
  • type 2 look for a horizontal line along the front wing, a different grille, higher front cast line and general shape
  • type 2a like type 2 but with extended wheel arches
  • type 3 is obviously different, with opening doors, bonnet and boot


Type 1 left, type 2 right: grille and casting line differences

Type 1 left, type 2 right.

Type 2a wheel arches
(also illustrates the horizontal wing line of type 2)
In type 1 the main body is common to Austin and Morris versions, with a front die change for the differing grilles and their related bonnet badges. Type 2s always have a Morris grille and badge.

Other differences

There are sometimes different colour steering wheels but I have not listed these yet. In the main, they are consistent with another change.

The 334 Mini also has two types of sliding roof blind, one with narrow stripes and a very scarce wider stripe variety (now listed).

The 339 Mini Cooper can have paper labels on in place of the earlier transfers for the door numbers. These I have shown separately.

I am grateful to a number of collectors for their help in understanding some of the history of these changes.The illustrations in these and the individual model posts are from my own collection except for the two Whizzwheels 5 spoke model photos on this page provided by Minifanatics.