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Downton-tuned Cooper heads to auction

Published 23 May 2017

An original 1966 Austin Cooper 998cc that was tuned by Daniel Richmond at Downton Engineering is for sale. The Cooper will go under the hammer at Classic Car Auctions sale in June.

After its purchase, the Mini was sent to Downton Engineering in 1967 and fitted with a ‘Touring’ conversion before being shipped out to Australia and, subsequently, New Zealand.

It comes complete with the original Downton invoices and records, accompanied by its original UK licence, service records, buff logbook, plus letters from the original and subsequent owners.

The Austin Cooper underwent a restoration in 1997, followed by a recent full mechanical restoration. The work took more than five months and only original type new parts were used to keep its authenticity intact.

1966 'Downton ' Austin Cooper 998 (2)

For example, the correct close-ratio gearbox cluster was sourced from Italy. The engine, gearbox, and driveline is either new or refurbished to a new equivalent. Even the carpets are of the original type and not synthetic replacements. The car has only completed 70 miles since the rebuild so will need to be carefully run-in by the new owner.

The original Downton ‘Touring’ conversion from 1966 provided an increase over the standard car’s performance. This example features twin SU carbs together with the Downton modified cylinder head, a polished and matched inlet manifold, and a specially designed three-branch exhaust manifold, plus matching exhaust system.

‘This is a very, very rare original Downton-tuned car and is in excellent condition,’ reports consignor Richard Greenhalgh, classic car specialist, Classic Car Auctions. ‘For 12 of the past 14 years it has lived in a climate controlled environment with other classic cars. It is a truly remarkable gem of a car and is an important part of Mini history.’

As such, the auction house expects it to fetch between £35,000 and £40,000. The Classic Car Auctions sale takes place at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre  10 June. To find out more visit: www.classiccarauctions.co.uk

1966 'Downton ' Austin Cooper 998 (3)

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