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Mini Clubman (1969 - 1982)

Last updated 7 April 2013

 
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Model Timeline

May 1968
Mini Clubman styling is finalised

Development of the Clubman appears to have run parallel with the Issigonis 9X Mini replacement.

May 1969
The first production Mini Clubman saloons were assembled

These were followed by the first estates in September of that year.

October 1969
The Mini Clubman was launched by British Leyland

It's unclear whether any were actually sold to the public before January 1970.

October 1969
Mini 1275GT was launched

With a single carburettor 1275cc engine taken from the best-selling 1300 saloon production line and providing 59bhp, the 1275GT had more torque than – and therefore far superior acceleration to – the 998cc Cooper, combined with superior equipment and the better 7.5inch brakes from the Cooper 1275S. And the 1275GT had another advantage over the 998 Cooper: the twin 1¼-inch SU carburettors of the latter car tended to go out of tune if it was driven hard, which must have driven up warranty costs as disgruntled owners demanded rectification. The single 1½-inch SU carburettor of the 1275GT didn’t go out of tune so easily.

Some critics have claimed that the early 1275GT used the lower 3.65 to 1 final drive to boost acceleration in comparison with the 1275S. The truth is probably simpler: that the 1275GT had the same gearbox as the BLMC Austin/Morris 1300GT saloon. In 1971 it was raised to 3.44 to 1.

This boosted top speed from 87mph to 94mph and the 0-60 mph time from 14.2 seconds to an impressive 10 seconds, which was in fact better than the 10.9 seconds Motor had achieved with the Cooper 1275S. Whereas the Mini Cooper was understated in its appearance, the 1275GT was very much a product of its era, featuring 10in Rostyle wheels and go-faster stripes along its sides. In 1974 the 1275GT received 12in steel wheels which enabled larger 8.4in disc brakes to be fitted. This also raised the overall gearing of the car. Dunlop Denovo run-flat tyres were offered as an option, becoming standard from 1977, though many owners opted for normal wheels and tyres at the first opportunity as handling with the Denovos was inferior. The standard Mini Clubman saloon was mechanically the same as the Mini 1000, using the 38bhp 998cc engine, later uprated to 39bhp.

January 1975
All manual gearbox UK Clubmans received the 45bhp 1098cc engine

But the automatic transmission versions continued with the 998cc power unit. Perhaps when the Austin Allegro failed to sell in the numbers expected BL had a surplus of 1098cc engines to use up

January 1976
The entire UK Clubman range received a facelift

All variants sporting the same black grille while the estate dispensed with its fake wood in favour of stick-on stripes. British Leyland’s chronic financial circumstances during the mid-1970s meant that there was little major development of the Clubman, the most important changes being the introduction of 12in wheels on the 1275GT in 1974 and the other variants receiving the 45bhp 1098cc engine in 1975.

August 1980
Mini Clubman saloon production ended

This was to make way for the Metro although the estate lingered on – renamed 1000HL – estate until 1982. The car was controversial in its day, detested by no less a person than Alec Issigonis himself, but it did its job as the Mini returned to its roots as a people’s car.

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