Synopsis-part two: Mini 1275 GT
In the seventies the car of choice, both financially and practically, was a Mini (not MINI as is the custom now). To a dyed in the wool petrolhead like myself then the 1275GT was superior to an ordinary Mini, although not as good as a Cooper or the rare Cooper S. The ludicrous Riley Elf and Wolseley Hornet driven only by the elderly do not count here.
In my late teens the idea was to drive everywhere at 100mph and although even a 1275GT would be hard pushed to make 3 figures, all speeds felt very quick. In fact top speed was around 90mph and 0-60 took around 12 seconds, but compared to other mainstream vehicles, it was considered fairly rapid. It had a tachometer, a novel idea and one that really appealed to the inner child. It also had the appalling Hydro Elastic suspension that meant occupants were jiggled on every journey on anything but the most perfect surfaces.
The car was a hoot to drive though, and because of the suspension with a little skill it was possible to make the front of the car leap up and ‘chirrup’ the tyres and crash back down whilst only moving forward a few inches.
The car that I really fancied, but was both rare and out of reach, was the Innocenti Mini Cooper 1300. This was made with the original Mini style front end by Innocenti of Italy, famous for the Lambretta scooter.