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RAC Rally of The Tests – DJB 92B – Morris Mini Cooper 1275S

 

31 Oct 2017

Sometimes, you just have to stand and look at a car that at first glance seems unremarkable, but it has a presence. You delve a little deeper and realise that the vehicle you are looking at was crewed by some of rallying's finest who created legends in this very car.

 

Read more about the RAC Rally of The Tests at the event home page

The Mini was born of the fuel crisis in 1956 and one man’s loathing of the immensely popular Fiat 500. Leonard Lord was the head of BMC at the time and had vowed to ‘rid the streets’ of them ‘ and to introduce what he called ‘ a proper miniature car’. The man who was tasked with the design of the futuristic vehicle was tasked with making it fit in a 10’x4’x4′ box and to use an existing power plant because of the costs involved – that man was Alec Issigonis, a man who would revolutionise modern transport as we know it.

At the time of the Mini, rallying was in ascendancy with most of the major manufacturers having a ‘Works Team’ to display the agility, speed and reliability of their vehicles to the public, it was a great marketing tool. BMC recognised this and in 1964, 5 years after its launch, a Mini was launched onto the international ‘stage’ by a mercurial Irishman and his navigator, their names would become synonymous with success -Paddy Hopkirk, Henry Liddon and Mini.

We are delighted to have an original “Works’ vehicle taking part on the 2017 RAC Rally of The Tests, built in 1964, DJB 92B boasted a host of features designed specifically for rallying, two-speed windscreen wipers that could be operated by the drivers’ kneepad, a reversing light from an Austin-Healey 3000 (sidelight) and a standard horn for the driver but foot-operated for the navigator.

Making its competitive debut in 1965 alongside its’ sister car, DJB 93B, 92 was one of four Minis to suffer differential failure in the cold of the Swedish Rally. The first result came 1965 Nordrhein-Westfalen Rally where Hopkirk and Liddon took this very car to sixth overall and first in class. Liddon had a hand in 92’s first-ever victory when on the 1966 Circuit of Ireland he partnered Tony Fall to first overall. Later that year, Ron Crellin partnered Paddy Hopkirk in the Austrian Alpine to 1st overall in the event.

This car has a history with the RAC Rally as in 1965, Jormo Lusenius / Mike Wood took 6th overall / 1st in class with a fine performance. One of only a very few genuine ‘Works’ vehicle remaining, DJB 92B has her original works chassis plate installed along with a host of other correct Abingdon modifications.

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