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When is a Mini, is a Mini, is a Mini? Most current or potential Mini owners have no idea how to tell what kind of Mini they have. In fact, in many cases they don’t even know there are really so many different Minis.

The first Minis were released to the public in 1959, and while the same basic car was produced for 41+ years, the differences from start to finish were very dramatic. The first Mini was the ultimate in an economical everyday, entry level car. By the end of production it had been transformed into an almost modern car with fuel injection, catalytic converter and air bag. Needless to say, all Minis were not created equal, and in fact, have tremendous variation in performance and desirability.

The Mini was only sold in the USA from 1960 thru 1967! The very first cars were powered by 848cc BMC A-series engines. The same basic engine configuration found its way into many of the entry level British cars of the day. Everything from Morris Minors to Bugeye Sprites all had this basic engine design. So you ask, why all the confusion as to what Mini you might own or consider buying?

As a first consideration, let’s simply address those variations as imported and sold by the factory. The most distinguishing feature of all models from 1959 through 1967 was the use of sliding window doors. These windows slid fore and aft in the doors that also featured external, visible door hinges. The very first cars were simply called Minis and all were supplied with the bullet proof (but slow) 848cc engine. The first of the models to be identified as Mini Coopers were introduced in 1961 and were powered by a 997cc engine. The Cooper designation was continued as the engine evolved to a much different and better 998cc one. The first of the Mini Cooper S models was introduced in 1963 with a tremendously upgraded 1071cc engine (the choice of displacement was driven by race class considerations as was that of the very rare 970cc S engine). The most common and sought after model of the Mini Cooper S was introduced in 1964 with a 1275cc displacement. This is the same displacement as used on the car when production finally ceased in the year 2000. The final year of factory sales in the USA saw the introduction of the Mk II version of the range that featured, among other smaller cosmetic changes, larger tail lights. The only other significant variation is that the first of the Minis all had drum brakes at four corners, but starting with of the Mini Cooper, the Cooper and Cooper S had disk brakes at the front. All models used 10” diameter wheels of various widths. You could easily argue that if that were all we had to consider when owning or buying a Mini today, it would be too easy. But the current appetite for a Classic Mini in the USA has pushed the market way beyond those cars imported by the factory. At this date in time it is easy to admit that more Minis have been imported into the USA by private parties and private dealers than were ever imported by the factory. And the problem is knowing what the Mini really is. The factory produced over 5,000,000 during it 41+ year production run. Less than 15,000 of these were imported by the factory into the USA. So what really is the Mini that has been imported by the aftermarket?

The problems start from 1968 on when the factory no longer attempted to have the Mini of any configuration conform to current emission or safety standards. Now, Federal law allows models at least 25 years old to be imported into the USA without concerns for these standards. Thus, the next pool of “legal to import” Minis are those produced from 1968 through 1981. These models start with the Mk II found with 848, 998 and 1275cc engines. By late 1969, the models known as the Mk III now featured roll-up windows and internal door hinges. By1973, the electrical system was upgraded to include the use of an alternator to replace the generator. And the use of a “rod change” transmission to replace the “remote” and “magic wand” transmission began.

In 1976, the range was further upgraded to the Mk IV. The most significant change was not very visible as it was an attempt to isolate the car from road noise and involved using rubber mounts for the front subframe. In 1980, the most obvious change was the introduction of the “Verto” clutch system. Again, not an outwardly obvious change but significant none the less. The year 1984 saw the introduction of the Mk V Mini models that are most notable for the standardization of the use of 12” wheels and bigger disc brakes. The various changes after the Mk V seem to come fast and furious. The Mk VI is generally around 1991 with a number of variations. The 998cc engine was discontinued in 1992. The introduction of a ‘single point fuel injection’ system to replace the single 1¾” SU carb took place in the same era and it continued through 1996. For the final years of production the most significant changes included the use of a ‘multi-point fuel injection’ system along with many modern features: such as, alarm systems and catalytic converters.

So what year is the Mini in question? These were also hundreds of other changes and more subtle ways to determine the year and model of the Mini. For an extensive detailed review and interactive pictorial visit the Website www.Minimania.com/MiniID

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Eng.nmbr CR Year Comments

Eng.nmbr    CR    Year    Comments
99HE22    8.3 : 1    1989- on    91RON, leaded or unleaded.
(mini)
99HD81    9.6 : 1    1988- on    95RON, leaded or unleaded.
(mini)
99HE20    9.6 : 1    1989- onwards    High compression 95RON, leaded or unleaded.
(mini)
99HB96P    8.3 : 1    1986- onwards    1.0 Saloon and Van.
99HB97P
99HB98P
99HB99P
99HB87P    9.6 : 1    1986    1.0 Saloon and Van
99HB88P
99HB89P
99HB94P
99HB95P
99HB90P    10.3 : 1    1986    1.0 Saloon and Van
99HB91P
99HB92P
99HB93P

99HD27    10.3 : 1    1989    1.0 Saloon and Van
99HD29
99HD30
99HD31
99HD32    8.3 : 1    1989    1.0 Saloon and Van
99HD33

99HE35    9.6 : 1    1989    1.0 Saloon and Van
99HE67            95 RON unleaded.
99HE68
99HE69
99HE70
99HE76
99HE94
99HE38    8.3 : 1    1989    1.0 Saloon and Van 95RON unleaded
99HE39

12HC17AA    8.0 : 1    1986    1.3 Saloon

12HC18AA    9.75 : 1    1986    1.3 van
12HC19AA
12HC09AA    9.75 : 1    1986    1.3 Van
12HC10AA

12HD26AA    9.4 ; 1    1987/1988    MG Metro turbo

12A2EK71    10.0 : 1        Single point injection with manual transmission, 95RON unleaded only.
(mini)
12HB09AA    9.75 : 1    1985/1986    1300HLE
12HB22AA
12HB36AA
12HA73    8.0 : 1    1985/1986    Low compression.
12HA84AA
12HA37AA
12A2BG05    9.4 : 1    1990- onwards    1.3 Mini with carburettor
(mini)            automatic transmission
12A2DF76    10.1 : 1    1991- onwards    Single point injection with manual transmission, 95RON unleaded
(mini)
12A2AG01    9.4 : 1    1991    1.3 Mini with carburettor manual transmission.
(mini)
12HC11    10.5 : 1    Oct.1984- onwards    MG Metro
12HC14
12HD09AA 12HD10AA 12HD11AA 12HD12AA 12HD13AA 12HD21AA 12HD22AA     9.75 : 1    1987 / 1988    1.3 Saloon

12HD18AA 12HD19AA 12HD20AA     8.0 : 1    1987 / 1988    1.3 Van

12HD14AA    9.75 : 1    1987/ 1988    1.3 Van
12HD15AA
12HD18AA    8.0 ; 1    1989    1.3 saloon

12HD26    9.4 : 1    1989    MG Metro turbo

12HD09    9.75 : 1    1989    1.3 Saloon
12HD10
12HD11
12HD12
12HD13
12HD21
12HD22
12HD23    9.75 : 1    1989    1.3 Saloon, Vandenplas,
MG Metro

12HD17    10.5 : 1    1989    1275 Sport, MG Metro
12HD24            with manual transmission
12HD25
12HD19    8.0 : 1    1989    1.3 Van
12HD20

12HD14    9.75 : 1    1989    1.3 van
12HD15
12HD16
12HD41    8.0 : 1    1989    1.3 Saloon with manual transmission
12HD42
12HE48    9.4 : 1    1989    1.3 saloon

12HE24    9.4 : 1    1989    1.3 Saloon with manual transmission
12HE25
12HE48
12HE71
12HE72
12HE73
12A2EK72    9.4 : 1    1996- onwards    Multi point injection, 95RON unleaded only.
(mini)
12A2LK70    10.0 : 1    1996- onwards    Multi point injection, 95RON unleaded only.
(mini)
12HA83AA    10.5 : 1    1985/1986    High compression
12HA42AA            MG Metro

12A2BG03    9.4 : 1    1990- onwards    1.3 Mini with carburettor,
(mini)            manual transmission

12A2DF75    9.4 : 1    1991- onwards    Single point injection, manual transmission, 95RON unleaded only.
(mini)
12A2EF77    10.1 : 1    1991- onwards    Single point injection, high compression., 95RON unleaded.
(mini)
12H996    10.5 : 1    >0ct. 1984    MG Metro

12HF01    10.5 : 1        MG Metro
12HF02

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