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Austin Mini Clubman Images and Technical Specification

 

 

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History

In 1969, under the ownership of British Leyland, the Mini was given a facelift by stylist Roy Haynes, who had previously worked for Ford. The restyled version was called the Mini Clubman, and has a squarer frontal look, using the same indicator/sidelight assembly as the Austin Maxi. The Mini Clubman was intended to replace the upmarket Riley and Wolseley versions. A new model, dubbed the 1275GT, was slated as the replacement for the 998 cc Mini Cooper (the 1275 cc Mini Cooper S continued alongside the 1275GT for two years until 1971). The Clubman Estate took over where the Countryman and Traveller left off. The 1275GT is often incorrectly described as the "Mini Clubman 1275GT". The official name was always just the "Mini 1275GT", and it was a separate, distinct model from the Clubman (albeit, it shared the same frontal treatment as the Mini Clubman, and was launched at the same time). In 1971, the 1275 cc Mini Cooper S was discontinued in the UK, leaving the Mini 1275GT as the only sporting Mini on sale for the rest of the decade. Innocenti in Italy, however, continued making their own version of the Mini Cooper for some time, and In Australia from mid 1971 to the end of 1972, the Clubman GT was locally produced. This was essentially a Cooper S in Clubman body, equipped with the same 7 1/2" disc brakes, twin fuel tanks, and twin-carb Cooper S 1275 cc engine. While the UK built 1275GT was not nearly as quick as a 1275 Mini Cooper S, it was cheaper to buy, run, and insure. It was the first Mini to be equipped with a tachometer. It also featured a standard-fit close-ratio gearbox. Performance of the 1275GT was lively for the time, achieving 0-60 mph in 12.9 seconds, and the excellent midrange torque offered a 30-50 mph time in top gear of only nine seconds. The bluff front, however, meant that the model struggled to reach 90 mph (140 km/h). The 1275 cc A-series engine could be cheaply and easily tuned, though the cheap purchase price and prominent "sidewinder" door stripes meant that this model developed a reputation as something of a "boy-racer special" during the '70s and into the '80s. The Mini Clubman and 1275GT were responsible for two motoring "firsts": they were the first vehicles to use a flexi printed-circuit board behind the dash instruments (universal nowadays, but technically advanced for 1969). Secondly, the 1275GT was the first vehicle to be offered with run-flat tyres; from 1974 this model could be ordered with optional Dunlop Denovo tyres on 12-inch (300 mm) diameter rims. In the event of a puncture, the Dunlop Denovo tyre would not burst and quickly deflate, but could continue to be used safely at speeds of up to 50 mph (80 km/h). This was a useful safety feature, although the increased road noise and relatively poor grip of this tyre meant that many 1275GT buyers ignored this option. Throughout the 1970s, British Leyland continued to produce the classic 1959 "round-front" design, alongside the newer Clubman and 1275GT models. On the Australian market however, all Minis (including the commercial derivatives) gained the Clubman front. Clubman sedans were marketed in Australia under the Morris Mini Clubman name when introduced in August 1971 and as the Leyland Mini from February 1973. [33] The long-nose Clubman and 1275GT offered better crash safety, were better equipped, and had vastly better under-bonnet access, but they were more expensive and aerodynamically inferior to the original 1959 design. The Mini Clubman and 1275GT were replaced in 1980 by the new hatchback Austin Metro, while production of the original "round-front" mini design continued for another 20 years. At the end of Clubman and 1275GT production, 275,583 Clubman saloons, 197,606 Clubman Estates and 110,673 1275GTs had been made.

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