Pick of the Day: A modified Mini from Put-in-Bay

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1991 Rover Mini
Wearing a racing number, the car takes part in the parade around Put-in-Bay

Put-in-Bay is a community located on South Bass Island, far enough out into Lake Erie that to get there you take the ferry from Sandusky, Ohio. From 1952 to 1963, Put-in-Bay was the site of annual sports car road racing.

Put-in-Bay also is the location of the Pick of the Day, a 1991 Rover Mini Cooper being offered for sale on ClassicCars.com by a private seller.

Why Rover instead of Austin? Rover Group, successor to BMC and British Leyland, held rights to the Mini from 1986-2000.

The car looks like it’s ready to participate in the annual racing reunion, started in 2009 and held at the Put-in-Bay airport — with the next one scheduled for September 21-24, 2021.

While this Mini Cooper hasn’t raced in the reunion, it looks like it’s ready, and in 2018, it took part in the reunion exhibition lap on the original street circuit, the seller reports.

“This 1991 Rover Mini Cooper 1300 is a left-hand-drive example powered by a 1,275cc inline-four mated to a 4-speed manual gearbox,” the seller says in the car’s advertisement.  

“Refurbishment work completed by a previous owner in Germany included a repaint and a new interior, and modifications consist of coil over suspension, wider wheels, a stainless-steel exhaust with headers, Corbeau leather seats, and more.”

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Indeed. As we said, the car looks ready to race, with fat tires beneath flared fenders. 

“The previous owner acquired the car in 2017 and drove it in Germany before importing it to the US,” the seller continues. “Approximately 44k kilometers (27k miles) are shown on the 5-digit odometer.  This Mini is offered with service records since 2006, import documents, and a clean Ohio title.”

According to the seller, in 2009 the car got H4 headlamps and Talbot-style mirrors, Corbeau leather buckets, wood dash and was repainted green with white top in 2009. 

The car got a new heater core in 2017 and a year later the aftermarket wheels (13×7) and Yokohama A539 tires.

“The 1,275cc inline-four powers the front wheels through to a 4-speed manual gearbox.  Induction is from a single SU carburetor, while exhaust is through a performance header and stainless-steel muffler installed in 2009 along with a performance camshaft,” the seller notes.

“The previous owner had the suspension refreshed in 2009, while the axle boots, front wheel bearings, brakes, and brake fluid were replaced in 2017.”

The seller says the car was certified by German inspection firm TÜV Rheinland and arrived in the US in May 2019. 

“Under current ownership new tires, wheel balance, complete detailing (with epoxy polish), complete service with tune up, all fluids changed, wheel alignment, and ride height adjustment were performed,” the seller adds.

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The car is being offered for $26,500. To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day. 

If you want to know more about the races on the island, go to Amazon and order a copy of Carl Goodwin’s The Put-in-Bay Road Races book.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

4 COMMENTS

  1. My wife and I were married in September of ‘12 and had our honeymoon in Put-in-Bay, OH a couple weeks before the race. But while we were there a group of Turner sports car enthusiasts were practicing for the race. It was the first time I’d ever heard of a Turner sports car as they are quite uncommon in the States. One of the most memorable parts of my honeymoon, aside from my lovely bride of course!

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