1990 ROVER MINI COOPER RSP – £14,995

Instantly recognised around the world, the “classic” Mini is without doubt one of the most illustrious cars to be designed and manufactured in Britain. Produced by the British Motor Company (BMC) and Rover between 1959-2000, the Mini was actually conceived out of austerity. Sir Leonard Lord (Head of the Morris Company) commissioned his lead engineer, Alec Issigonis, to design a small fuel-efficient car capable of carrying four adults and yet be affordable to all. Since small was fashionable Issigonis was also told that the new vehicle had to fit into a box no larger than 10ft long x 4ft wide x 4ft high. It was from this challenge that the Mini was born. Amazingly, despite a few minor modifications over the years, the overall concept and design for the vehicle remained largely true to Issigonis’s initial idea. Though small in size, the Mini’s space-saving transverse engine and front-wheel drive arrangement allowed for 80% of the floorplan area to be used for occupants and their luggage, a layout that influenced a generation of car manufacturers.

While the car would prove to be a great example of well-engineered micro design, the iconic Mini persona is really its most enduring legacy. The crowning glory came in 1999 when the Mini was voted the second most influential car of the 20th century (behind the Ford Model T) by the Global Automotive Elections Foundation. Awarded merely a year before the final Mini would roll off the Longbridge production line, it was perhaps a fitting farewell to a car which had endured largely unchanged for over 4 decades, had sold 5,387,862 examples to every corner of the globe, and whose honest construction had entered the hearts of us all.

First unveiled in September 1990, the Mini Cooper RSP (Rover Special Products) was the special edition launch model for the Rover Cooper. The RSP was the first Cooper in 21 years and only 1650 cars were manufactured, of which 1050 were earmarked for the home market. The model proved an instant success and sold out before cars began to appear in showrooms, which prompted Rover to put a Cooper in full-time production. The RSP featured Rover’s 1275cc A-series engine with 1.5” SU carb, making it one of the last carburettor Minis released before the introduction of fuel injection. Each car was built to a high and instantly recognisable specification, to include twin-spotlights, RSP Minilite alloy wheels, body-coloured door mirrors and wheel arches, Tudor Webasto sunroof, half leather interior, red leather-bound steering wheel and a three-clock binnacle with green faced dials. RSP Minis became desirable classics very early on in their lives due to the limited production run and their significance to the return of the Mini Cooper. 

This Rover Mini Cooper RSP was first sold by Cavendish Motors, London on 14th September 1990 and is presented in British Racing Green with White Diamond roof and body decals. The previous registered keeper owned the Mini for some 20 years and treated it to comprehensive restoration in 2016 at a cost of £5,400. A further £3,600 has been spent on the car in the past twelve months to ensure excellent all-round condition. Notably, this RSP Mini is fitted with a full set of period interior alloy fittings as purchased from John Cooper Garages in the early 1990s, comprising door handles, door pulls, window winders and a rare binnacle cover.

The Mini is superbly presented both inside and out and she starts, stops, drives and handles spot-on. The odometer currently displays a mileage of 82,000 and the car is sold newly serviced and MoT’d until 14th July 2022 with no advisories. She also benefits from a recent new thermostat (with full coolant flush), fan belt, ignition coil, distributor cap, rotor arm, ball joins, bushes, front bump stops and front brake callipers, disks and pads. This Rover Mini Cooper RSP is supplied with a comprehensive history file enclosing original owners handbooks and a documented timeline of service, maintenance and ownership records.

We would be delighted to answer any questions you may have about this vehicle. Please feel free to contact us on 01932 640113 or phil@pm-antiques.co.uk to discuss.