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Homepage. This page: Photo of a brand new and rare Radford Cooper S Mini in the early 1960s.

Radford Mini De Ville.

Robert kindly sent over his memories of various cars that he worked on in the garage trade. Amongst them was this photo that he took of a Radford Mini de Ville, based on a Morris Mini Cooper S fitted with a Stage 2 Downton engine conversion. His recollections of some of the problems encountered by early owners of the Mini can be read on this page, while of the Radford Mini in particular he remembers:
"This is a picture of a Radford Mini (probably 1963) supplied to a lady customer. It is virtually identical to the one Peter Sellers had and drove in his first Pink Panther movie. The lady said that all of her family drove large cars, e.g. Jags, Humbers etc, and she wanted a small car with large car comfort. It was a Cooper S with Stage 2 Downtown conversion, sump guard and grille-mounted spots. The bodywork was a plastic simulated wicker which was glued on top of an expensive special paint job. Inside it had reclining seats, a sun roof, electric windows and an off-white pile carpet."
"The lady was a member of the I.A.M and went on a skid course, where they used an old airfield where oil and water had been laid down to provide the skidding. When she completed the course she promptly walked across all the goo and into her off-white pile carpet Mini. I can't quite remember if the carpet was salvageable or not. The ironic thing was that a few weeks after completing her skid course she was caught in an unexpected snow fall in Paisley and spun the car backwards into a lamp post, leaving a large crease down the back."
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
Radford Mini Cooper
The Radford Minis were introduced in 1963, with three versions on offer. The Grande Luxe was the top-of-the-range Radford Mini, based on the standard Cooper. Interestingly, a fully-spec'd Grande Luxe version features in a write-up I've done on Nuffield's News Exchange magazine from the 1960s. Below the Grande Luxe in the pecking order was the Bel Air (which I think is the model shown here), and below that the De Luxe. The Downton conversion was offered from 1964, the same year that the circular Radford badge was applied to the Mini's front wings, a feature that can be seen on the car in Robert's photograph. This therefore suggests that the Mini above is a 1964 example. The distinctive one-piece rear door, a feature of the de Ville GT that belonged to Ringo Starr and others, was offered by Radford's from 1965.
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