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Exceptional & Super Rare 1997 Rover Mini Cooper Sportspack 1.3 MPI Finished in Volcano Orange w/ the Sportspack & Rover Heritage Design Package

This is my own personal Mini from my collection. It is a super rare 1997 Rover Mini Cooper 1.3 MPI with the Manual Gearbox, Sportspack and Rover Heritage Design package, plus Heritage seats, finished in Metallic Volcano Orange. Essentially, the ultimate specification, in the most sought after colour with some of the most sought after extra additional features. The bodywork is beautiful and her underside is solid. She drives exceptionally, combining 600-700kg of weight with 63bhp to produce a terrific and or terrifying experience, held together by the iconic, rally winning, classic Mini handling. She has recently been fully serviced, her brakes have been reconditioned, she has new Yokohama tyres (the premium tyres), alloys and dash and she comes with 12 months MOT with no advisories. I’ll expand upon these points below.

1. The Ultimate Specification

Being the ultimate model (produced between 1996 and 2001),  this Mini has more power and more reliability, she's much more useable as a daily driver and safer, has a much higher MPG, lower emissions & is more comfortable, luxurious and secure than all of the earlier models. Power is raised by over 50% (in standard form) when compared to the earlier 1000cc and 20% when compared to the earlier 1275cc. Reliability, is extraordinary compared to the earlier models, with all of the troublesome parts upgraded (carburettor, distributor, alternator, cooling etc). Safety, unlike earlier Mini’s, this model had an air bag (albeit this has been removed on her to fit the classic steering wheel), a strengthened steering column, special seat belts and crash beams, more grip and handling potential; you could feel safe driving it. We can’t list all of the benefits of this final evolution here because the differences are so significant (hence the market price differential generally, relative to earlier models), but I have provided a detailed analysis of why these final editions were the ultimate Mini's on our website, taken from factory records and various reputable authors, plus our own experience having driven hundred’s, if not thousands of Mini’s.

Not all Mini's were built the same, nor did they cost the same and, to fund these upgrades, the standard purchase price of a Mini rose by 63% between 1995 and 1996, from £5896, to £9625. This would be £14,300 and £23,700, so a notable increase. Reputable authors describe the Mini as being “gentrified”. For those with deep pockets, a range of expensive additional extras could then be purchased from the Rover Showroom, many of which this Mini has and they include the following…

2. The Sportspack Specification

The most iconic factory additional extra offered by Rover was the Sportspack specification. Place a standard Mini Cooper next to a Sportspack and the difference is incredible. The Sportspack was wider, with larger alloys and a wider stance, mastering this immense width to height ratio and also providing better handling and grip. Such cost a further £795 alone.

3. Rover Heritage Design Chromework & Seats (Originally Factory Additional Extras)

Being one of the rarest additional extras offered by Rover, purchasers could pay a high premium to have their Mini designed to a Rover Heritage Design specification. Such specification included a range of colour combinations, chrome work and styling designed in homage to the sixties rally winning Cooper S. The owner of this Mini paid a further £295 for the the special seats and it also has the Rover Heritage Design chrome pack, in homage and tribute to the 60's Cooper S rally icons.

4. One of the Most Sought After Colours

Being one of the rarest and most sought after colours, Metallic Volcano Orange is also one of my favourite colours, owing to it eclectic nineties feeling and the uniqueness at the time. We’re advised it was an expensive factory additional extra at the time. Many people recount Rover launching their marketing with a Cooper Sportspack in the same colour combination, however so few were produced and finding a manual Cooper with the Sportspack in Volcano Orange is like hens teeth (there are a few Japanese Auto's advertised in this colour, but we’ve only ever encountered one other manual Cooper Sportspack).

5. Excellent Condition - Needing for Nothing & Ready to Enjoy

Her engine and gearbox are beautiful and everything works, she’s ready to enjoy. She comes with 12 months MOT with no advisories for your peace of mind. She is also fully serviced (Millers Classic Mini Oil, NGK spark plugs and silicone, so you have nothing to worry about. In fact, she has new premium Yokohama SP Sport Tyres, wrapped around brand new 13” chrome alloys and we’ve reconditioned her brakes also. Her bodywork can only be described as mint and she’s solid underneath. She is upgraded with Hilo's front and rear (adjustable ride height), an LCB manifold and Maniflow Sports exhaust. She isn't brand new and has recently turned 26 years old but remains in very good condition for her age.

Accordingly, she’s the ultimate specced model, with all the sought after factory extras and in one of the rarest colours, in beautiful condition and she is just ready to enjoy.

Note RE Added Gauges

She has had two new ancillary gauges fitted into her dash and these aren’t currently wired up. One is a volts gauge which would be pretty useful and easy to wire, but the other is an oil pressure gauge that isn't standard and would require some exra parts. This has been fitted to replace the relatively useless factory fitted Oil Temperature gauge which measured oil at the lowest and coolest point in the engine (sump plug) and had a high threshold so would rarely record anything. It was so useles that they had a recall in the early naughties, but owners will remember that these still rarely recorded anything.


Notes RE Some Extra Bits I've Bought


I have purchased a new engine bay fuse box cover to replace the one that's broken in the picture (taped up). In the pictures she doesn't have a drivers seat belt as I have bought a new one as the original was tatty, that's now fitted, also an interior heater pipe is missing which I'm replacing for the new keeper. Also in the pictures you may notice that the brake check wires aren't connected as the connections were old, but I have now wired these up.


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