Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Minis - the different types

It is time to make a comprehensive list of all the Minis. I have put it off for too long. Rather than write an extremely long-winded article, I decided to deal first with the main variations that apply pretty much across the whole range and then write about each model separately. With about 80 different Minis to list, this should make it a little easier for people looking for information about a specific model.

Colour

Now this may seem simple and hardly worth writing about but the difficulty I had with listing 226s has been one of the reasons for taking so long in doing this. For most models it really is quite simple, with just the one or more obviously different colours. However for the 225 Austin Seven and the 226 Morris Mini Minor it could have got complicated.

The Austin is now pretty straightforward. Whilst there are many shades of red, from an orangey shade, through tomato to whatever fruit you might identify with deep red, I've decided to call them all simply 'red'. There's also primrose, of course.

The Morris was not so simple. I've settled for pale blue and lilac blue but accept that there are umpteen shades in between, especially for the earlier editions.


Interior colour

That's easy. Barring factory mistakes, there should be few difficulties in this section.

Make

Believe it or not, for some models, you do have to look at the badge on the bonnet to determine whether it is an 'Austin' or a 'Morris', regardless of what the box or base may say it is, or, for that matter, what newspaper pictures may tell you that the real thing the model depicts actually was! 

Windows

All models will have editions with clear windows but some Whizzwheels models will also have editions where they are tinted.

Wheels

These should be pretty obvious, the choice being between:
  • fixed smooth wheels
  • fixed shaped wheels
  • free shaped wheels
  • cast wheels (with a spoke effect pattern)
  • 4 spoke Whizzwheels
  • 5 spoke Whizzwheels



5 spoke Whizzwheel

4 spoke Whizzwheel

Base

There are five main base types for the non-Whzzwheels models.

Type 1a holes and two flat rectangular panels

Type 1b (note: the front is to the right in this image)
 panels but no holes, full width front lower bumper


Type 1c panels and narrower lower bumper

Type 2a no panels, text in centre sections


Type 2b no panels, text in centre sections
and a round post near the front

  • type 1a bases all seem to have fixed wheels
  • type 1b bases can be found with fixed (early) or free (late) wheels
  • type 1c bases most seem to have free wheels
  • type 2a and 2b models all have free wheels.

For Whizzwheels models there are another three bases across the range, distinguished by colour:
  • matt black
  • gloss black
  • silver

Some models can be found with each type!

Body

There are three distinct castings used:

  • type 1
  • type 2 look for a horizontal line along the front wing, a different grille, higher front cast line and general shape
  • type 2a like type 2 but with extended wheel arches
  • type 3 is obviously different, with opening doors, bonnet and boot


Type 1 left, type 2 right: grille and casting line differences

Type 1 left, type 2 right.

Type 2a wheel arches
(also illustrates the horizontal wing line of type 2)
In type 1 the main body is common to Austin and Morris versions, with a front die change for the differing grilles and their related bonnet badges. Type 2s always have a Morris grille and badge.

Other differences

There are sometimes different colour steering wheels but I have not listed these yet. In the main, they are consistent with another change.

The 334 Mini also has two types of sliding roof blind, one with narrow stripes and a very scarce wider stripe variety (now listed).

The 339 Mini Cooper can have paper labels on in place of the earlier transfers for the door numbers. These I have shown separately.

I am grateful to a number of collectors for their help in understanding some of the history of these changes.The illustrations in these and the individual model posts are from my own collection except for the two Whizzwheels 5 spoke model photos on this page provided by Minifanatics.

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