Some time ago I tried to illustrate the difference between the two main Mini castings for Morris models. Using two black 249 models, however, wasn't the brightest of ideas as the colour made the differences barely visible! Yesterday a couple of wrecks arrived, however, and these make much better examples at this stage of having had the paint removed.
There are lots of changes at the front. The easiest to spot will be the join line between the headlamps - much higher and more straight on Type 2.
The grille shape at the top centre (where a bonnet release catch may be located) is shallow and flat bottomed on Type 1, deeper and more angled on Type 2.
The proportions are also different in, for example, the windscreen area, being taller on Type 2, although, again, this is a lot easier to spot when you have the two side by side.
At the back the differences are not quite as clear on single items. The size of rear light clusters and proximity to the bonnet line are different. The petrol filler cap is also further from the boot line on Type 2. Type 2 has a larger boot handle.
In contrast to the front plates, the rear plates on the Type 2 are the shallower ones.
The rear bumper is a much neater, shallower element on Type 2.
Another usually easy-to-see difference will be on the side of the front wings. Type 2 has a clear horizontal line running the length of the wing. Type 1 does not, but often displays a line at 45° running from the wheel arch to headlamp surround. That reflects the line between two panels on the real thing at the time.
Although there are many other differences in the side view, I often don't notice them in single models at first. It is said that Type 2 has a 'bulge' at the back which some say is obvious but I seldom see that. Clearer for me are the window surrounds on Type 2, shorter door hinges and thicker A pillar.
No doubt you may have your own 'obvious' difference(s) but for those who have been struggling to see whether their model is a Type 1 or Type 2 casting, perhaps these illustrations will help. Incidentally, don't judge by the wheels! Whilst the fixed shaped wheel will always be a Type 1 model, cast wheels do appear on Type 1 models too.
If you hadn't already gathered, the shinier of the two models shown is the Type 1! These will soon be made into some fresh Mini Coopers and slightly different to any actually issued. One colleague has bought his daughter an orange and white real model and I shall try and create a copy of that for him.
We both have doubts about the fog lamp arrangement but his use of nice silver bezels for the headlamps and the addition of an accurate-looking driver are appealing.
And yes, I do know that the Sun Rally model didn't have that fog lamp arrangement anyway and would have been a Type 2!! I guess there would have been two occupants too . . .
. . . and, as you'll see, Richard Hill decided the next day to have another go at those lamps!