Mini has given rally racing legend Patrick “Paddy” Hopkirk one of the first special edition Cooper S models inspired by his thrilling victory at the 1964 Rally Monte Carlo. The Paddy Hopkirk Limited Edition has a production run of just 100 units in the U.K., with “a few hundred” more coming to the U.S.
Fifty-six years ago, the original Morris Mini Cooper S achieved the unthinkable with Hopkirk and navigator Henry Liddon behind the wheel of a Mk I. It won the Rally Monte Carlo overall. The race snaked through the French Alps and ended with laps around the Monaco Grand Prix circuit, but the Mini’s nimbleness and tiny size and proved to be advantages in the snowy and narrow mountain roads. It was a tremendous feat against more powerful competitors from Mercedes-Benz, Saab, Volvo, Citroën and Ford’s V8 Falcon.
Hopkirk calls it a “David and Goliath” victory, especially with the money other automakers were spending on the event. “We were beaten by the big American cars down the straights, but we would beat them on the twisty bits!” he reminisced upon taking delivery.
The Paddy Hopkirk Limited Edition sees no performance upgrades, keeping the turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder capable of 189 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. Both six-speed manuals and a 7-speed automatic are offered, but the thing that sets it apart are the Chili Red and white roof colorway with the number 37 on the doors, a tribute to the winning rally car’s livery. An offset white hood stripe with the code “33 EJB” in it hearkens back to Hopkirk’s car’s registration number.
“I’m so flattered to have a Mini named in my honor.” Hopkirk said upon receiving the car. “Motorsport is long behind me now and for my win at the Monte Carlo Rally to be remembered in this way is a great thrill and honor.”