Paddy Hopkirk and Rauno Aaltonen—winners, respectively, of the 1964 and 1967 Monte Carlo Rallies in Mini Cooper S’s—revisit the rally course 40+ years later in a convertible John Cooper Works Mini.

The beautifully filmed video, produced by the Mini company itself, intersperses vintage racing footage with the two merry old geezers driving their Mini JCW on winter roads with the top down. It does have a share of great laughs.


The original racing Mini Cooper S is almost unbelievable as a race car by modern numbers: in seriously upgraded form from the standard car, it developed all of 70 HP, which cut its 0-60 time from a glacial 19 seconds to an equally glacial 13 seconds. But on the twisting course of the rally, however glaciated it was in the middle of January, these numbers had no relation whatsoever to performance: what mattered was light weight and handling, both of which the Mini had in spades.

Mini, celebrating its 50th birthday, has since become a Bavarian company. While the John Cooper Works convertible Messrs. Hopkirk and Aaltonen take for a spin has three times the horsepower of their original race cars and would out-accelerate a Lamborghini Miura, you do wonder whether it could race against more powerful machines like its diminutive predecessor (not).


Photo Credit: Mini