Sixties Mini Cooper vs Col de Turini
The Cooper is 50. Can the old-timer teach the Countryman a lesson on the rally that made it famous?
Posted: 25 Feb 2011
The driving position is defiantly old-school - knees pointing up towards your shoulders, wheel canted away, the top of the rim almost out of reach. For the first few miles, I drive hunched forward so I can reach the whole of the wheel, but soon revert to a slouched position, gripping the lower half of the wheel like a lazy bus driver. What a wheel, too - a huge, skinny ring of polished wood that transmits every slip and slide from the front tyres straight to your fingertips. The throttle response is similarly immediate. Brush the accelerator and the Cooper lurches forward, its central peashooter exhaust firing a rat-a-tat rhythm off the surrounding trees.