1989model Rover Mini Checker Mark II with 1275cc Tuned Engine Swap, Certified for Inspection

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Rover Mini Checker Mark II with 1275cc Tuned Engine Swap, Certified for Inspection

Introducing a Precious Checker Mark II Cooper S Mk-I Tribute with a Rare Longman Stage III Head & Kent 285 Cam Swapped Engine...! With an abundance of power and a lightweight body weighing only 680kg, the thrill of joy knows no bounds...!! This tuned Mini, matured under the care of a loving owner, invites you to experience everyday life reminiscent of the 1960s Le Mans...!

Echoing through the forest road at an altitude of 1000 meters is the distinctive high-pitched sound of a clearly tuned short-stroke engine. This classic Mini, paying homage to the Cooper S Mk-I, emerges from the corners with a well-balanced posture, its exhaust sound reverberating through the forest road. Just listening to the echo, one can feel that “something is indeed different…” The tuned car exudes a unique aura while racing through the winding roads adorned with autumn leaves.

At first glance, it resembles the narrow style of the Cooper S Mk-I, captivating in its charm. However, its essence lies in transplanting the heart of the rare Checker Mark II Mini, ordered and sold in the UK in a limited edition of 100 by Checker Motors in 1995, embodying the theme of the “revival of the classic Cooper S.” Furthermore, it pays a complete homage to the classical Cooper S Mk-I.


The engine, tuned by Richard Arthur Longman, a renowned Mini tuner who emerged in the British racing scene like a bolt from the blue in the 1970s, is the same heart that powered the Clubman Mini he tuned and drove himself in the 1978 British Touring Car Championship (BTCC). He won 11 out of 12 races that year, and the following year, he won 10 out of 12 races, clinching the overall title twice.The contents of this 1275cc engine, tuned in the UK, surpass the racing-tuned Mk-I from the 1960s by far. Equipped with a Stage III Longman Tuning Head and KENT 285 High Cam, the engine, managed by twin SU HS4 carburetors, delivers a maximum power of 90hp at 5500rpm from a compression ratio of 10.25:1. This configuration is incredibly eccentric, and undoubtedly, for enthusiasts, it presents an irresistibly charming prospect – a ride they would definitely want to experience!


Through the five senses, it stimulates the crucial part of the right brain called "sensibility," entering the brain and resonating with the owner, who is a musician. For the owner, the essential element sought in a car is the "groove feeling" itself. The extremely stimulating Marcos Mini is like a mental vitamin for the owner.

The owner, who effortlessly plays the soul-stirring horn in the music heard by everyone in their daily life, resides in Tokyo for work but indulges in musical activities. The Marcos Mini is kept at their villa in Karuizawa. During their stays, the owner pulls it out from the garage and enjoys it on the lush winding roads just 5 seconds away, a vehicle specifically designed for their mental and physical liberation.

The owner, known for saying, “The ultimate choice for a car is the Mini filled with minimalistic elements,” is a passionate enthusiast since their youth. Their car history is so extensive that it can’t be contained in just one page. They have experienced discontinued domestic cars and vehicles from almost all European manufacturers, especially having a deep understanding of British cars.

For this owner, the most crucial element in the perfect vehicle is undoubtedly the “groove feeling.” This sensibility, akin to music performance, emerges when a sense of unity is achieved, creating a unique undulating sensation. This element is born from simplicity, depth, and the ability to draw out 100% of the power. It stimulates the right brain extensively – whether through sight, sound, smell, touch, or taste. This unique sensation is the result of Richard Longman’s tune, applied to the Marcos Mini, and it perfectly embodies what the owner seeks.


The first thing that captures your attention is its appearance, reminiscent of the classic Mini Cooper S Mk-I 1275 from the old days. And the moment you start the engine, the tuned heartbeat of the car excites and captivates you! It's a 1985 Rover Mini Checker Marcos with an approved vehicle inspection, featuring a swapped 1275cc engine. Let's take a closer look!

What first catches your eye is the outlook, reminiscent of the classic Cooper S from the 1960s, as if it could have come straight from the racing scenes of that era! This is a characteristic that the 1995 original limited edition Checker Marcos Mini, one of a hundred, cannot replicate. The classical appearance and the powerful heart coincidentally merged, elevating this individual to a unique status! It’s a truly captivating piece, full of character!

The 10-inch wheels on the narrow body are a throwback to the original Cooper S style. Even the tail lights have been replaced with Mk-I type lights, including sheet metal, and, along with the distinct aftermarket door hinge style, it exudes the aura of the 1960s Mini Cooper S, making it incredibly charming.

Several years have passed since the full repaint, and there’s only a small rust spot under the right door, a common issue with Minis. Benefiting from the shelter of a complete garage, the body restoration has resulted in a very good overall condition. The fresh and brilliant silver color is highly appealing. Additionally, the reflection of the trees on the beautiful black roof shows no signs of rust on the characteristic rain gutter. This indicates that the car has been cherished and stored in an excellent environment.

A characteristic of the Classic Mini, the interior color matching visible through the clear glass is splendid. The Cobra bucket seats and the rear seats evoke the spirit of the 1960s Cooper S. The highlight, however, is the 200 km/h center meter, a specification adhering to the Mk-I style. It features a needle and a concave glass unique to the Mk-I meter, making it visually appealing and truly enchanting.

Another distinctive feature is the 7-inch modern LED lights at the front face, providing an update. If the next owner prefers the classic look, they have the option to switch back to Lucas headlamps, as the current owner possesses a set and is willing to include it upon request.


The intense heart of the Checker Marcos Mini, released exclusively in Japan in 1995 with only 100 units, embodying the theme of the "Revival of the Classic Cooper S," has been transplanted into a Rover Mini paying homage to the Mk-I. "A fast car in the classic look of the 60s..." the endless dream of past owners has truly elevated this individual into a captivating Mini!

What follows is the modification record of this car. The detailed handwritten maintenance log covering the period from 2013 to 2021, which I am about to transcribe, was created by the creator of this car. From meticulous engine oil changes to tire replacements, it vividly conveys how the aim was to create a “fun-to-drive Cooper S Mk-I homage.”

Regarding the specification of the Mk-I style 200 km/h center meter, it was replaced precisely at 60,000 kilometers. There’s a visible dedication in returning the Mk-I meter’s needle and concave glass after a few months, creating a visually stunning and heartwarming specification even though the mileage is listed as “unknown.”


Upon exploring the history behind the creation of this vehicle in these notes, it is revealed that the engine and other parts were salvaged from a 1995 Checker Marcos Mini that unfortunately became salvage due to a single-vehicle accident. These components were successfully transferred to a 1989 Mini 1000 body. Subsequently, the roof and body underwent a complete repaint. Details such as the bonnet badge, serial plate, rear plate, steering center horn button, stainless sashes, distinctive clear front and rear glass were transplanted. Careful attention was paid to details like the dummy door hinges, Mk-I front skirt, and rear lamp, resulting in a meticulously crafted finish.


Here are the detailed specifications:



– Checker Marcos 1275cc tuned engine (original)

– Richard Longman Stage III tuning head (In 36.5mm, Ex 29.0mm Big Valve)

– KENT 285 high lift cam

– SU HS4 twin carburetors

– Compression ratio: 10.25:1

– Max Power: 90hp / 5500rpm

– Bore/Stroke: 70.61mm x 81.28mm

– RC40 exhaust muffler


– Janspeed lightweight coil springs

– Hi-Lo kit

– Rear: Spax shocks, Front: Avonbar shocks

– Front and rear: ARC pipe stabilizers

– Rear brakes: Aluminum finned drum set

– Front brakes: 10-inch disc brakes

– 10-inch 4.5J CR aluminum wheels (spare included)

– Dunlop Formula R 165/70R10 tires

– Stainless steel mesh brake hoses


– Dummy door hinges (Note: There’s a slight issue with the return spring on the driver’s side door, causing it to open unexpectedly)

– Innocenti Mini rear side glass (all glass is clear and attractive)

– Innocenti Mini classic-type stainless sashes

– 7-inch LED headlights (Classic Lucas type headlights are included as well)

– Mk-I front skirt

– Aston-type filler cap

– Mk-I tail lamps

– Mk-I type classic fender mirrors

– Various other Mk-I homage features



– 200 km/h center meter (using Mk-I needle and concave glass) (Detailed replacement records available)

– Center key specification

– Cobra seats (reupholstered for a 60s classic look)

– Motolita flat type red steering wheel

– Aluminum footrest

– Speedwell accelerator pedal

– Ultra Stepping Motor tachometer

– Audio: Carrizzeria USB MVH-3100 head unit, BOSE 101RD speakers (under the rear seat)


– New alternator and radiator

…and much more!

Lastly, what I particularly want to emphasize in my coverage and manuscript writing is the presence of the “affectionate handwritten maintenance log.” This logbook, of course, comes with the car and is something I strongly urge to be passed on to the next unseen owner! The history of being well cared for, a prime allure in private sales, is one of the significant charms of this car


The intense heart of the Checker Marcos Mini, released exclusively in Japan in 1995 with only 100 units, embodying the theme of the "Revival of the Classic Cooper S," has been transplanted into a Rover Mini paying homage to the Mk-I. "A fast car in the classic look of the 60s..." the endless dream of past owners has truly elevated this individual into a captivating Mini!

**Details of Handwritten Maintenance Records:**

– **October 5, 2013 – 33,585 km**

  – Radiator hose, heater hose replacement, thermostat replacement

  – Radiator cap replacement, gasoline hose replacement, water pump replacement

  – Fan belt replacement

– **January 18, 2014 – 35,650 km**

  – Oil and oil filter replacement

  – Spark plug replacement

– **May 28, 2014 – 37,948 km**

  – Oil change, heater repair

– **January 5, 2015 – 39,932 km**

  – Greasing at various points

– **January 10, 2015 – 39,936 km**

  – Tire replacement

  – Oil and oil filter replacement, spark plug inspection

– **January 17, 2015 – 40,316 km**

  – Battery replacement

– **March 2, 2015 – 40,879 km**

  – Distributor cap and rotor replacement

– **July 8, 2015 – 42,189 km**

  – Oil change during inspection, clutch hose replacement

  – Clutch operator, brake hose, rear brake shoe

  – Brake master cylinder replacement

– **August 1, 2015 – 42,777 km**

  – Steady rod bushing replacement

– **August 22, 2015 – 44,565 km**

  – Lower arm bushing, tension rod bushing replacement

– **October 10, 2015 – 44,565 km**

  – Oil and oil filter replacement

– **January 30, 2016 – 46,666 km**

  – Distributor cleaning

  – RC40 muffler replacement

– **March 20, 2016 – 47,314 km**

  – Engine oil change

– **July 24, 2016 – 49,289 km**

  – Engine oil change, filter replacement

– **September 24, 2016 – 49,528 km**

  – Radiator coolant replacement

– **September 24, 2016 – 49,936 km**

  – Spark plug replacement (NGK BP6ES)

– **November 7, 2016 -**

  – Thermostat replacement

  – Head repair

– **November 23, 2016 – 51,639 km**

  – Engine oil change

– **April 29, 2017 -**

  – Gasoline hose replacement

– **May 2, 2017 – 54,068 km**

  – Engine oil and filter replacement

– **May 5, 2017 -**

  – Radiator coolant replacement

  – Radiator fan blade replacement

– **May 6, 2017 -**

  – Starter relay replacement

– **July 9, 2017 – 55,641 km**

  – Tire rotation, carburetor cleaning, plug cleaning during inspection

– **August 5, 2017 – 56,099 km**

  – Spark plug replacement (NGK BP6ES)

– **August 20, 2017 – 56,273 km**

  – Heater replacement

  – Engine oil change

– **September 30, 2017 – 56,681 km**

  – Distributor cap and rotor replacement

– **November 18, 2017 – 58,016 km**

  – Dunlop 93J tire replacement

– **December 9, 2017 – 58,646 km**

  – Accelerator wire replacement

  – Carburetor chamber float repair

  – Oil and oil filter replacement

– **March 17, 2018 – 60,000 km**

  – Center meter replacement at 60,000 km, odometer starts at 93,407 km

– **April 3, 2018 – 93,643 km**

  – Greasing

– **May 4, 2018 – 94,396 km**

  – Oil change

– **August 12, 2018 – 95,654 km**

  – Center meter replacement again (Odometer starts at 60,000 km, actual mileage adds to this)

– *September 16, 2018 – 60,589 km**

  – Radiator coolant replacement

– **October 13, 2018 – 61,148 km**

  – Engine oil and oil filter replacement


– **January 19, 2019 – 63,396 km**

  – Engine oil change

– **January 27, 2019 – 63,808 km**

  – Radiator and radiator fan switch replacement

– **June 1, 2019 – 66,638 km**

  – Engine oil and oil filter replacement

– **August 1, 2019 – 66,638 km**

  – Battery replacement

– **August 31, 2019 – 67,218 km**

  – Steady rod bushing replacement

– **November 15, 2019 – 68,600 km**

  – Steering rack bushing replacement

  – Engine oil and oil filter replacement

  – Plus 91 fuel additive

– **June 19, 2020 – 71,498 km**

  – 70-amp alternator replacement

  – Battery maintenance (Last alternator replacement was on August 13, 2010)

– **June 28, 2020 – 71,667 km**

  – Engine oil change

– **September 16, 2020 – 72,510 km**

  – New radiator replacement

  – Coolant replacement

– **December 12, 2020 – 74,021 km**

  – Dunlop 93J tire replacement

– **January 5, 2021 – 74,221 km**

  – Engine oil and oil filter replacement

– **January 18, 2021 – 74,362 km**

  – Spark plug replacement

– **April 1, 2022 – 78,100 km**

  – Obtained official vehicle inspection during regular inspection

This beautifully maintained Cooper S Mk-I homage has been certified for road use to ensure safe driving in the future. It has undergone official vehicle inspection, with a new classification (E-99X改) granted until the end of March in the sixth year of Reiwa (end of March 2024). Regular oil and filter changes have been performed every 2,000 to 3,000 km since then, ensuring its excellent condition.

Enjoy the charm of the winding roads of Karuizawa with the resonating exhaust notes of this meticulously crafted Marcos Mini Cooper S Mk-I homage! Be sure to check out the video for a unique experience with this classic Mini!

Please note that the translation might not be exact due to the technical nature of some terms in the text.


"After the coverage of the 1989 Rover Mini Checker Marcos with a tuned 1275cc engine swap and official certification..."

The Marcos Mini, equipped with a tuned engine, effortlessly cruising through Karuizawa’s winding roads… With a 90hp engine in a 680kg chassis, it boasts the unique balance that is quintessentially Mini. It’s bound to be an exhilarating experience! The owner, who had reached a ‘life stage change’ and had to ‘part’ with their beloved car, seemed to be in no rush during the shoot. Instead, they repeatedly expressed their fondness, saying, ‘It’s fantastic!’ and ‘It looks so cool!’

During the video shoot, their sheer delight in driving was truly impressive. Undoubtedly, when they meet a ‘new owner’ who shares the same sensibilities, they will make the decision, thinking, ‘This person will truly appreciate it…’

By the way… I recently had the chance to ride in a genuinely tuned Cooper S Mk-I, which was undeniably captivating to drive. However, considering the escalating market value and rarity of these models, it seems that owning and driving an authentic one without hesitation, in any situation, has become somewhat challenging nowadays…

In such times… wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a ‘Perfect Homage’ always at hand? This timeless treasure could allow us to slip back into that era of the 1960s to 1970s when riding a car was genuinely enjoyable, and ‘time’ was truly priceless.

Introducing the rare Checker Marcos engine-tuned Cooper S Mk-I homage, enhanced with Longman Stage III head and Kent 285 camshaft upgrades! The lightweight 680kg body meets an overflowing surge of power like a furious storm, reaching the pinnacle of enjoyment! This tuned Mini, nurtured under the care of its affectionate owner, beckons the everyday into the 1960s Le Mans era!

Much like its owner, this delightful vehicle effortlessly brings back the enchanting spirit of the 1960s, making you feel as if you could ride it endlessly, forgetting about time. It’s a truly wonderful machine…

For the ultimate ‘supreme test drive experience,’ come and join us in Karuizawa to enjoy the thrill of racing through the winding roads to your heart’s content. We look forward to welcoming you

This incredibly impressive '1989 Rover Mini 95 Checker Marcos 1275cc Engine Swapped Certified Car' is currently located near Gunma Prefecture in Nagano Prefecture, Japan.

As it is a private sale, there are no consumption taxes or additional fees. Please note that upon purchase, the buyer will be responsible for the prorated calculation of automobile tax and the recycling deposit.

[Regarding Inquiries…]

“The vehicle featured on this page has been listed on the cross-border EC site for classic and collectible cars, ‘Estate Sale Supremacy®.’

What is Estate Sale Supremacy, the ultimate and finest (Supremacy) estate sale?

Estate Sale® Supremacy introduces cars imbued with their owner’s heartfelt sentiments through interviews and written manuscripts, representing the Japanese version of the North American cultural estate sale, where material and emotional belongings are organized. Unlike the practice of selling at throwaway prices with no emotional attachment and cultural legacy, Estate Sale Supremacy honestly expresses the owner’s emotions. While preserving memories in their hearts, we ensure the seamless handover to the next generation.

The content of this article was created based on an interview with the owner and a three-hour test drive experience from 1:00 PM under clear skies on October 18, 2023. Due to the limited time, the description may not be 100% accurate about the current condition of the vehicle. Additionally, the content of the article does not have a complete backing of information. Comments regarding the condition are based on the weather, circumstances during the interview, and the author’s subjective viewpoint. Please be aware of these factors.

For inquiries about the featured vehicle or to schedule an on-site inspection, please contact us at the bottom of this page. Since this is a private transaction, on-site inspections are only available for customers who are genuinely considering a purchase, to prevent casual inquiries.

Thank you for your understanding and consideration.”

The detailed condition of the vehicle is described in each photo.

On the top slide you will find 50 attractive photos of the vehicle! Please click on a photo to view it with its description. Click outside the picture to return to the page.










Exhibit location