Archive : Mini Clubman takes shape

On this day:

Somewhere in the bowels of BLMC a photograph is taken of hatchback Mini Clubman, part of the ADO20 programme.

ADO20 prototype takes shape in Longbridge
ADO20 prototype takes shape in Longbridge


Meanwhile the strike by 400 press shop operators and maintenance men has resulted in 4000 workers and 400 truck assembly workers at the British Leyland Corporation factory at Bathgate being laid off .

Strikers Halt A Car Factory

A car plant was brought to a standstill yesterday after a strike by inspectors. The inspectors, who are in charge of the production line, walked out of the British Leyland Motor Corporation factory at Cowley, Oxford, following a dispute over a merit award scheme.

As a result, 2,730 other workers were sent home. They are expected to report back for work today.

Keith Adams


  1. It is curious why ADO20 did not benefit from the lessons learnt from the Barrel Car project, since they would have been better off getting rid of the external seams from the Mini Clubman hatchback prototype at both the front and rear had it reached production.

    Instead the Mini Clubman merely featured a new (albeit less aerodynamic) front-end paired with less powerful engines and no hatchback, causing it to be undeservedly maligned by some.

  2. I did see a picture of a Clubman Boot too but that was many years ago, also had something of the Marina about it.

    • Speaking of the Marina, I revisited the Princess’ development story last night & a three box version, completely different in appearence to the wedge variant, was sketched looking like a slightly larger version of the Morris Ital.
      Given this was in about 1970, I’m not sure whether that says more about ADO71 or the Ital!

    • Would be interesting to see to what extent a 2-door booted Clubman would have been significantly rebodied compared to the existing booted Minis, cannot see the value of such a model unless it was part of a reputed project involving Clubman-front 4-door saloon and 5-door hatchback bodystyles.

  3. I wonder how much success the Mini Clubman would have had, if it had then replaced the classic Mini’s entirely (and perhaps as a Hatch?) My first car was a 1967 Classic Austin Mini 850, then I aspired to own a Clubman or 1275GT (never did though).

    Obviously BL discontinued the Clubman’s long before the normal Mini, so sales must have been lower in the 70’s.

    Having said that, I thought the Clubman was a nice enough looking little car with improved interior.

  4. I’ve always wondered, with the Maxi being launched at the same time, why there wasn’t a longer Mini Clubman like the one in the photo with a hatchback and using engines from the ADO 16. It could have really stolen a march on the Renault 5 and Fiat 127 and really brought the Mini up to date, although the 1959 design could have carried on as a city car.

  5. This looks longer than the old mini, by about 1ft… had it been launched in 69 or 70, they had a winner…in 1000,1100 and1275cc, it was a few years ahead of the superminis to be unvealed within the following 5 years and a full decade prior to the Métro… they would have had plenty time to size the car larger to keep up with the larger, trendier uno or 205…

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