Press release

Classic Mini Cooper racer from the sixties meets a Cooper

When Charlie Cooper, grandson of the legendary race car maker John Cooper, appeared as a special guest at the MINI TAKES THE STATES 2018 end-of-rally party in Keystone, Colorado, he had the chance to swap motorsport stories with someone who had raced several of his grandfather’s original Mini Coopers back in the 1960s.

James Witcher, of Melbourne, Florida, had considerable success racing both the Mini Cooper and the Mini Cooper S in 1965 and 1966 when he was serving in the military, based in Germany, supported in his racing endeavours by one of the Mini dealers in Germany.

He recorded numerous victories driving the stock Coopers in Germany and other European countries, often beating Porsches while doing so, and also put them through their paces on the circuits of Monaco and the Nurburgring.

“While based in Germany, he decided to spend his money on racing cars rather than spending it on beer like some and chose to race the little Mini Cooper” said his wife Carolyn, who drove with James in their 2013 MINI Clubman on the eastern route of the Rally to the Rockies.

Both James and Carolyn, who are 74 years old, still take part in track days and autocross events and they are both still in full-time employment.

While on MTTS 2018, they even added to their personal MINI collection. Carolyn told us that she bought a 2016 Clubman from one of the MINI dealers in Florida and negotiated the deal on the telephone while driving through Colorado on day seven of the rally!