The Adventures of Hugo, the Wonder Cooper
|Hugo is a '69 Morris Cooper 1000. He came
to me in 1989 as a result of a divorce "clear it out or I'll crush it"
deal. It had been used in Southern Alberta as an autoslalom car for its
entire life and was amazingly rust free. Only the rear valence and outer
A panels needed replacing, everything else is original. Unfortunately the
upholstery had suffered from sitting in the blazing sun for several years.
A complete interior from Newton Commercial solved that problem. Since the
shell was so good I restored it as close as possible to original condition.
Any additions have been made reversible: auxillary instrument panels can
be removed without damage, original engine and gearbox will be retained,
roof colour can be changed back etc.
|Hugo! aka 'mud puppy' taken just after the 1998 Thunderbird
rally in British Columbia. Running this rally completely used up the
brakes and stripped the paint from the underside, but no matter, that's
what I built it for.
|Hugo in action. Collage of rally, race and autocross
(in snow!) *1998 Thuderbird rally (17th overall and 5th in vintage class)
*1997 Shell 4000 (4th overall 1st in class) *1995 Shell 4000 (5th overall,
2nd in class)...more excellent results to come!
|Here's the latest mod to the hydrolastic suspension.
It's a Parker 6600 series quick disconnect coupler which makes raising
and lowering the suspension a very quick thing. Zero fluid loss and positive
coupling is a big improvement over the Schrader valve. I use a light duty
porta-power hydraulic pump filled with 50/50 antifreeze water solution.
|Hugo's new bottom end (wedged and nitrided crank, lightened
rods, flat top pistons). I'm using the newer A+ rods with press-fit pins
to get away from the problem of dropping circlips... which already chewed
up one block.
|This is what happens to the idler gear when it's set
with only 0.003" clearance (as per the BIBLE!). This chewed up my gear
casing (a rare 1071 S item) and meant missing a rally. I now keep a spare
gearbox ready to install.
|Hugo's instruments and the Halda gears I'm going to try
to reproduce. If you want your old Halda instruments put to good use, you
are welcome to contact me!