‘NCK’ – Built by Cyril Bolton
Sponsored by Mini Sport, Cyril Bolton, a mechanic himself dedicated over 700 hours of critically logged time to building NCK for its rally purposes. Before 1974 the car had already secured several wins alongside three high-ranking places in the major British road rallies across the country. The car showed great potential and in 1975 finished fourth overall in the Motoring News Rally Championship – a firm contestant amidst the golden era of road rallying.
At first glance the car seems to meet all standard specifications of a Rally Mini, strengthened in parts and lightened with relevant replacements such as Perspex instead of glass and the complete removal of the rear seat and trim. Cyril understood that a power disadvantage would be prominent in contrast with the RS 2000’s, BDA’s and Datsun 240Z that he was regularly competing with. So weight was kept down to try and restore balance.
Other slight modifications include standard suspension with Mini rubbers at the front and a simple coil/damper arrangement at rear, power attained from a five port, 1380cc S unit, a worked cylinder head and a specialist Mini Sport camshaft and exhaust system. Additionally an all synchro close ratio gearbox with a low final drive was used.
However, it is the acute attention to detail that ensures that NCK certified its exceptional reputation as the ultimate road rally Mini. Most striking were the 12 in diameter wheels at the front and 10 in diameter wheels at rear. Strengthened throughout the body shell with three, quarter inch thick, steel strengthening members that run across the floor pan with additional plates running lengthways, centrally and vertically to reinforce strengthening of the floor pan joining the rear and middle cross pieces – designed to diminish floor flexing.
Most remarkably the front sub-frame is fully seam welded and pleated to increase strength and various other stress points in the body, allowing the front end to be removed entirely when necessary.
Cars & Conversions
In June of 1976 ‘Cars and Car Conversions’ featured a four page spread surrounding NCK, Cyril Bolton and Mini Sport which still, today, acts as a nostalgic reference to excitement we still feel for a car that made such waves in the Rally scene.
Not only does the article explore the modifications and conversions that proved so innovative for Mini Sport and motorsport at the time but it represents entirely, the passion for a Road Rally scene which is still equally as prevalent almost 40 years later.
Over 40 years have passed since ‘NCK’ began competing and today the ‘Ultimate Rally Mini’ still generates high interest.
NCK is homed and maintained at Mini Sport, where we are able to preserve the Mini in it’s original condition, sharing it’s impressive history at shows and events. The intrigue generated by NCK’s full-proof design, still fascinates Mini enthusiasts from around the World and in August 2015, Mini Magazine, hosted a six page feature in which they described the 1380 Cooper S as ‘a serious head-turner’. You can download the digital version of the Mini Mag ‘NCK’ feature over in our press section.