South Africa
Mini's were being produced in South Africa at Blackheath as early as December 1959, and by Motor Assemblies in Durban from 1960 to 1962, so it comes as no surprise that the Traveller/Countryman was also built in South Africa.  From the beginning there was a high level of local content in the South African built cars.

There is some uncertainty as to the offical lauch date of the estate models in South Africa, but it is thought to be around June 1961.  Like the early UK built cars, the early South African estates had an internal fuel tank.

A unique feature of the South African Traveller and Countryman cars is their interesting colour scheme, with the main body colour ending at the waistline with the upper section and roof generally being white, although some white estates were given a red roof.  From 1966 the two tone colour scheme changed slightly with the main body colour now running all the way up to the roof gutters and just the roof being painted a different colour.  A mono-tone paint scheme was also available.

The interior also had some unique features, with the door pockets and rear wheel arches being trimmed in carpet to prevent scuffs and scratches.

The South African Austin Countryman was tested and reviewed by CAR magazine in January 1962:
Mini Station Wagon CAR RT January 1962-1  Desktop Resolution .jpg Mini Station Wagon CAR RT January 1962-3  Desktop Resolution .jpg Mini Station Wagon CAR RT January 1962-5  Desktop Resolution .jpg

Like with the UK built cars, there were several changes to the South African estates over time:
1962 - the internal fuel tank was replaced with the slightly larger external tank and the filler cap moved to the right hand side of the car.
1965 - the 998cc engine replaced the 848cc engine of the earlier cars.
1966 - the smooth roof made way for the ribbed roof.
1967 - the sliding windows on the front doors were replaced with the Australian style wind up windows with quarterlights.

In December 1968 the Mk2 Austin Countryman and Morris Traveller were introduced, with the same basic changes to grille, badging, etc. as on the UK built cars.

In 1969 BMC South Africa underwent re-organisation, becoming Leykor.  At this time the Austin and Morris names were dropped and the estates continued to be manufactured under the name Mini Countryman MkII with a blue & white Mini branded bonnet badge.  The South African built Countryman was discontinued in August 1971 when it was replaced by the Clubman Estate.

A total of 6248 South African estates were sold:


848cc 998cc TOTAL
Austin Countryman

2335

1338

3673

Morris Traveller

1889

686

2575

TOTAL

4224

2024

6248


ZA Traveller_1.jpg ZA Trav 2_1.jpg new doc_2.jpg ZA Trav4_1.jpg e5.JPG

Thanks to Ryno Verster for his help with this information.
For further reading on the South African Mini's we recommend his book A South African Mini Story, available from http://www.kewengineering.co.uk/minisa/index.htm