South American Mini History

Originaly written in Spanish by: Ricardo & Miguel Plano

FACORCA (Fábrica de Motores y Carrocerías Cordillera) a the factory located on Mariara (Carabobo State, Venezuela), the idea of building Fiberglass Minis is gestated. After more than a year, on April of 1991 an agreement is reached with Rover Group Ltd. to obtain support,
technical supervision, and to provide all the mechanical parts as well as all electric components, Facorca would assume the body, interior trim, radiator, radio, wheels, and tires. The factory molds itself for a maximum production of 10 cars per day, but the normal production would eventually become of 6 cars per day.

series production started in December, assembling total of 113 Mini Cord on that month. Two basic models with 1000cc enter the market (the project of launching a 1275cc engine was never achieved). The Mini Cord FA, deluxe version, which brought amongst other things, air conditioning, complete leather interior trim, central console with tachometer, chrome bumpers, spotlights, Minilite Type GB wheels. Mini Cord SB, Standard Version, with cloth interior trim, and steel wheels with deluxe wheel cups. All Colombian versions came with Minilite type GB wheels.

In 1992 768 Mini Cords were produced, specifically for the Colombia, Venezuela, and Antilles market, of which 164 were imported to Colombia. That was the best year of production.
If you visit the
BMIHT museum (British Motor Industry Heritage Trust) you’ll be able to find, in a privileged place, amidst the most important Minis, a Red Mini Cord FA, with white roof.

By 1993, a few improvements are made to both models, changing the interior trim to a better one, much more comfortable, original Rover rearview mirrors, and new design on the forward emblem.
The 1993 Production descends to 391 units, due to the different economical problems, and problems among the partners, which drive the Factory to an almost decisive shut down. 62 Units are officially imported to Colombia, and the Distributors in Colombia, Mini City, cease to function as well.

In 1994 FACORCA finds itself in a very difficult financial situation, but the success in sales and of possible exports to Colombia take the Company to the hands of Abisaad Janna & Cia, who are convinced (by the partners left at Facorca) to re-open production.
Assembling the Mini Cord restarts, and two Beach Minis prototypes get to be built first, two unique convertibles, a
conventional Mini with Kit Cooper 1.0 with 10 inch wheels, and another standard engine and Pilmico Style. Together with those, the Mini Cord with John Cooper 1.0 Kit deluxe is launched, with 13 inch Revolution wheels, Three-Clock-Central Drive Board, and Leather Interior. All should have been silver, although, because of special requests, some where painted otherwise, on other colors. The total production with Cooper and the standard versions by 1994 was of 24 units a great deal of these series reach Colombia, and all this due to the Economical situation of Facorca. This takes Abisaad Jana & Cia, to cancel their contract.

In 1995 only 15 units are assembled and commences the dismantling the installations.
Between the years 1991 and 1995, only 1309 Mini Cord were produced, in the standard and the Deluxe Version, Cooper and Convertibles, which makes it the smallest Mini Productions ever.