Following the establishment of the MINI Y REGister catering for early BMW MINIs built in 2001, a brand new register has been set-up catering for early R53 Cooper S models. Known as the 02 S Register, it aims to unite those who own or have an interest in MINI Cooper S models manufactured during the 2002 launch year.

Early variants of the MINI are now becoming increasingly rare and collectable. Already the 2001 cars, particularly the ‘OBL’-registered press cars, have gained a strong following, with the Y REGister having attracting 450 members since being set-up a couple of years ago by Tanya Field. It can be found at

Soon after the Y REGister launch, fellow member John Corbett predicted that the early R53 models would follow as the next big thing, and so it’s transpired. Despite being barely a month old, the 02 S Register can already boast over 100 followers. The trigger for the new group came when Tanya’s husband Jason purchased what is believed to be one of the oldest Cooper Ss remaining, having been built in late February ahead of the official June 8 on sale date. “The obvious thing was to start the 02 S Register to go alongside the Y Register,” said Tanya. “It’s beginning to pick up, with people and cars coming forward. The aim is to have displays at events, as with the Y REGister.”

The group caters for all 2002 S models, including 52-registered cars built in ’02. It’s believed that Jason’s car, despite being VIN number 212, is one of the very earliest UK cars as many of the cars wearing the first 450 VINs were sent abroad to places like Japan and Australia. “With the Y-reg cars we know the OBL-plated ones were the press cars, which makes sense as BL is Reading and MINI were in Bracknell, but we haven’t got confirmed yet is the registrations given to the press or Mini UK cars for the R53s,” said Jason. “Ours is RX, which is a Reading registration, and we’re as confident as we can be that MINI was the first owner. Anything on a 02 plate is obviously early, and if it has a Reading issued plate, there’s a higher probability it could have been a MINI UK car.”

A website is planned for the near future, but most of the current discussion is taking place via the 02S Register Facebook. Take a look to get involved.