A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Sold for: £12,600
A work of true genius, the Mini not only became an icon of the Swinging Sixties but also influenced a whole generation of car designers and is widely considered to be the most influential car of the 20th Century. When it arrived in August 1959, it was sold and marketed under BMC’s two main brand names, Austin and Morris, though apart from the badging, both the Seven and the Mini-Minor were virtually identical. By January 1962 the ‘Seven’ name was dropped and it became simply the Austin Mini although both Morris and Austin badged versions continued to be sold until 1969 by which time the car had become such an icon that all versions were simply known as the Mini.
As the accompanying Heritage Certificate confirms, this Austin Seven Mini was built on 2nd December 1960 - the first full year of production - finished in Tartan Red with a Spanish Red and Fleck interior, fitted with the optional heater prior to being despatched to Weybridge Automobiles Ltd of Surrey where it was fitted with its wing mirrors.
Its first owner was the dealer’s brother-in-law who took delivery shortly before Christmas and used the car locally and for annual holidays in Bournemouth and he retained the car until his passing away in 1974, at which point the Mini had covered just 27,276 miles.
Ownership then passed to his granddaughter who used it for day-to-day commuting for a couple of years before putting it into storage in 1976, at which point it still only had some 36,000 miles under its wheels. During her ownership, a replacement Gold Seal gearbox was fitted along with a new rear subframe, whilst the cable-operated door handles were also replaced with chrome accessory handles but the car otherwise remained totally standard. She also exchanged the original buff logbook for a V5 and disposed of the old MOT Certificates, although fortunately, she did keep the service records.
The car was to remain in storage for the next three decades, although it was moved from a garage in Surrey to another in Kent at some point, and the engine was periodically started to keep it free. Brought out of storage in recent years, the Mini was thoroughly cleaned and brought up to MOT standard, great care being taken to preserve as much originality as possible. This amounted to little more than a full service and an overhaul of the braking system, although new bumpers were required front and rear along with a new set of tyres. Halogen headlamp bulbs have also been fitted along with a spin-off oil filter and BMC export-type seat belts. It passed the MOT test in April 2015 but is now MOT exempt.
The car has covered under 37,100 miles from new and remains highly original in all important respects, including the interior trim and carpets, rivet type wheels, foam-filled sills and floor panels, floor starter, ‘magic wand’ gearstick and original Surrey registration. The previous owner stated that it appears never to have been welded and nor does it require any welding. While it could no doubt be transformed into a shiny new pin with some cosmetic detailing and an (unnecessary) full repaint, the previous owner much preferred to keep it as it is and reluctantly offered it for sale due to health problems. Subsequently, it has been looked after in our vendor’s important collection ever since.
Documentation includes the aforementioned Heritage Certificate; an original driver's handbook and maintenance book; original Passport to Service book with stamps up to 27,276 miles; 1974 tax disc; a BMC parts list and workshop manual plus a Scientific Publication workshop manual.
This is not a no-expense-spared restoration of an early Mini, there are plenty of those about, but an incredibly low mileage, low ownership, matching numbers, original car that is still in extremely sharp condition and they are almost impossible to find. This little ‘survivor’ is sure to be of interest to the serious Mini collector.