An amazing survivor bought new in 1961 by the current owner’s grandfather
Owned by just one other owner outside the family and having covered a miniscule original mileage
Fully and professionally restored under the supervision of the original owner’s grandchildren
Like many icons, be they rock stars or cars, the Mini is known the world over by a single name. Almost everyone knows the story of the Mini with its game-changing transverse engine and front wheel drive configuration. This allowed an amazing 80% of the car’s footprint to be dedicated to the cabin. Most people will recognise the name of Alec Issigonis, the creator of the tiny city car that took the world by storm.
In a market where availability of classic Minis is often plentiful, this example stands proud as a fascinating survivor car. Boasting a great history with just two previous owners and a sub-34,000 mileage, this car stands out as something a bit special. Add in a sensitive and professional recent restoration and it becomes clear that this is a Mini for the true enthusiast.
The History and Paperwork
This car left the BMC Longbridge factory in February 1961
The car was purchased new by the current owner’s grandfather
The car was lightly used and enjoyed for many years
A second owner subsequently bought the car but did nothing but store it
The current owner, the original owner’s grandson, bought the car a few years ago
A full, ground up restoration then followed
Undertaken by professionals but overseen by the original owner’s grandchildren
The Mini is complete with a good level of paperwork
This includes the current V5
There are also numerous invoices included detailing the parts included in the restoration
The Mini is registered as a historic vehicle
As such it is understood to be MOT and VED exempt
It is the interior of the MKI Mini’s where Issigonis’s genius is so evident
By standards of the day, and even today, this is a spacious and airy cabin
An object lesson in less is more the cabin has been fully restored
The red vinyl seats have been retrimmed and present in excellent condition
The front seats tip easily forward for rear seat access
The same is true of the rear bench seat
This MKI Mini benefits from rear under seat storage as well as large side storage bins
The crimson carpets appear to be in excellent condition throughout
The door cards and rear side panels are finished in white vinyl
The front doors also feature full-length, extruded storage pockets
The headlining is tightly affixed and appears to be in an unmarked condition
The dashboard essentially comprises a large steel storage shelf with some minimal controls mounted in the leading edge
The signature central speedometer is mounted above the shelf
All the signature early Mini features are here including the sliding front windows and thin-rimmed steering wheel
It’s a very period-faithful cabin with the restoration successfully retaining its original charm
It is no wonder that the original Mini inspired so many record attempts that aimed to cram as many people into the car as possible. Although 27 is the current record it probably wasn’t what Issigonis originally envisaged for the car. He was focussed on provide a driver, three passengers and their luggage with a roomy and practical cabin within a tiny city car form factor.
It is great to see his original concept so faithfully retained in this restored Mini. There is nothing in here that the master designer wouldn’t recognise or approve of. Everything is in great condition and manages to showcase the genius of the original Mini so well.
During the restoration the Mini has undergone a colour change to its current red colourway
The paintwork appears very professionally applied exhibiting a deep and lustrous shine
Like the interior the exterior remains very faithful to the stripped back design language of the original design
The car exhibits all the correct chrome adornments and trim pieces
The chrome-coloured panel edgings help define the iconic profile of the Mini
The bumpers, grill and door furniture are presented in bright chrome
The very familiar light lenses, front and back, appear clear and in fine fettle
The cabin glass is in great condition with no fogging or delamination noted
The diminutive 10-inch wheels are white painted and finished with bright chromed hub caps
The Falken tyres appear new all round and are in the period correct size and profile
It is easy to believe that the external appearance of the Classic Mini didn’t change much over its 40+ year production life……until you see such an original MKI example as this. Its such a pure design and appears deceptively simple. The use of chrome-coloured panel finishers to the sill line, the A and C pillars and the roof line are a masterstroke, however. Essentially these not only disguise panel edges but also help define the iconic shape of the car.
This example looks just great in its bright red colourway with the tiny wheels picked out in white and chrome. It is refreshing to see a restored example so faithfully presented with nothing adding to or subtracting from one of the most successful automotive designs in history.
This MKI Mini features an 848cc example of the redoubtable A-Series engine
The A-series helps define the perky character of the Mini
The four-cylinder petrol engine was originally rated at a mere 34 bhp
Propelling a car weighing in at less than 600 kgs, however, makes the car a spirited performer
As a full restored example this Mini has had all its mechanical systems refurbished
As such the owner attests to a car that runs very well indeed with no known issues
Next to the revolutionary packaging of the Mini, the car’s driving dynamics was the most surprising aspect of the MKI Mini. Whilst offering a modest on-paper specification, the light weight and rev-hungry engine made the car a joy to drive. The “wheel-at-each-corner” configuration and innovative Alex Moulton designed rubber cone mounted suspension gave the car a go-kart like prowess through the bends too.
It will come as no surprise to anyone driving a well sorted MKI that the little car went on to become a true motorsport goliath across a range of events and disciplines.
The classic Mini is a car that needs little introduction, explanation, or summation. A mould-breaker in so many ways it is truly one of those cars that significantly changed the automotive world and influenced almost every car subsequently designed and built.
It is little wonder, then, that the car has built a worldwide following of enthusiasts and connoisseurs who love everything that this ground breaker represents. This example is one for them. A car with a fascinating family history and amazingly lightly used. A car which has been restored fastidiously as a tribute to a much-loved family member. It represents a rare opportunity for the Mini aficionado and one not to be missed.
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1962 Austin Seven Mini
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