1962 Austin Seven Mini

Highlights


  • 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

The Appeal


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

The Interior


  • 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.



The Exterior


  • 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.


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The Mechanics


  • 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.



Summary


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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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1961
  • Make Austin
  • Model Seven Mini
  • Colour Red
  • Odometer 33,881 Miles
  • Engine size 848
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location Wales
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
29 bids
  • mi•••• £12,000 07/08/22
  • ge•••• £11,750 07/08/22
  • Ma•••• £11,500 07/08/22
  • Ma•••• £11,250 07/08/22
  • ge•••• £11,000 07/08/22
  • Ma•••• £10,750 07/08/22
  • ad•••• £10,250 06/08/22
  • jo•••• £10,000 06/08/22
  • ad•••• £9,700 06/08/22
  • jo•••• £9,500 06/08/22

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