1966 Austin Mini 850 Super Deluxe

Highlights

  • Comprehensively restored in 2011 and dry stored since
  • Just 39 miles since restoration
  • Stunning and original condition throughout 
  • New MOT and Service

The Background

The Mini has long been seen as a symbol of the British automotive industry, and it is rightly regarded as the car that spanned social classes like no other car before or after. The rightness and purity of the concept have now helped establish the original Mini in the automotive hall of fame, as the archetypal tiny car for many. 

Constructed in two factories over its lifetime, this 1966 Super Deluxe version of the 848cc is finished in a gorgeous Almond green, which signifies this as one the first of the Cowley factory colours. Fitted with the favoured hydroelastic suspension, it is also recognised as the start of the period when BMC improved quality control. 

Enhanced with the Super Deluxe trim with the inclusion of the fresh air heater, hinged rear passenger windows and bumper over-riders, this car has been fully restored to what has to be considered a better than factory finish and since being completed has yet to be properly run-in.

The History

Originally delivered to a BMC dealer in Newton Abbot, after leaving the production one the spring of 1966, the owner responsible for the restoration also had gone to the trouble to research the cars previous keepers, via the DVLA. 

The documentation indicates that the original owner kept it until 1977, but the car's survival is undoubtedly due to the acts of the second owner from Exeter, who kept and maintained the car for 18 years. It passed through several owners in the 90’s and 2000’s until it was subject to a thorough 5-year restoration in 2006. The car was restored by the son of a well-known Mini racer and following the restoration the car it was placed for sale due to his decision to emigrate.
The current owner, a retired motor-trader with a sizeable collection of British classics and a long passion for the Mini, has placed the car for sale for several reasons but plans to obtain a similar period Mini Traveller to replace it. He's also been conscious about keeping this car's mileage low, but he understands that, at the end of the day, a car like this must be used and enjoyed.

The Paperwork

As expected for a car that has been completely restored, literally down to the last nut and bolt, the cars restoration has been documented via a CD ROM with around 100 images and a further batch of photographs. With almost £5,000 worth of documented invoices, the current owner suspects that a total of £30,000 of work and parts may have gone into the process of getting the car into its current state. 
Restored over a 5 year period, the car was obtained in Bournemouth in 2006 as a bare shell and 95% of its parts. With these boxes largely consisting of original BMC Mini parts, rather than reproductions, the owner embarked on a ground-up rebuild with a clear vision to keep the car original. The plan was to produce a historic race car, but the sheer originality of the parts persuaded the owner to restore the car as close as possible to when it left the factory in 1966. The shell was completely stripped down and treated, with the addition of a British Motor Heritage floorpan and front end. As the exterior spent the next 15 months being restored, the owner turned his attention to the mechanical aspect of the car, with every component including the engine and gearbox stripped down and rebuilt. 
The only provision of modernity was the addition of hardened seats for the exhaust valve to allow the use of unleaded fuel. The owner had also spent particular attention on the interior of the car, as the process requires patience to get just right. Following the cars completion, it was placed in a Carcoon dehumidifier facility and has just covered 39 miles since then. The car comes with its original hand book, and was subject to a 2013 magazine article documenting the cars restoration and story.

The Interior

When you first sit in the car, the fragrance of nostalgia immediately strikes you - it's like envisioning what it was like when it was new. In terms of wear in the cabin, there is very little to mark it down. The seats have been reupholstered and both the front and back seats retain firmness. The owner pointed out that the driver's seat may need a little stretching out but it certainly doesn’t impede the visual presentation too much. Both front seats tilt forward with no issues, revealing a near perfect carpet set. 

The rear bench has a small mark on it but otherwise like the front items in very good condition, with no signs of use. The dashboard is as basic as it comes, but what is there is in very good shape. The centre mounted speedometer is close to perfect and the heater mechanism, minor dials and other controls are said to be in full working order. The steering wheel and gearstick are in excellent shape. 
There are no concerns with the rear or front parcel shelves; just is a little mark on the material in front of the driver on the very top right-hand side. The door pockets are excellent, with both front cord door releases functioning perfectly. The headlining is as new with no signs of poor fitting or excess glue. The boot is unused and therefore in near-perfect shape. The spare tyre is also unused. The correct battery cover finisher will be included in the sale. 

The Exterior 

The cars' presentation is excellent, and it is apparent that the level of care and attention used to make the panel work and gaps look as good as new was successful. There is very little if anything to report in terms of damage on the car - there is a very minor dent noted on the off-side top of the front wing which has been acquired via storage, but otherwise, the shell is near perfect. 

In terms of the structure of the car, there is nothing untoward to point out, the floor pan, inner wings, subframes, roof seams, sills, boot and engine wells are intact and very clean. There are no issues with the opening and closing of the doors, all are perfectly functional with no straining or sagging from the hinges. The areas around the A posts and roof seams are in excellent shape with no suggestions of damage noted. 
The Almond green paint finish is also worthy of special mention having been treated to cellulose paint, with a repeated process of layer polishes and preparation. As a result, the lustre is excellent, with no suggestions of wear or uneven finishing noted. The car is mostly free of chips, with the exception of one little chip on the off-side door, which appears to be the extent of paint damage. The whole of the exterior chrome trim is in excellent shape, all fitting well with no signs of corrosion observed. 

The glass is in excellent condition throughout, with no signs of age noted, both front glass windows slide well with a minimum of fuss. All of the glass and door rubbers are in excellent shape, as are the lights and lenses with no damage or suggestions of wear. The Falken tyres date from 2009, all are in excellent shape and display excellent thread. The chrome wheel trims are in good shape, with no signs of damage. 

The Mechanics 

As to be expected for a car that has seen a mechanical rebuild, with less than 40 recorded miles on the clock, there is very little in terms of issues to be documented, although the owner has pointed out that the engine will need to be run-in should the new keeper wish to use the car on longer journeys. 

The engine presents very well, with nothing much more than minor surface blemishes observed on the fan hosing. It's also worth noting that the engine detailing, which includes details like the original-style wire clamps for the hoses and a new complete NOS wiring loom, demonstrates the restorer's meticulous attention to detail. 

The cool and damp day didn’t cause any problems to the engine start up, firing up with no hesitation. The engine ticks over sweetly, with no issues to the oil pressure. The owner pointed out a slight sticky choke but in the grand scheme of things has to be considered a minor issue. The car is said to drive very well, with the gear change, in particular, resulting in slick changes. 

The car drives well, the owner has driven the car for a short run since obtaining it, and reports no issues in regards to the suspension, steering or brakes but has confirmed that the car will be sold with an MOT and given a service prior to it being passed to its new owner. The subframe and suspension components are beyond criticism, with the stainless steel bolts unblemished with age and the underside of the engine looking untouched by the elements. 

The Appeal

The Mini was a completely new breed of car and one that launched tens of dozens of imitations and still continues to be the benchmark for the small car. Original survivors always gain a traction of interest, particularly when they have seen a level of patient and through restorations. If you’re looking for something as close as possible as an 'Out of the box BMC Mini' then you’ll not go far wrong with this example. 

The chance to obtain a fully restored MK1 850 Super Deluxe to near close factory spec, with the benefits of a restoration with many original parts, is not something that comes along very often. 
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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1966
  • Make Austin
  • Model Mini 850 Super Deluxe
  • Colour Green
  • Odometer 48 Miles
  • Engine size 848
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Great Milton
  • Location Oxfordshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
37 bids
  • MV•••• £20,500 03/03/22
  • A•••• £20,250 03/03/22
  • MV•••• £20,000 03/03/22
  • A•••• £19,750 03/03/22
  • MV•••• £19,500 03/03/22
  • A•••• £19,250 03/03/22
  • MV•••• £19,000 03/03/22
  • A•••• £18,750 03/03/22
  • MV•••• £18,500 03/03/22
  • A•••• £18,250 03/03/22
Message C&C Auction Team

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