1988 Austin Mini City E

Highlights

• Personalized Union Jack paint job
• Supersport arches and Starmag alloy wheels
• John Cooper Moto-lita steering wheel
• Fun to drive

The Background


The Mini is recognised as one of Britain's most iconic cars ever produced. It was designed by Sir Alec Issigonis and manufactured by English based company British Motor Corporation (BMC). 

With its space saving transverse engine and front wheel drive layout, this allowed 80% of the car’s floor-pan to be used for passengers and luggage. 26th August 1959 saw the Mini officially unveiled to the public. 

Several thousand cars had already been produced, with 2000 already sent abroad. They were displayed that very same day in over 100 countries to coincide with the launch.

The Mini has had many editions, collections and marks in its 1959-2000 life, from the Cooper S, Mayfair, John Player Special, even a Mini Paul Smith. Within that production time, whether it was manufactured by BMC, British Leyland, or Rover Group, they have never moved far away from the classic mini shape that we all recognise.

This particular model you see here is a 1988 Austin Mini 1000 City E on the log book, but as you can see, it has been extensively changed from the original spec which we will get into now.  

The History

This 1988 Rover Mini has been owned by the seller for approximately 4 months. The previous owner to the seller had owned the car for the past 10 years and is the one responsible for creating this special and unique Mini. 

It's worth mentioning that the car has always been dry stored in those past 10 years and has only covered around 1,000 miles. Nowadays, we quite often see cars being wrapped with a design. This one has been hand airbrushed with the style of a union jack draping over it. 

Nothing on the mini has been left untouched. Obviously the paint work is the first thing you notice, followed by the wide Supersport arches and Starmag alloy wheels, but also the engine which has been bored out from a 1275cc to a 1380cc, giving the Mini the extra performance to match the looks. 

The Paperwork


The V5 is present and shows 13 previous keepers, but as mentioned the last owner has owned the car for 10 years, so it’s been a labour of love, even though it’s not really had much use. 

There are 10 previous MOT certificates with the current one valid until 17th July 2021. The seller will put a fresh MOT on the car if it expires before the auction ends. 

Unfortunately, receipts for work carried out on the Mini are missing (maybe to hide the spend bill from the other half). The only one remaining is for a set of spark plugs in November 2020.

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The Interior

The Mini interior is definitely race inspired with the chequer plate door cards and full bolt in roll cage, which has been painted in the same red as the red on the Union Jack. Two Cobra bucket seats with Sparco four-point harnesses hold you nice and tight. The rear seat has been removed to allow the front seats to go a little further back and to house the sub box and amp, which has been trimmed in black carpet. 

The red carpet is nice and clean showing little wear, with some chequer plate style mats to protect it, and the headlining is still taut with no sagging. The ignition switch has been replaced with an isolator and push button start. 

The steering wheel does have some slight wear, but this is a John Cooper Moto-Lita wheel. Just behind, the instruments look to be from a later style Mini, possibly an RSP model going from the colour of the clocks. 

The odometer shows a reading of 25,006. Smiths oil pressure and water temperature help keep an eye on the engine condition with a Smiths clock separating them. Just below that is the JVC CD headunit, connected to the Sub and rear shelf speakers. 

Into the boot storage area and the original spare wheel is there along with the jack and wheel brace. A sign of a thorough job when the car was repainted is that they painted inside the boot.  

The Exterior


Finished with a base of metallic blue, the Mini has had a Union Jack cleverly airbrushed on the roof to give the appearance of it draping down both sides, rear and over the bonnet. Certainly a job carried out by a very skilled artist. 


Starting at the front, the car's bumper is in good condition with no corrosion or dents and has a bright finish. The classic Mini grille is in the same condition. The headlights have some stainless headlamp guards which have done their job in the way of preventing any chips. There are just a few stone chips as to be expected. The bonnet aligns well with the wings and may just need a little fettle to line up with the grille perfectly.


Around to the sides, and the Supersport arches give the Mini added road presence. Clear side repeaters have been chosen to match the front indicators. The door handles and bullet style door mirrors have a bright and clean finish. The rear quarter windows are in good condition, with no noticeable scratches. From the side the car sits nice and level and, as you will see, there are a number of motorsport product decals dotted around the car. 


The rear of the Mini is nice and clean, with the boot lid aligning well. There is an area just below the boot that does have some signs of rust under the paint. Rear lights have been replaced with clear items to match the rest and these are crack free. Again, like the front, the bumper is free from any corrosion or dents. 


The wheels on the mini are Starmag alloy wheels which have had the inner section painted red to match the Union Jack, there are some slight scuffs to the edges on a couple of the wheels. The tyres are all in good condition, with plenty of miles left on them.     

The Mechanics


The engine in the Mini is the famous 1275cc. This is believed to have been bored out to a 1380cc, but as mentioned earlier, there is no paperwork to back this up. There is a custom made centre stainless steel exhaust which splits just after the rear box to two tailpipes either side of the car. Coupled to the four-speed gearbox, the seller reports the Mini is a fantastic car to drive. Quick, nimble and it gets you where you need to as if you were in a go-kart. 


There are no untoward noises coming from either the engine or the transmission and the gear change is smooth and precise, the ride is firm but not too harsh. The engine bay has also been repainted in the metallic blue body colour. The engine has been finished off with a polished rocker cover, painted block, some stainless steel covers over the brake reservoir and coil and polished alternator.   

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The Appeal

The Mini has and always will appeal to a huge amount of people. This one will certainly turn heads wherever you take it! Clearly enthusiast owned over the past 10 years, it is generally a good indication that the car has been pampered well. 


Covering just over 1,000 miles in 10 years, it's definitely not been used to its full potential and probably been used to tinker with at weekends. Perfect to commute around the city although there will be no hiding in the Union Jack Mini, or maybe more suited to the show field at a Mini event. The choice is yours, but guaranteed, you will have fun in it! 

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Auction FAQs
Auction Details
  • Year 1988
  • Make Mini
  • Model City E
  • Colour Multi-colour
  • Mileage 25,006 Miles
  • Engine size 1275
  • Seller Type Private
  • County West Midlands
  • Country United Kingdom
  • Auction ends
Bidding history
15 Bids from 6 bidders
  • XS•••• £8,200 19/07/21
  • st•••• £8,100 19/07/21
  • XS•••• £8,000 19/07/21
  • Ch•••• £7,500 19/07/21
  • st•••• £7,390 18/07/21
  • el•••• £6,850 17/07/21
  • ma•••• £6,750 16/07/21
  • ne•••• £6,500 15/07/21
  • ma•••• £6,200 15/07/21
  • ne•••• £6,000 12/07/21

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