Guide price: £6,500- £9,000
・Only 29,600 miles from new with 27 stamps in the service history
・One of only 1,500 RHD Studio 2 Minis built
・Structural repairs and recent full respray
・Immaculate original interior
The humble Mini underwent a big resurgence in popularity in the late 1980s and early 1990s, partly due to the rebirth of the iconic Mini Cooper and also thanks to a groundswell of interest in the UK car market for special editions, where the iconic model’s status as a national treasure made it something of a fashion accessory.
The Studio 2 was one such model, and was a follow-up to an Austin Metro with the same name introduced in 1987. The name is simply that of the design studio at Austin-Rover’s Canley Engineering Centre in which the special editions were designed – nothing more, nothing less.
The Mini Studio 2 made its debut for the 1990 model year and as such was one of the first Rover-badged Minis after Austin-Rover’s rebrand to become Rover Group.
It was based on the Mini City with the same 998cc A-Series engine, but came with extra equipment including doe-skin seat covers with green diagonal stripe, a three-spoke steering wheel with unique green Mini badge, full-width wheel trims, opening rear quarter lights and an R750 stereo radio-cassette, along with 12inch steel wheels and front disc brakes. It was offered in just three colours – Black, Storm Grey and Nordic Blue – an all new colour developed for the 200 hatchback.
This example is finished in Storm Grey and is fresh from a cosmetic body restoration after spending most of its life in the hands of one lady owner.
IXZ 3370 has spent its entire life in Northern Ireland and is currently offered for sale in County Tyrone, though bringing a car from NI into the mainland UK is a very simple and easy process that doesn’t even require re-registration.
Its first owner kept the car from 1990 until 2017, covering just 27,800 miles in the process but still ensuring that her Mini was serviced every year religiously and without fail.
It was acquired by its second owner in late 2017 and has since undergone a fairly comprehensive body restoration, as even low mileage Minis know how to fizzle away with rust. There’s a photographic record of the body repairs, and it looks fabulous today.
The most incredible thing about this Mini is its service book, which is stamped every year from new by either one of two garages in Newtonards, where it spent most of its life.
The original service book ran out of space, so there are three sheets of paper stapled into the service record into which the later entries are made, with 27 stamps in total. One for every year of the original keeper’s ownership.
The vendor has also kept stacks of receipts, many of them from well-known Mini specialists, relating to parts from the car’s restoration, which add up to a small fortune and also show comprehensive attention to detail.
It has a current UK/NI V5 which will generate a straightforward V5 via the DVLA if the car is sold to a buyer in England, Scotland or Wales, including the right to retain the IXZ 3370 registration number.
By far the most interesting feature of the Studio 2 is its brushed doe-skin seats, and the ones in this example are in really good order with no major signs of wear.
The carpets and door cards are also in tidy condition, while the original over mats are still present. During the car’s restoration it was fitted with a new indicator switch and ignition cowl, the receipts for which are in the history folder. Otherwise, it’s all standard Mini, which means a simple but charming dash layout and that traditional bus-like driving position. It takes some getting used to if you’re not familiar with Minis, but it also maximises the interior space which was Alec Issigonis’s original vision.
Despite its low mileage, the Mini has had quite a comprehensive bodywork restoration – backed up by a photographic record along with a collection of receipts from a well-known and highly regarded Mini specialist, proving that the body restoration was carried out using quality parts.
Among the new parts fitted were a new rear subframe, door bottom inner repair sections, new door skins , A-panels, outer sills, gusset closing panels, a driver’s side wing, rear valance, sill door steps and jacking point crossmembers. The photo record shows the floors in good order from the inside of the car as well as the outside.
Other non-structural enhancements include new bumpers, wheel arch trim, door check straps, window and door seals and new headlights, along with a full respray that looks absolutely fantastic – the only detractions being three very small scratches in the paint that have appeared since the paint job.
One of the great things about the Mini is that there are no shortage of mechanical parts or improvements available, so the 998cc A-Series engine is the thing you need to worry about least when buying.
That said, with just 29,600 miles on the clock and a history of being serviced religiously every year, there’s even less reason for concern. The vendor reports that the car drives exceptionally well and runs sweetly, and that it has just been serviced ready for its next owner.
During its restoration, the car has a suspension and brake overhaul, with new front shocks and bushes, brakes discs, pads, hoses and wheel cylinders.
The Mini is a national treasure and a good rust-free example is a desirable thing these days. This one is particularly alluring as it stems from an era of the best and most varied mix of Mini special editions. There were just 2,000 Studio 2s made, 1500 RHD UK examples and 500 LHD for the German market. That makes it a rare car by normal standards and a pretty collectable one in Mini circles.
This is a lovely example with a fabulous service history, in immaculate condition and good to go. It’s a very cool little thing indeed.
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