2001 Mini Cooper Launch Car


  • 473rd MINI off the Cowley production line
  • Built in May 2001, two months before official start of sales
  • Originally a demonstrator for main dealership Derek Woodman of Blackpool
  • Complete and comprehensive service history and original build data

The Appeal

Some cars are a bit more significant than they first appear – and this is one of them. It’s a lot more special than just an ordinary MINI, predating the car’s original on-sale date and supplied new as a sales demonstrator ahead of its official launch.

The early-specification MINI Cooper may be an up and coming classic in its own right now that 23 years have passed since BMW/Rover codename R50 was given an impossible task – that of replacing a global icon – but this one is one of the first. The very first. From the initial week of production, in fact, and manufactured two months before the MINI officially went on sale.
According to BMW Group build records (included) and the MINI Y-register, which exists to keep records of the first BMW MINIs, Y593 REC is MINI number 473 – its chassis number of TC00483 slightly misleading, as series production began at TC00010.

It rolled off the production line at Cowley, Oxford, on May 22, 2001 finished in Chilli Red with Kaleidoscope Red and black half-leather trim, with an HEA job control marker on its build card – that means it was quality inspected at each stage of production as it would become a dealer demonstrator. Most of the 600-or-so Y-plate MINIs were, as the majority of customers preferred to wait a few weeks for the new-style number plates to appear in September.

In the case of this example, it was one of two MINI Coopers supplied to the Derek Woodman BMW/MINI main dealership in Blackpool and was originally registered as C19 PER, all of which is recorded in the original service book. It has been privately owned since, with two long term owners before the vendor, and comes with a comprehensive history file including some sought after gems such as the original ‘START ME’ windscreen hanger found only on the earliest cars, as well as the correct MINI-logo pedals that were only fitted to the very first cars off the line.

It's an unrestored example that’s still in great condition for a 23-year-old car, and is a sure-fire investment for its next owner as nostalgia around the BMW-generation MINIs continues to evolve, and the MINI Y-Register grows continually more active on the cult car scene.


The History and Paperwork

  • UK V5C
  • MOT July 2024
  • Copy of BMW build record showing it was manufactured on May 22, 2001 
  • Owner’s manual and wallet
  • One key
  • All original booklets and handbooks including START ME windscreen hanger
  • Supplied new as a demonstrator to Derek Woodman BMW/MINI in Blackpool 
  • Original PDI stamp from MINI head office in Bracknell before initial service stamps by Derek Woodman Ltd for first two years
  • PDI’d on 18/6/2001 and first registered in Blackpool on 6/7/2001 – the day before the official start of retail sales
  • Service stamps at 6,120, 22,129, 35,288, 51,117, 58,321, 65,440 and 88,860 miles with subsequent services recorded on separate invoices, most recently at 99,042 miles
  • Presentation folder containing invoices and service records since 2010, along with old MOTs, some tax discs 


The Condition

  • Classic Cooper colour scheme of Chilli Red with Pure White roof and wheels
  • Very clean and tidy overall condition with no evidence of any corrosion to the bodywork
  • Pure White mirrors
  • ‘Chilli Pack’ extras – half-leather trim, trip computer, white alloys, electric mirrors, fog lamps
  • Excellent black plastic lower body trim in original black
  • Factory 15-inch alloy wheels in good order, missing one centre cap but the vendor has ordered a replacement 
  • Recent new tyres all-round with invoice
  • Lovely straight panels with no notable dents or scratches other than minor ones shown in photos, commensurate with age and mileage.
  • Some very minor marks on front scuttle panel and rear tailgate where vinyl stripes were removed – barely noticeable
  • One small patch of faded paint on rear bumper
  • Original paint in largely superb condition
  • Appears sound underneath with no corrosion advisories ever issued at MOT
  • Front fog lamps
  • Tiny dent on nearside of bonnet 
  • Straight panel gaps and shut lines
  • Factory option Chilli Pack part leather sports seats with Kaleidoscope Red inserts
  • Excellent condition seats with only very minor bolster wear on driver’s side
  • Very clean seats and carpets
  • Correct MINI-branded pedals
  • Genuine MINI velour floor mats
  • Good door cards
  • Chrome-effect gearknob
  • Twin cup holders
  • Very well-equipped as a dealer demo with extra kit including 
  • Aftermarket Pioneer CD-Aux stereo with excellent sound quality
  • Headlining has dropped very slightly at rear 
  • Airbag warning light does not always extinguish – the vendor believes this to be down to the connectors under the seats
  • Air conditioning blows cool but not cold

The Mechanics

  • 1.6-litre ‘Tritec’ engine
  • Frequently maintained and serviced with good maintenance history
  • Five-speed manual transmission
  • Nearly new exhaust system
  • Recent new ABS block and alternator
  • Starts and runs well with no excessive smoke, holds a steady temperature and idles sweetly
  • Fantastic handling and lively performance
  • Smooth gear changes and strong brakes – no transmission noise at all
  • Handbrake would benefit from adjustment as only works at top of travel – but does engage


This sale is subject to the Car & Classic Terms and Conditions. By bidding and/or making an offer, you also agree to the following: 
If the seller is registered as a private seller, consumer rights stemming from EU consumer protection law do not apply. Car & Classic’s return policy applies. 
A non-refundable deposit will be payable if you are the winning bidder at auction or if your offer is accepted, refer to FAQs and T&Cs for details. 
This vehicle is “Sold As Seen”, on an “As Is, Where Is’ basis and without warranty. A full inspection of the vehicle prior to purchase and bidding is recommended. Photos and descriptions are for guidance purposes only. 
✓ VAT is included in the buyer's deposit. VAT may or may not be included in the final bid or offer price, as specified in the listing. 
UK-registered cars and motorbikes on Car & Classic are run through an online HPI check, to verify that they show no insurance database markers for damage or theft, and have no finance owing. 
✓ Buyers are responsible for vehicle collection or delivery. 

Please see our FAQs here and our Terms & Conditions here

Vehicle specification
  • Year 2001
  • Make Mini
  • Model Hatchback
  • Colour Red
  • Odometer 100,779 Miles
  • Engine size 1598
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Chatteris
  • Location Cambridgeshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
19 bids
  • ad•••• £1,800 20/04/24
  • wa•••• £1,700 20/04/24
  • wa•••• £1,600 20/04/24
  • ad•••• £1,500 20/04/24
  • ad•••• £1,400 20/04/24
  • wa•••• £1,300 20/04/24
  • ad•••• £1,200 20/04/24
  • ad•••• £1,100 19/04/24
  • bt•••• £1,000 19/04/24
  • ad•••• £999 19/04/24
Message C&C Auction Team

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