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Lot 051: Mini MKI

Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles, Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers (18 July 2012)

When the first Minis went on sale in August 1959, it is fair to say that the public were initially slightly baffled by this tiny little box with its small wheels and funny front-wheel drive. However, as word gradually leaked out about its amazing handling prowess and huge fun factor, it quickly became a cult object that came to symbolise the freedom of the Swinging Sixties. One of the great, undisputed car designs of all time, it had a classless appeal that made it welcome everywhere and by 1966 over a million had been sold. With go-kart handling and excellent brakes, it was a huge success in competition and literally ran rings around far larger and more expensive cars that simply could not keep up with its cheeky pace. It was to remain in production for an astonishing 41 years, still remaining recognizably the same car in 2000 as it had been at launch in 1959. As its accompanying Hertitage Certificate confirms, this Cherry Red example is one of the earliest examples made, being built at the Oxford factory on December 8th 1959 and dispatched to BMC distributors Stewart & Arden of London before being sold to its first owner on December 21st. The V5 states that the car has only had two further keepers since then, but there is insufficient history to substantiate this. About ten years ago the car was treated to an extensive rebuild by well known Mini specialists 'Dean's Minis' of Cambridgeshire, who paid special attention to preserving many of the rare features found only on 1959 Minis, as fascinating correspondence between the then owner and the restorers makes clear. These features include the following: lack of drip rails on the rain channels around the roof (such rails only appearing on production cars from May of 1960); front and rear window apertures with no recess for window rubbers (these did not enter production until the autumn of 1960); the correct early non-flap heater; brass door hinges as opposed to the cast steel hinges only available on late 1960 cars; the correct swinging rear number plate. Bills on file for the restoration total over 10,000 and there are also many old MOT certificates going back to 1977. The car is said to remain in fine condition today and is due to have a fresh MOT before the sale. Given that another Mini from May 1959 in need of full restoration made an incredible 40,000 at auction earlier this year, this lovely example looks an absolute steal at the guide price suggested today.

Lot Details
Auction Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles
Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers, Easters Court, Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 0DE
TypeCar
Lot Number051
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£9500
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1959
Condition rating
Registration number569 BSR
Mileage-
Chassis numberM-A2S4/8902
Engine number8628
Engine capacity (cc)848
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2