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Unrestored Mini makes £40,000 at auction
The UK’s oldest unrestored original Mini has been sold for £40,250 by auction house Bonhams, exceeding the £15,000 guide price for the popular lot by £25,250.
A 1959 Austin Mini Seven De Luxe Saloon, the mega-money Mini was the eighth car of its type to roll of the production line at the Longbridge factory.
Despite its run-down condition, the Mini is displaying an odometer reading of just 30,041 miles and boasts records of servicing work, such as a sticker in the car’s doorjam showing routine maintenance carried out at 19,742 miles.
The car is still in its original Farina Grey paint and retains the XLL 27 number plate it was first registered on.
The Bonhams auction house reports the driver’s door has been replaced, but the rest of the car’s bodywork is totally original, with the car sporting period features such as its glass windscreen washer bottle.
As a result, there’s evidence of corrosion in the front floors, A-pillars, sills, doors, rear seat well, boot floor and rear valance, meaning the new owner will have to have deep pockets to complete a restoration – given the lot’s sale price, that seems assured.
The Mini’s 848cc engine will also have to undergo refurbishment. Despite its low mileage, the motor hasn’t turned “for many years”, according to Bonhams.
The original Mini is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential vehicles in the history of the car.
Designed by Sir Alec Issigonis, the Mini’s engine was installed transversely, bucking the trend for longitudinally mounted engines and increasing space in the cabin for passengers and luggage as a result – a format most modern hatchbacks now prescribe to.
The auction house is not disclosing who the car’s new owner is and whether he or she has plans to restore the Mini to its former glory, or leave it in its current condition as the oldest unrestored example in existence.
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