The Worlds oldest surviving unrestored Classic Mini has been found in a barn in Chichester, Said by British Motor Heritage to be number 8 of the production line and the 4th oldest surviving Mini. SOLD AT AUCTION FOR £40,250 ON APRIL 30th 2012, if you know whio the lucky bidder was please let us know
Bought by David Gallimore in 1986 and stored in a barn for at least 20 years has covered only 30,000 miles from new on its original 848cc engine. The Austin Mini Se7en Super Deluxe which was first owned by a Gladys Hobro of Bognor Regis in Sussex is expected to fetch £15,000 at auction on the 30th April at Hendon RAF Museum.
The Mini in Farina Grey was built in July 1959 at Longbridge 3 months before full production started and only has a speedometer in the dashboard. The car has not worked for many years and is in desperate need of restoration. Still retains the original number plate XLL 27, which has to be quite a valuable item as well.
Auctionners Bonhams are selling this amazing find and John Polson from Bonhams said 'This is a wonderfull opporthunity to byu the car and restore it. It is the oldest unrestored Mini. Collectors love the fact it has had very little done to it since it was built. It was the eight to be produced and is the fourth oldest to survive.'
John continuew ' The Mini is one of the most important cars of the 20th century, They have always been collectable, Some collectors would want to return her to new, but others would just like to get her going again and keep her in the original condition'
It could actually spark quite a debate as to wether this incredible find should be restored or not. If it is restored does it loose its originality or should it be restored back to its original condition so it can be driven and enjoyed again?
The 3 earlier MInis including 621 AOK which resides in the Heritage Museum at Gaydon, Warwickshire and the other 2 are said to be in collections in Japan.
The following text appears on the Bonhams website and describes the car:
This Austin Se7en De Luxe is believed to be the oldest surviving un-restored Mini. Accompanying correspondence from the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust states that it is the 8th of its type to come of the production line at Longbridge in May 1959, some three months before the launch of this legendary model on 26th August. The BMIHT correspondence confirms that the car was despatched on 31st July 1959 to Car Mart Limited in Colchester, whose service plate is riveted inside the engine compartment.
It is believed that only three Minis earlier than 'XLL 27' still exist; one is '621 AOK', which forms part of the BMIHT's collection at Gaydon while the other two (one of which has been converted into a cabriolet) are in Japan. From 1986 until last year the car was owned by David Gallimore of Chichester, the previous owner listed on the copy Swansea V5 on file being Mrs Gladys Hobro of Aldwick, Bognor Regis. The car is complete and has all the features that distinguish these very early Minis, including the famous glass washer bottle. Some parts have been removed for security and ease of transport but all will be provided at the sale together with a Swansea V5 registration document.
The driver's door has been replaced but other than that only a few small items appear to have been renewed. 'XLL 27' retains its factory Farina Grey paintwork, all its original panels, engine, transmission and the original registration number. The interior is likewise original, intact and complete except for the carpets. Even the original Bluemels numberplates survive and there is evidence to support the belief that the recorded mileage of 30,041 miles is correct. A paper brake service label remains fixed to the near-side door jamb, recording work carried out at 17,942 miles.
There is evidence of corrosion in the front floors, 'A' panels, sills, doors, rear seat well, boot floor and rear valance but a surprisingly high percentage of the shell is intact. The rear sub-frame appears original, as do all the steel hydraulic pipes. The engine has not been run for many years. The August 2011 issue of Classic & Sports Car magazine devoted six pages to this amazing survivor, which represents a unique opportunity to own an astonishingly correct example of one of the 20th Century's greatest cars in its earliest, purest form. There can be few more important examples of British automotive engineering.
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Many UK newspapers have covered the story and very interesting to read some of the comments tha have been left as well!!
Hot on the heels of announcing the availability of galvanised fuel tanks for a whole range of British classic cars, British Motor Heritage (BMH) is now delighted to be able to offer a replacement galvanised tank for the Mini Van – latterly known as the Mini 95 – over 0.5 million examples of which were made between 1960 and 1982.
The new tanks are made to the original specification on the original press tools, jigs and roller welder, and it is the recent major refurbishment of the latter – the machine that creates the all-important seal for the main body of the tank – that has allowed BMH to make the milestone move from un-plated steel to the infinitely more corrosion-resistant galvanised stock for these replacement items. A lack of corrosion resistance is the Achilles heel of most classic vehicle fuel tanks. The use of galvanised steel eliminates such problems entirely and is therefore a major product improvement.
The tanks (Part No.21A691) carry a suggested retail price of £195 each, inclusive of VAT, and are available now through the BMH’s global dealer network.
Commenting on this important addition to the company’s ever-growing range of replacement parts for British classic vehicles, BMH’s Managing Director John Yea said: “We know the van fraternity has been crying out for this part. Its availability will also please the many special builders who favour it for its squat, easily packaged shape.”
For details of all BMH products and dealers, log on to www.bmh-ltd.com. Information regarding the company’s Motoring Classics retail range of car parts, accessories, personal items and quarterly magazine can be found at www.motoringclassics.co.uk.