Classic Minis are hugely collectible – and this might be one of the least-used examples you’ll ever be able to track down.
It’s a 1967 Mini 850 Deluxe that has had just a single owner on the logbook for the last 51 years, covered fewer than 705 miles a year on average, and barely turned a wheel for the best part of four decades.
It will be sold at the H&H Classics Buxton sale, in Derbyshire, on 18 July, but experts reckon it could go for an absolute steal with modest estimates of £6,000 to £10,000 for the sales fee.
While it could sell for much more than that, if it goes for those estimates this could end up being one of the bargain classic cars of the year.
One owner in 51 years: This Mini was uncovered in storage having been kept in a Lancashire garage for 34 years without turning a wheel. It’s hardly been driven since 1981 and has just one owner on the logbook
The completely original Mini has covered just 36,000 miles in half a century, having barely been used for the last 36 years and then been carefully stored since 1983.
For a vehicle of this era to have remained unmolested and not restored for so long is a rarity – and makes it incredibly collectible.
The sale description says it has never undergone any welding repairs and the interior is like new.
As the pictures show it’s not in showroom condition anymore, but having been under cover in a garage in Lancashire since the mid ’80s it’s not surprising.
Absolutely everything about the car is original – from the carpets to the door handles. It’s even sold with the genuine receipt from 1967, a spare set of keys and the owner’s handbook intact.
Speaking to H&H Classic’s car hunters who tracked the vehicle to the dusty unit it was kept in, the vendor’s son explained why the car has been retained in this incredible time-warp condition.
During the extended period of storage it was sheeted and raised off the floor and supported with wooden blocks under the sub frame to keep weight off the suspension and wheels
It has done an average of just over 700 miles each year since it was first purchased and has just 36,000 miles on the clock
The estimated selling fee is between £6,000 and £10,000, which seems very modest for a Mini as original and unused as this
The car is sold with the original receipt, both sets of keys and the owner’s manual intact. All the chassis and engine numbers match-up too
‘My father purchased GBV121E brand new in 1967 for his early retirement,’ he explained.
‘The car was used mainly for holidays; my parents loved touring the Highlands of Scotland as well as North Yorkshire.
‘My father was diagnosed with ME [Myalgic Encephalomyelitis] in the early 80s. The Mini was very little used and in 1983 it was taken off the road.
‘When my father was told he would never drive again he gave the car to me. It was sheeted and raised off the floor supported with wooden blocks under the sub frame to keep the weight off the suspension and wheels and never moved again until this year. So the car only ever had one driver.’
The vendor’s son said the car was passed down to him when his father became ill and he chose not to drive it
Inside, the car is almost like new with red leather chairs, door panels and dashboard
Everything in the car is original, including the sliding windows, seatbelts in the front and floor carpets
There’s a spare in the boot as well as the jack. Collectors will struggle to find another Mini of this age in such an untouched condition
Roger Nowell of the H&H Classics sales team said the car was an ‘iconic symbol’ of the nation’s motoring past.
‘The joy of this job is that now and then you stumble across a car that you just know is going to excite other car lovers as much as it excites you,’ he said.
‘This little car is such an iconic symbol of its time of Britain and our motoring history.
‘It was utterly revolutionary in its day and had a massive influence on the automotive industry.’
Even the higher estimate of £10,000 for the low-mileage Mini appears to be somewhat unambitious.
Examples of a similar age in very good condition command fees of around £13,000 to £15,000, but few have covered such little mileage and been driven by just a single person.
It’s also just 9 per cent of the estimated sales figure for a similarly aged 1960s Citroen 2CV that’s also available in the next few weeks…
The £110,000 Citroen 2CV
This is just one of around 30 Citroen 2CV Saharas believed to still be in running order to date – hence the staggering estimate
The twin-engine 4×4 produced 24bhp and was designed to be used by the French colonies in Northern Africa
While Britons had the Mini, the French had the 2CV – the car that brought affordable motoring to the masses on the other side of the Channel post war.
Affordable this one isn’t. In fact, the rare Sahara model is expected to sell for a six figure sum.
It’s one of just694 4×4 models made and among a handful of those still in survival, according to the Bonham’s sales description ahead of the Monaco Auction on 11 May – and for that reason alone it is demanding a huge sum.
Bonhams thinks it might sell for three figures when it goes under the hammer later this month. One sold last year for £68,000
The estimate range sits between £70,000 and £100,000 – a phenomenal figure in contrast to the small fee needed to buy one more than 50 years ago.
The twin-engined Citroen (each one producing just 12bhp) was originally created for use by the French colonies in Northern Africa, and not many would have survived the extreme temperatures and road – and off-road – conditions.
A similar example that has been restored and was in arguably better condition – having been driven from the UK to Africa and back again via the Sahara desert in the 1960s – sold for £68,000 just over a year ago.
Will it reach the incredible estimate? We’ll find out in a fortnight.
CARS & MOTORING: ON TEST