If you thought only a sparkling red Ferrari, a suave Bentley or an uber cool SUV could give you an adrenaline rush, think again. Car aficionados will be in for a pleasant surprise this month as the world’s oldest car, which was found dumped in a garage sitting under a tarp in an unsophisticated state, will find men and women from around the world bidding away to glory in order to claim its ownership. Old and rustic will be the new theme at the Bonham’s Auction house this month. History will get bitterly expensive as the world’s oldest unrestored Austin Mini will be up for sale at a whopping £15,000.
The sale will be conducted at the Royal Airforce Museum, London the 26th of April. Well, the question is why a rich and savvy car enthusiast would splurge on this piece of neglected metal? The answer’s simple for the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust has revealed that the Austin Mini Se7en De Luxe was only the eighth to be made in the UK when it rolled of the production line in 1959. Reason enough to spend all your accumulating cash on this world’s only unrestored Mini. It is said that only three such Minis existed before our tiny Brit made an appearance. While two are in Japan one is a part of the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust collection. However, all three of them have been restored. The Classic and Sports Car Magazine in its August 2011 issue devoted six pages to this fine example of British Automotive Engineering.
A Derelict Classic
The grey Mini originally belonged to a Gladys Hobro of Aldwick, West Sussex. David Gallimore later brought it from him in 1986 and since then it has been lying in his garage at Chichester. John Polson from Bonhom’s states that, “Mini is one of the most important car of the 20th century and has always been a collectible.”
Everything in the Mini has been retained including its Registration plate XLL 27. The Farina Grey paintwork along with the engine, panels and transmission are in their original state. The car’s 848 cc engine has covered only, 30,041 miles on the clock. It has corroded in the front floors as well around the A panels, sills, doors, rear sea well, boot floor and rear relevance. The interiors of the car have also been kept intact and the only visible change is the carpet. The XLL 27 also has retained its signature Glass Washer Bottle. The only obvious change that appears in the Mini is the driver’s door that has been replaced. No changes have been made in the rear sub frame and the steel hydraulic pipes also appear original.
The engine has not been used for a long time and you can also find a paper brake service label which remains fixed to the door jamb. The label states that “work had been carried out at 17,942 miles.” Certain parts of the XLL 27 have removed for safety purposes and to provide ease at transport. However, they will be provided at the sale along with a Swansea V5 registration document.
The Mini will provide its buyer with ample opportunities to restore and redesign this rare piece of history.
Via The Sun