Minty Mustard Mini

Minty Mustard Mini

Turners Christchurch has a classic auction on Saturday 7th November so we’ll be covering some of the treasures up for grabs between now and then. First up is what appears to be an amazingly original 1971 Mini.

Time takes its toll on nearly every car. Wet winters, hot summers, less than caring owners, rough roads and high miles finish most cars off inside 20 years. But every now and then a survivor pops up that defies time. At 44 years old this Mini 850 looks like it has been drinking from the fountain of youth. Ok, sure, a 1971 Mini looks old compared to a 2015 Mini but only in the same way Rod Stewart’s 1971 haircut looks old compared to Justin Bieber’s. Not necessarily a bad thing.

The original Mini was way ahead of its time when it hit showrooms in 1959. The clever design feature of mounting the engine east – west (instead of the traditional north-south) and driving the front wheels meant that the little car had loads of space in the cabin. It pretty much revolutionized car design. But not only that it was huge fun to drive, cheap to buy and reliable. This car is a mark III Mini, most likely assembled in Petone and is the basic 850cc version where a heater was an optional extra. I can’t tell if this one has a heater but it may not. If that’s the case, and being a Christchurch car, then it was probably just used in Summer or was owned by somebody a lot tougher than me.

Old Minis are still incredibly popular and they are increasingly hard to find in this condition. I reckon this wee car is going to be very popular when it comes up for auction on the 7thNovember. But compared to many exotic, more expensive to maintain classics it will probably still be relatively affordable.  And for one of the most important and influential cars in history that’s got to make it a bargain.

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