This lovingly refreshed Mini automatic offers zesty, go-kartlike entertainment that could be enjoyed on a daily basis
What’s it like TO Drive?
An automatic Mini is about as close as you’re going to get to a go-kart on the public road, and if anything this one provides greater thrills. The engine fires up with no peculiar noises and the movement of the gear selector into ‘D’ is slick. On the road, the suspension is firm and the steering is slightly heavy, but it’s all part of a car that feels ready to be chucked around, rather than leisurely piloted. And with one less pedal and no changes to worry about, you’ll be hitting apexes much faster than you thought possible. The super-sharp brakes back up this hypothesis, bringing the Mini to a halt in a predictable and straightforward manner. It would be perfect for darting in and out of urban traffic.
The Caribbean Blue paintwork gleams wonderfully, and the body panels are similarly delightful – there are no marks, dents or scratches to be found, and the chromework is free of warping or corrosion. The seals are well presented and look fresh, and the plastic wheelarch trims look brand-new. The boot floor is completely free from rust – in all, it’s about as close to perfection as we’ve seen on a Mini of this era. All four Marshall tyres are brand-new and have plenty of tread remaining.
HOW’s The Interior?
The grey velour interior looks to be in good condition. There are a couple of marks to the driver’s seat, and the trim containing the choke/ heater controls is pulling away slightly, but everything else feels solid. There’s no sagging to the headlining and the dashboard is free from cracks or scratches.
Under the Bonnet
Under the bonnet lies a very tidy engine bay, with no corrosion to be found. The fluids are up to the correct levels and we found no leaks during our test. The undercarriage and boot floor have been given a thorough coating of rustproofing, too. It’s all set for daily use, whatever the time of year.
This Mini is as on the button as they come, and the fact that it’s a rare automatic gives it intrinsic value. Then there’s the low mileage – there’s little in the way of history to back this up, as the car was going to be shipped to Tanzania but only the paperwork made it to Africa. Despite this, the car feels like it’s done just 26,000 miles, as everything is tight and well-fitting. Overall this car has been refreshed comprehensively and the quality of the work is reflected by the driving experience.