Mini May­fair

This lov­ingly re­freshed Mini au­to­matic of­fers zesty, go-kart­like en­ter­tain­ment that could be en­joyed on a daily ba­sis

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - News - Nathan Chad­wick

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.

Bodywork Check

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.

Our Ver­dict

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.

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