1962 MOR­RIS MINI

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - ClassicCarsForSale.co.uk - Nick Larkin

EN­GINE 848cc/4-cyl/OHV POWER 37bhp@5500rpm TORQUE 44lb ft@2900rpm MAX­I­MUM SPEED 75mph 0-60MPH 29sec FUEL CON­SUMP­TION 32-44mpg TRANS­MIS­SION FWD, four-speed man­ual MoT 12 months ODOME­TER 733 miles WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?

Press this Mini’s floor-mounted starter but­ton and the lit­tle A-se­ries en­gine coughs briskly into life. It feels very to­gether and nippy around town, where you can point and shoot it into gaps in slow mov­ing traf­fic where oth­ers fear to tread. We can even for­give the long, wand-like gear lever be­cause the clutch is so very light in op­er­a­tion. Han­dling is mag­nif­i­cent even by mod­ern stan­dards, and though the sus­pen­sion pat­ters on poor roads it feels like it’s in ex­cel­lent or­der. Un­der­steer is no­tice­able in the bends but lift­ing off the throt­tle soon brings the car back into line. The drum brakes work ef­fec­tively with­out pulling.

BODY­WORK CHECK

The body has been re­paired over the years but not fully re­stored. The vast ser­vice his­tory re­veals that the sills and quar­ter pan­els were re­placed in the 1990s and the work has clearly been done to a high stan­dard. The paint is ex­cel­lent, with no runs, over­spray or or­ange peel. There’s not a sin­gle spot of rust no­tice­able any­where on the car and the orig­i­nal-look­ing sub­frame ap­pears to be in good or­der. The doors close with no drop­ping.

HOW’S THE IN­TE­RIOR?

It’s pris­tine, but not orig­i­nal. The front and rear seat fac­ings are al­most cer­tainly from a Mini Club­man, with match­ing door trim and ma­te­rial on the bulk­head ei­ther side of the vast speedome­ter. It’s all in fine con­di­tion, like­wise the black carpets and un­marked orig­i­nal head­lin­ing. In­er­tia reel seat­belts are an ob­vi­ous mod­ern fit­ment but it still has its orig­i­nal slid­ing win­dows (whose chan­nels have been re­placed), the glass is in good or­der and the mea­gre se­lec­tion of in­stru­ments all ap­pear to work as BMC orig­i­nally in­tended.

UN­DER THE BON­NET

The en­gine starts in­stantly with no rat­tles and keeps its cool. The ser­vice his­tory shows a pre­vi­ous owner’s con­sid­er­able ex­pen­di­ture on the car in the 1990s, in­clud­ing sundry en­gine, sus­pen­sion and trim parts on top of the body re­pairs. A quick on­line check re­veals a gap in MoTs be­tween July 2011 (at which point its odome­ter reading was 3449 miles) and Jan­uary 2016 (at 608 miles), so chances are the odome­ter has been re­placed at some point.

THE CCW VIEW

This early Mini is in first class or­der. We don’t know why the in­te­rior was up­graded, but the black trim looks great against the Old English White paint. That said, max­i­mum price po­ten­tial would only be re­alised with an orig­i­nal 1962-spec in­te­rior. The rest of the car ap­pears pe­riod-cor­rect, right down to its rather splen­did reg­is­tra­tion num­ber. It’s dif­fi­cult to find an early Mini as good as this and in view of the cur­rent per­for­mance of these cars, you’re un­likely to lose your in­vest­ment.

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