1962 MORRIS MINI
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.
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.