ENGINE 1275cc/4-cyl/OHV POWER 58bhp@5250rpm TORQUE 69lb ft@3000rpm MAXIMUM SPEED 88mph 0-60MPH 17.3sec FUEL CONSUMPTION 26-32mpg TRANSMISSION FWD, three-speed auto MoT 12 months ODOMETER 49,779 miles WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
It starts on the first turn of the key – although you need to wiggle the gear selector in neutral to find the sweet spot before you can fire up the engine. The automatic gearbox – which has had a complete overhaul – is a bit slow to change down on inclines but the changes themselves are smooth. The Hydrolastic suspension is fully gassed-up and the brakes stop the car quietly and smoothly, with no pulling to either side. The handbrake holds the car easily.
There are a couple of flaws in the driver’s door – a small dent and some light scratches in the middle, plus some minor bubbling in the paint towards the lower A-pillar – the latter is mirrored on the passenger door. Elsewhere, the only real paint issues are some imperfections around the front indicators. The wheel arches are rust-free, the window rubbers appear brand new and most of the chrome is in excellent condition, though there are some rust flakes on the rear bumper. The overriders are unscuffed and unpitted.
HOW’S THE INTERIOR?
There’s no peeling or cracking to the wooden dashboard lacquer and the vinyl dashboard top looks like new. The headlining is complete and in good condition, marred only by a yellow stain running parallel to the nearside guttering. The doorcards and storage pockets have worn well, albeit with some age-related splits. The seats are clean and comfortable and everything from the lights, wipers and horn to the heater controls work as they should. Seatbelts are fitted up front only and look in fine order.
UNDER THE BONNET
The engine idles well, with no untoward exhaust smoke. There’s no hint of overheating – thanks, no doubt, to the new water pump. The low mileage and extensive service history show that previous owners have taken great care of it – a fact made clear upon opening the bonnet. There are a few corroded connectors and specks of corrosion on the air filter pipe and radiator cap, but fluid levels are healthy and the mostly original parts are standing the test of time. The radiator fan is new and the battery fresh, but otherwise it’s quite a timewarp under the hood. Even the heatshield is present – a rarity on these cars, because they’re often pinched for Mini projects.
THE CCW VIEW
This charming and lovable slice of 1970s’ motoring history can still hold its own in modern traffic. The overhauled gearbox works well, the cabin is remarkably quiet and most of its original fittings are still intact. It’s not exactly cheap, but it’s low-mileage, one of the rarer ADO16s and has show-winning potential if given the right care and attention.