It’s no longer just the oldest Minis that are commanding profits
The Mini might be small in stature, but as with so many cars, what it lacks in size it makes up for in personality. That’s why the Mini, in all its incarnations, is a favourite within the classic movement.
While its acceptance in the classic scene was gradual – no doubt slowed by the fact that it was still in production – the Mini makes great sense, whether as an introductory classic, something a bit older but still entirely usable or, in the case of the earliest cars, something that’s rare and eminently collectable. And while the BMC-era Coopers are in a segment all of their own, the later Rover Cooper models are still affordable, unless they’re in ultrafine, ultra low-mileage form.
The oldest models have been in cult appreciation since the late 1970s. While there are perhaps a handful still to be discovered, their strong values have had a knock-on effect, not only on the 1960 models, but on all MkIs. And while first-generation Minis continue to increase in value, so too do those from the early 1970s, a period that until recently was ignored by the classic market. Early 1970s Clubmans, along with 850s and 1000s, have suffered worst, but Brightwells offered a 29,500-milesfrom-new 850, fresh out of 33 years storage, with a £3.5-4.5k estimate on 17 May. The same sale saw a restored 1969 Morris Mini Cooper S estimated at £30.5-34.5k.
Anyone wanting to buy any halfsensible Mini, whatever its age, needs to forget the pocket-money prices of recent years. As numbers have dwindled, values have moved up, with even the scruffiest late Rover models comfortably drawing more than £2000.
This year has seen several at auction. Last month’s Barons sale offered a 1964 Austin Mini in fair condition – it made £3850. A 1970 Mini 1000 in better order achieved £4968 at Charterhouse, which also managed to secure £4305 for a tidy 1995 Mini Sidewalk.
‘They still make great sense’
ACA’s 1990 Mayfair was on the money at £2520, but one buyer was content to stump up a strong £10,185 for a stunning, low-mileage Mini 30. DVCA wasn’t to be outdone, seeing a good-order 1978 (this decade is the Dark Ages for Mini collectability) 1000 off at £5000.
Riley Elf and Wolseley Hornets are still affordable and make a good, slightly left-field alternative. Clwyd Auctions sold a 1967 Hornet project for a commendable £1500, while Brightwells’ first Bicester sale saw a pleasing, older restoration 1966 Hornet make £5500.
Brightwells’ low-mileage 1972 Mini 850 carried a £3.5-4.5k estimate, but eventually sold for £4800. This 1966 Cooper sold for £14,700 at Cheffins’ 22 April sale, but prices are rising for other MkI Minis.