Mini Cooper

EN­GINE 1275cc/4-cyl/OHV POWER 70bhp@3900rpm TORQUE 78lb ft@3250rpm MAX­I­MUM SPEED 92mph 0-60MPH 12.5sec FUEL CON­SUMP­TION 35-39mpg TRANS­MIS­SION FWD, four-speed man­ual MoT 12 months ODOME­TER 76,201 miles

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - Nick Larkin

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?

This 1991 car starts in­stantly, runs beau­ti­fully and of­fers ex­cel­lent ac­cel­er­a­tion through­out the rev range. More imor­tantly it cor­ners like a Mini should, with an im­me­di­acy to the steer­ing that’s free of play and no wor­ry­ing knocks or rat­tles through the bends. The gearchange is smooth and pre­cise by Mini stan­dards, and while you’ll still hear the tra­di­tional whine on the move, it’s min­i­mal and shouldn’t cause any con­cern. The ride’s still on the bouncy side, but the su­per-com­fort­able af­ter­mar­ket front seats do a won­der­ful job of min­imis­ing it. This re­ally is a clas­sic Mini you can drive pain­lessly over long dis­tances.

BODY­WORK CHECK

Plenty of ma­jor work has been car­ried out on the car over the past year or so by its owner’s fam­ily busi­ness, Went­worth Coach­works in Sur­rey. The doors, bon­net and sub­frame are new Her­itage re­place­ments and the re­spray was clearly done to a high stan­dard. The sills ap­pear to be orig­i­nal and are in good or­der. There are no no­tice­able rust spots or bub­bling, and the A-pil­lars and valances are in sound con­di­tion. The paint­work has an even shine through­out, the cor­rect de­cals have been ap­plied and the chrome is good.

HOW’S THE IN­TE­RIOR?

The af­ter­mar­ket Co­bra bucket front seats look the part and re­main in good con­di­tion, like­wise the Moto-Lita John Cooper Sig­na­ture steer­ing wheel. The rest of the in­te­rior is orig­i­nal, and has sur­vived well for a 26-year-old car. The car­pets show no signs of wear, the door cards are in ex­cel­lent or­der, and there’s no sign of sag­ging head­lin­ing. The dash­board is free of any scuffs or cracks, and all the in­stru­ments work as Long­bridge in­tended, too.

UN­DER THE BON­NET

The en­gine cur­rently doesn’t look as im­mac­u­late as the rest of the car, but it wouldn’t take a huge amount of work to rem­edy that. More im­por­tantly, it ap­pears to be in good me­chan­i­cal health and has been ser­viced reg­u­larly. There are no signs of leaks or frayed wiring and the car gave no in­di­ca­tion that it’s sus­cep­ti­ble to over­heat­ing, even fol­low­ing a sprir­ited test drive. Ev­ery­thing in fact seems to be in ex­cel­lent or­der – the en­gine and gear­box ap­pear to be in fine fet­tle.

THE CCW VIEW

The owner of this car is sell­ing it only be­cause a change in fam­ily cir­cum­stances means that it’s no longer big enough. He has owned the car for ten years and ob­vi­ously cher­ished it. Restora­tion work in the fam­i­ly­owned body re­pair busi­ness has re­sulted in a car that isn’t far off be­ing as good as new. The un­der­bon­net re­flects an hon­estly used and en­joyed car rather than some­thing pre­pared for show­ing or sale. This Cooper is def­i­nitely worth se­ri­ous con­sid­er­a­tion.

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