Rover Mini 1.3 MPi
ENGINE 1275cc/4-cyl/OHV POWER 62bhp@5500rpm TORQUE 70lb ft@3000rpm MAXIMUM SPEED 92mph 0-60MPH 12.2sec FUEL CONSUMPTION 34-44mpg TRANSMISSION FWD, four-speed manual MoT 12 months from sale ODOMETER 9496 miles
This Mini’s multi-point injection brings the venerable 1275cc A-series to life instantly and makes for smooth acceleration at low revs. It handles like a Mini should too, with direct, play-free steering and a ride that’s bouncy but unimpeded by bangs and rattles. Excellent brakes offer confidence to push the firm suspension through country lanes with ample grip from the Pirelli tyres. Gear selection is slick and the ride is free from creaks and knocks.
The odd blemish has appeared in the Platinum Silver paint; saying that, they are all minor and require a keen eye to spot. The offside front wing has a couple of small marks in it and the nearside one has one or two minor chips on the front facing edge. The chrome is excellent, with only slight marks on the headlight rings, while the underside has a factory finish, confirming the lack of use. A rear exhaust box has also been fitted recently. With exact panel gaps and a bright silver finish, this exterior requires little more than regular cleaning and the contrasting black wheel arches, door mirrors and halogen headlight conversion complete the package.
HOW’S THE INTERIOR?
The ivory half-leather/tweed seating was a popular option from 1997; it blends well with the unmarked bright red carpets and bold veneer dash inset with attractive cream dials. All work correctly, as do the switches and remote immobiliser. The factory radio/cassette gives away the vintage of this Mini, as does the driver’s airbag. The interior has suffered negligible wear; only the leather gear knob shows any evidence of real use. It is easy to understand why this interior was so popular in period.
UNDER THE BONNET
Engine bay space is limited, with the large box of electronics labelled ‘Rover’ squeezed over to the offside. They certainly shoe-horned the final variant of the 1275cc engine into the engine bay and close inspection reveals no oil or water leaks. The area is clean and requires little attention. Unlike earlier Minis, modern technology and plastics restrict any garish home modifications. A single familyowned example that remained in storage since 2011 after the passing of the first custodian, this Mini was recommissioned recently with £3000 of invoices to confirm. The MoT history goes back to 2006 and the final tax disc expired in 2010. With the invoice file comes an owner’s manual and a fresh MoT with no advisories.
THE CCW VIEW
This would be ideal for anyone looking for the Mini experience with none of the tinkering demanded by early models. Not only is it a low-mileage example, but it’s had plenty spent on it to make it drive as well as it looks. Definitely worth a closer inspection.