• Fantastic, unique piece of British motoring history, perfect as a promo vehicle
• Recent, bare-metal full body respray restoration completed in past year
• Perfectly functional, following a full service completed under a year ago
Instantly recognisable, nothing quite deserves the title of ‘iconic’ quite like the Morris Mini which was brought to market in 1959. The world fell in love with this quirky little four-seater which brought motoring to the masses, offering a fun, practical car for all. The press instantly picked up on its fantastically unique ‘go-kart-like’ handling, as did motorsport… Fast-becoming a three-time winner of the Monte Carlo Rally.
For some though, four seats were considered two too many and, over the years, a small number of builders have customised the shells of various Mini’s to create truly unique, tiny two-seaters – named, quite literally, the Mini ‘Shorty’.
This example is one of the rarer ‘saloon’ shells, where most Shorty customisations are seen in convertible format. Offered here for auction is a car which has undergone a recent full body restoration and respray, providing a unique, eye-catching car in excellent condition which rarely comes around.
Beginning life in 1968, photographs evidence this car’s previous life as a cream coloured Morris Mini 1000. At some stage during that life, the transformation into a Shorty was undertaken and its history can be documented across various online sources and social media forums.
More recently, the seller had the car worked on by The London Mini Centre in Putney in November 2020 where it was serviced and shortly afterwards, underwent a full body restoration.
The intention of the current owner was to use the car as a promotional vehicle for his business but these plans have now changed and – despite its small footprint – he sadly can’t justify holding onto it so has decided to pass it on to someone who can make better use of it.
Unfortunately, all paperwork for this Mini 1000 has been lost along the way so all that remains is the V5 and some printouts of the car in its original cream paint. Perhaps more importantly for a vehicle of such simple mechanical status though, is the full photographic documentation of the car’s full body restoration in 2020.
Potential new owners can see from the images that the car was taken back to bare metal with all rust painstakingly cut away, new metalwork put in its place and a full respray undertaken.
Unlike the exterior finish, there’s been little modernisation on the inside of the car so you do get the feeling of stepping down into a true ‘60s Mini. The seats appear to have been re-trimmed at some point and are presented in nice, clean condition with no rips, tears or obvious wear.
The dash is all standard Mini fare; incredibly simple and stripped back. A torn gear stick gaiter and loose-fitting carpets could be remedied to tidy up the interior space but otherwise it’s a pleasant place to sit and watch those smiling faces from as people watch you go past.
This is where this lovely little Mini really shines… and quite literally. Photographed on a damp, grey day, the eye-poppingly bright orange colour stood out from a mile away and, inspected in the dry, we could find no evidence of damage to the recently resprayed paintwork.
It truly does look like it’s been rolled freshly out of the spray booth, with the colour-matched wheel arches matching the bodyworks condition and fresh black trim items setting off a well-kept look. At the time of the respray and bodywork preparation, the car appears to have been treated to undersealing, ensuring that it remains in a rust-free state beneath the car for many years to follow.
A set of dished wheels provide contrasting black centres set against polished lips and are all in good condition with only a few minor blemishes seen on the outer edges. Four Nankang tires are fitted and appear to have good tread depth and the seller stated that fresh wheel bolts will be fitted ahead of the auction’s completion for the next owner.
Starting first time when we attended to photograph the car and running without a hitch, the current owner states that this Mini drives brilliantly and, owing to its recent recommission and full service, there are no mechanical issues that require immediate attention. There appears to be a relatively new stainless-steel exhaust fitted and the steering was as direct and tight as you’d expect from the much-loved Mini.
Wanting to ensure total transparency, the owner does state that, while the car does move into gear correctly and hold that gear as expected, it isn’t especially sharp and could do with some attention. Otherwise though, the car runs well and offers excellent simplicity, making this perfect for someone who’s keen to learn more about the mechanical side of motoring.
One of very few Mini Shorty’s in this ‘saloon’ shape – as opposed to the more common convertible – this is a unique opportunity to own one of the most fun, eye-catching cars you’ll see on the road.
With huge care and time spent in recent months on restoring the car, you can bid in confidence, knowing that you will have a solid car with all of those potential rot issues taken care of.
More than anything though, this is something that will put a smile on the face of not just it’s happy new owner, but anyone who’s lucky enough to see it.
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