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1974 Austin Mini Clubman

(Photos provided by seller)

Highlights 


• Low mileage – just 54,000
• Only 4 owners – the last for over 40 years
• Impressive list of period upgrades
• All complete and ready for recommissioning 


The Background


The term ‘Clubman’ denotes a certain bon viveur chic, a high-rolling lifestyle of boulevardiers and private clubs in leafy London mews. And it was this ethos of elegance and social climbing that BMC sought to emulate with the Mini Clubman. Having poached the stylist Roy Haynes from Ford to achieve the Mini’s nose-job, the point of the exercise was to replace the newly defunct Riley Elf and Wolseley Hornet at the top tier of the model range with something that wasn’t so expensive to make; something that was essentially the same as the cooking Mini, but with a hefty restyle at the business end.

Haynes had recently worked on the Mk2 Cortina, and the relationship is clear with the Mini Clubman’s face. The squared-off nose added a few inches of extra room, and this wasn’t just an exterior revamp – the cabin was upgraded too, with new clocks mounted directly ahead of the driver. With a variety of engines on offer (including the rorty 1275 GT spec, which became the darling of the BTCC in 1978 at the hands of Richard Longman), the Clubman offered Mini thrills with top-shelf appointments.

And while the traditional round-nose long outlived it, the Clubman is the Mini of choice for many a discerning enthusiast today.

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The History


Rather impressively, this Mini has only had four owners from new, the last of which has kept it for over 40 years. There were three owners between March 1974 and March 1981, at which point its last owner acquired it, driving it regularly until 1986 when it was effectively mothballed in the garage at the family home. It is evident that the car was originally Ziebarted, and in addition to this Waxoil was applied extensively prior to storage, and the engine bay and boot area painted with light green Hammerite, all of which has helped enormously in preserving the car body and subframes.

Indeed, there appears to be very little corrosion which is remarkable for a Mini approaching fifty years of age. The car also sports a number of aftermarket upgrades and accessories, which are detailed below, all of which were purchased new in the period 1981-86.

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The Paperwork


The original manual is here, along with a variety of receipts and correspondence from the early 1980s. We can see, for example, that the alloy wheels were purchased from the Mini Spares Centre in London N11 in 1981, and there’s a paper trail for various other parts too. We also find a letter from Mini Sport Ltd, providing details of some of the parts that were purchased such as the Stage 2 head, Peco exhaust and uprated SU carb and manifold.

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The Interior


The cabin of this Mini is impressively tidy and has weathered the decades very well indeed. The front seats are cloth-trimmed Paddy Hopkirk buckets (complete with original badges), tilting to allow access to a vinyl bench in the rear. The seats all appear to be in very good condition, as are the carpets. The interior benefits from a full suite of walnut trim, including the dash, gearknob, glovebox and door cappings, which is all in decent order. It is worth noting that the interior accessories were bought new when the previous owner bought the car and have had limited use prior to the car being stored. 

The door cards are complete and look in great order. The centre console benefits from additional gauges (rev counter, oil pressure, volt meter), and there’s a period Sharp radio-cassette fitted, connected to 4” Pioneer speakers in the rear side arm rests. The car also has a leather Mountney steering wheel and an Autotech quartz clock. The headlining is in good original condition with just a few minor marks. Inside the boot it all appears dry and tidy, with green Hammerite paint applied for protection.

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The Exterior


It’s testament to the protective measures taken with this car, both from new and prior to it being laid up, that the shell appears to be so complete and together. The chrome bumpers are in good shape with no excessive pitting, as are the original door scraper rubbers and rubber body seals, free of perishing and shrinkage. 

We can see surface corrosion on both side sill seams and front valance, slight rust spots and a small perforation to the front corner of the driver’s door and some surface rust surrounding the passenger door lock but there’s a huge amount of potential here.
The car has had a re spray at some point in its life and while it is presentable, it does not appear to have been a professional job

A vinyl roof is fitted, plus a bee-sting roof aerial, and the car wears rare Paddy Hopkirk mirrors which were supplied as a promotional offer with the bucket seats. The wheels are GB Minilites, including a matching spare in the boot (the tyres will need replacing due to their age) and the chequered flag trim on the arches and sills is a neat period touch.

The Mechanics 


This Clubman has its original 998cc engine, and it was treated to a variety of upgrades in the early 1980s. These included a Stage 2 cylinder head, Cooper S LCB exhaust manifold, intermediate Cooper exhaust pipe, twin-pipe Peco rear silencer, 1.5” SU carb, K&N air filter, and a polished rocker cover.

The engine now starts first time and runs sweetly, thanks to the owner having recently fitted new plugs, leads and coil, and cleaned out the fuel tank, carburettor and mechanical fuel pump. The engine is remarkably dry with no visible signs of leaks or drips of oil or coolant. It is worth noting that, given the amount of time the car has spent sitting unused, the brakes and clutch will need attention.

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The Appeal


This Clubman represents a fabulous opportunity, as examples like this really don’t come up that often. A car that was acquired by an enthusiast in period who immediately set about fitting all the right upgrades to turn it into a proper little tearaway, and used it as such on a regular basis.

They also had the foresight to properly protect it before putting it into storage. Today, it’s presented to market as a Clubman with an endearing history, all complete and with some sweet period details, that should hopefully prove to be a fairly simple restoration/recommissioning for a marque enthusiast.


Notice to bidders

Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the seller's discretion.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1974
  • Make Mini
  • Model Clubman
  • Colour White
  • Odometer 54,000 Miles
  • Engine size 998
  • Location Hampshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
10 bids from 5 bidders
  • Modena £5,000 01/12/21
  • walker.•••• £4,500 30/11/21
  • Modena £4,250 29/11/21
  • walker.•••• £3,700 29/11/21
  • Modena £3,500 28/11/21
  • walker.•••• £2,750 28/11/21
  • Modena £2,500 27/11/21
  • Porsche•••• £2,000 26/11/21
  • rob-wil•••• £1,250 25/11/21
  • Steve19•••• £1,111 25/11/21

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