NO RESERVE! 1991 Rover Mini Mayfair

No reserve on this auction!

Highlights


・Early Nineties Mini fresh from a full structural restoration
・Original Henley Blue with Mayfair interior
・Photographic record of body repairs
・Extensive history file

The Background


It may have been a 30-plus year old design, but the humble Mini enjoyed a bit of a renaissance in the late 1980s and early 1990s following the rebirth of the iconic Mini Cooper and a renewed interest in the model.

It was enough for the newly formed Rover Group, which emerged out of Austin-Rover, to give the model a new lease of life, with the new ‘Rover’ Mini (it was actually never badged as such) being introduced in 1989. 

The car received a facelift to make it more modern, though in Mini terms ‘modern’ is subjective. It got 12-inch wheels across the range, replacing the original 10-inchers, along with a standard two or three-dial instrument pod depending on whether you opted for the basic City or the more upmarket Mayfair.

In addition, Mayfair models got velour trim and door cards and supposedly more comfortable seats, though again such things are relative as the Mini was woefully out of date by the time this particular example was first registered in 1991.

But it had something in spades that no other car could even come close to and that’s character. The Mini was a national institution, a car that was absolutely hilarious to drive and unbearably cute to look at and that kept it selling in strong numbers to die-hard enthusiasts right until its eventual demise in 2000.

This example is a largely original 1991 Mayfair, aside from its non-standard Minilite wheels and slightly lowered suspension. It has just been rebuilt with extensive body repairs and is now a guaranteed solid and impressively blank canvas for its next owner, making it the perfect car with which to stamp your own mark on the Mini scene.

The History


The Mini was acquired by its previous owner in 2013 and he kept it on the road for six years. Prior to that, its history is a little sketchy but it had a low mileage and was an original car.

It was acquired by the vendor in late 2020 in need of extensive body repairs. He is a professional vehicle restorer and has put hundreds of hours into bringing it up to its current standard, including new floors, sills, wings, doors and repair sections for the A-pillars, scuttle panel, inner wheelarches, boot sill and bulkhead. Basically all of the usual Mini places.

The car is now pretty much complete, rust-free and ready for a new home.

The Paperwork


As well as the V5, the Mini will be supplied with a brand new MOT (at the time of writing it had yet to be submitted for test). It comes with an A4 folder put together by the previous owner, who loved the car. Within it are a pile of bills from a well-known Mini parts specialist for all the work he had carried out on the car. The vendor has added to this with more recent receipts for the body repair parts and the rest of his expenditure on the car. He has also photographed the entire body restoration and the pictures relating to the rebuild have been printed out and added to the folder.

The Exterior


Finished in a wonderfully period shade of Henley Blue, the Mini is a vibrant and colourful car that’s impossible not to love.

It has had a full respray as well as the extensive body repairs detailed above, with the entire body stripped and repainted inside and out. New subframes have been fitted front and rear and the entire underside has been zinc treated and undersealed to preserve it for generations to come.

At the time of our photographs, the vendor was still waiting for a new bonnet latch and stay lever to be delivered by his supplier. He assures us that by the time the auction ends the bonnet alignment will be perfect. The same applies for the widow seal trim on the driver’s door, which has also been ordered.

The rest of the body looks fabulous, with no rust in any of the usual Mini places. It’s a wonderfully solid and well-restored car.

The Interior


There’s not much inside a Mini, but what there is here is in good order. It has its original velour Mayfair seats and they’re smart, clean and tidy, as are the matching door cards, though the driver’s side is missing some plastic trim around the door lock. 

The three-dial dash includes a rev counter, speedometer, fuel and temperature gauges, while the central heating controls are exactly where you expect them and where they were since 1959. There’s no radio fitted, but there is a cradle fir one under the passenger side of the dash so that the new owner can easily install their chosen in-car entertainment.

The carpets and floor mats are brand new.

The Mechanics


The vendor has given the Mini’s engine a partial rebuild including a replacement head gasket and a refurbished SU carburettor. It starts easily from cold and once the choke is returned it holds a steady idle. 

The engine is a 998cc A-Series and sounds healthy, with no excessive smoke or rattles. 

In addition to the mechanical work, the Mini also has adjustable shocks and has had the entire braking system renewed meaning it’s in fine mechanical health.

We were able to conduct a short test drive and can confirm that the steering, brakes and gearbox are spot on and that the Mini is as fun to drive as they always ever were!

The Appeal


What’s not to love about a Mini? This is a great example of an archetypal British classic that has had all of the major restoration work it might require carried out professionally. The vendor has deliberately left it completely plain an unmodified other than Minilite wheels and a stainless exhaust system, meaning that the next owner can personalise the car exactly how they choose, safe in the knowledge that they’re not staring down the barrel of major rebuild or restoration expenditure in the future. 

If you want a Mini to make your own, this is the perfect candidate.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1991
  • Make Rover
  • Model Mini Mayfair
  • Colour Blue
  • Odometer 93,596 Miles
  • Engine size 998
  • Location Hertfordshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
51 bids
  • Lu•••• £4,900 18/05/21
  • ph•••• £4,800 18/05/21
  • Lu•••• £4,700 18/05/21
  • ph•••• £4,600 18/05/21
  • Lu•••• £4,500 18/05/21
  • ph•••• £4,400 18/05/21
  • Et•••• £4,300 18/05/21
  • Et•••• £4,200 18/05/21
  • ph•••• £4,100 18/05/21
  • ph•••• £4,000 18/05/21

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