Is there any car in the history of the automobile which is as Iconic and as effortlessly cool as the Mini. 'The new Mini was as different from the British small car norm in 1959 as a space shuttle from a firework. It bristled with innovative ideas, it looked radically different from any other car and was the most compact "real" car Britain ever produced.' – Chris Rees, 'Complete Classic Mini'.
The Alec Issigonis-designed Mini debuted in 1959 to universal acclaim. True, there had been numerous front-wheel-drive designs before the Mini's arrival, but the transverse engine layout allowed Issigonis to create a trend-setting masterpiece of automotive packaging. Less than two-and-a-half years after its initial conception the Mini was officially launched at the 1959 Motor Show. BMC chose to market the car as the 'Austin Se7en' and 'Morris Mini Minor' before 'Mini' became a marque in its own right in 1969. In due course estate and van versions arrived, larger engines became available, more luxurious Riley and Wolseley models joined the line-up and the sporting Mini Cooper was introduced. The early Mk1 had the 848cc A-Series engine, rubber cone suspension and floor-mounted starter button, the latter two features being replaced by Hydrolastic suspension and key starting respectively in 1964. De Luxe versions – preferred by the majority of customers – came with bumper over-riders and additional exterior brightwork.
Our car is the holy grail of mini ownership being a 1959 Build. With only four former keepers this car is a true rarity. As the Heritage Certificate confirms, this 1959 Austin Seven was built during the last days of December 1959 and was despatched on December 30th to the supplying dealer, Stour Valley Motor Company Ltd, or Stourbridge, Worcestershire. Our car was specified with Heater, Kicking Strips, Rubber Mat in boot, Interior Panels in Carpet Board and Leather Cloth. The car’s first owner was Miss Brewer, who had French’s Garage in Seaford, East Sussex, service the car in its first two years. The service notes are on file and show that the car received a new engine in that time, probably due to the overheating problem that plagued many of the early Minis.
The car retains its original Speedwell Blue colour scheme and red and grey interior, the car appears sound with no advisories listed on its most recent MOT and the Mini still wears its original Worcestershire-issued registration number "YUY 800". The car drives well and characterises everything that made the Mini such a legend in its own time, sharp handling and most importantly the fun factor. The car will be provided with an MOT and it has been in constant use for the last few weeks. A glance over the previous MOTs show virtually no advisories for many years. This is an unassuming early Mini that truly captures the genesis of the marque and in a scruffy but useable condition. The car has had much remedial work and restoration over the years, the front valance is a later one etc, but the car is a lovelty Useable '59 in a great colour scheme at a great price.
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