1973 Morris Mini 1000 Roadster Manual & MOT'd SOLD
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|A truly unique 1973 Morris Mini 1000 roadster convertible - ready for some summer fun! |
At a glance:
- 1973 Morris Mini 1000
- 'Speedwell Blue'
- 13" Ultralite wheels with Bridgestone tyres
- 998cc (carb) petrol engine with manual gearbox
- Massively fun to drive
- 57,323 miles
- 1973 so MOT, tax and ULEZ exempt (but currently MOT'd until September 2020)
- HPI clear
The iconic and unique Mini was produced from 1959 until 2000. The original is still considered an icon of 1960s British popular culture. Its space-saving transverse engine front wheel drive layout - allowing 80 percent of the area of the car's floorpan to be used for passengers and luggage - influenced a generation of car makers. In 1999 the Mini was voted the second most influential car of the 20th century. This distinctive two-door car was designed for BMC by Sir Alec Issigonis and manufactured at the Longbridge and Cowley plants in England. On its introduction in August 1959 the Mini was marketed under the Austin and Morris names, as the Austin Seven and Morris Mini-Minor. The Austin Seven was renamed Austin Mini in January 1962 and Mini became a marque in its own right in 1969. In 1980 it once again became the Austin Mini and in 1988, just "Mini".
The Mark IV was introduced in 1976, even though by this stage British Leyland was working on a new small car (the Mini-Metro) which was widely expected to replace the Mini, but it was ultimately never replaced due to its enduring popularity. The Mark IV had a front rubber mounted subframe with single tower bolts and the rear frame had some larger bushings introduced. Twin column stalks for indicators and wipers were introduced, as were larger foot pedals. From 1977 onwards, the rear light clusters included reversing lights. During the early 1980s the Mini received many mechanical upgrades, such as the A-Plus engine, 12-inch wheels with front disc brakes, improved soundproofing and quieter, stronger transmissions. The Mini's 25th anniversary fell in 1984 and British Leyland produced a 'Mini 25' limited model, both to mark the occasion and to publicise the recent upgrades to the model. Basic models such as the City and the City E (using the economy-tuned drivetrain from the Metro HLE) filled in the bottom of the Austin-Rover range and still found buyers who wanted a compact city car that was easy to park and cheap to run. Low purchase and running costs also made the Mini continually popular as a first car for younger drivers, and Austin-Rover introduced a steady stream of limited editions with bright paint colours, body graphics and trim to appeal to this market. The Mini was also becoming prized as a characterful and nostalgic car in its own right, and the 'London Collection' of limited edition models were more upmarket and luxurious and named after affluent or fashionable parts of London. These marketing strategies proved very successful - Mini production actually saw modest increases through the mid-1980s, from 34,974 in 1985 to 35,280 in 1985 and 39,800 in 1986. By 1990, with the reintroduction of the very popular Cooper model, Mini production would pass 40,000. In 1988 Austin Rover decided to keep the Mini in production for as long as it was viable to do so, eventually a staggering 5.3 million Minis were produced spanning the 41 years between 1959 and 2000. However, despite this massive production, there are a surprisingly limited number left on the road, and enthusiastic demand has seen prices of the better examples rise dramatically in recent years.
Very few Minis are now in the same specification as when they left the factory, having benefitted from the huge trend for both cosmetic and performance upgrades. This Mini has undergone a huge programme of restoration and modification into the Roadster or 'Speedster' version you see today. It has a moustache grille and retro front end styling, classic wood rim steering wheel, carbon dash, fully carpeted interior, high back sport seats, racing harnesses, fully strengthened floor, relocated fuel tank & battery, fully opening boot with pull out liner, the list is endless. It also has working wind-up windows and a bespoke soft top and frame in great condition. It would have cost an astonishing amount to create, well over £10k just for the conversion work, and is now available for a fraction of the cost of purchasing a car, restoring and building it yourself. It's reminiscent of the original Red Bull Minis from ages ago, or the Mini Banham Roadster of the late 90s, but it's neither of those - it's a one-off.
On the Road:
These classic Minis drive like nothing else on the road. They have immense charm and character, and a fabulous 'go-kart' feel to their classic, minimal design, both inside and out. The Mini starts first turn of the key, the 998cc petrol engine offers a lively responsiveness. It surges eagerly under acceleration, starts, stops and does what it should. The ride quality is 'unique' in any Mini, so expect an entertaining ride and an engaging driving experience without being reliant on modern tech such as power steering, electric windows, cruise control, heated seats or anything else to go wrong. Despite the basic quality of the design, these Minis are an absolute hoot to drive, and although the exterior appears very compact, the innovative designs means drivers of any size will fit. I'm 6'5" and fit comfortably with plenty of head room. It's not like a Jaguar or Mercedes-Benz for refinement, but it's unashamedly an entertaining Mini adventure, and they are hugely popular due to their iconic charm.
Austin's 4 cylinder inline petrol engine, the A series, is one of the most common in the world. Launched in 1951, production lasted until 2000 in the Mini. It used a cast-iron block and cylinder head, and a steel crankshaft with 3 main bearings. The camshaft ran in the cylinder block, driven by a single-row chain for most applications, and with tappets sliding in the block, accessible through pressed steel side covers for most applications, and with overhead valves operated through rockers. The cylinder head for the overhead-valve version of the A-series engine was designed by Harry Weslake – a cylinder head specialist famed for his involvement in SS (Jaguar) engines and several F1-title winning engines. British Leyland decided to update the A-series design in the 1970s, at a cost of £30 million. The result was the 'A-Plus' Series of engines. Available in 998cc and 1275cc, the A-Plus had stronger engine blocks and cranks, lighter pistons and improved piston rings, Spring loaded tensioner units for the timing chain and other detail changes to increase the service interval of the engine. More modern SU carburettors and revised manifold designs allowed improvements in power without any decrease in torque or fuel economy. Many of the improvements learnt from the Cooper-tuned units were also incorporated, with A-Plus engines having a generally higher standard of metallurgy on all units, where previously only the highest-tuned engines were upgraded in this way. This made the A-Plus engines in 1980-1992 Minis generally longer-lived than the standard A series as found in previous versions. The 998cc version as found in this car was produced from 1962 - 1992, being first introduced in the MK II versions of the Riley Elf and Wolseley Hornet, before becoming common fitment in the mainstream Minis. It starts eagerly, runs well, and still feels very lively. This car benefits from being lightweight, plus a stage 1 kit coupled with an SU hif44 carb, which gives it significant extra poke in comparison to standard Minis.
Being a 1973 vehicle and classed as 'historic' on the logbook, it is MOT, tax and ULEZ exempt. However, it has a current MOT until September 2020 with only one advisory (for slight play in rear radius arm bush).
57,323 miles, which suggests an average of around 1,200 miles per year.
This Mini has been well cared for in the past, and its in great condition, very clean and could be enjoyed immediately. It's not in concours condition, as you would expect at this price point, and comes with a little 'patina' as all classic cars tend to do - but it is very respectable nonetheless. It’s always difficult to express in words the condition of any classic Mini, and most people have differing opinions about condition, so the best way to get a true impression will be to view this lovely car in person. I’m confident that anybody with realistic expectations will be delighted to own and enjoy this wonderfully iconic classic car. Due to constraints on time and the high number of enquiries we receive, it is regrettably not possible to send extra pictures of the inside of the screenwash bottle, glovebox interior, or up the exhaust pipe. Photos don't always do a car justice anyway, so always best to come and have look, to fully understand what a lovely 47 year old Mini this is...
It's hard to put a price on exclusivity. This is the only Roadster in this specification. You'll never find a matching one anywhere else, and it's not an easy task to own a car unlike any other on the road. But unlike other very rare, exotic and exclusive vehicles, ownership of this Mini is straightforward as all of the parts are easy to find, as it is all still standard Mini mechanicals. These classic Minis seem to be increasingly popular and prices are rising as a result, which means they could be a wise investment. As with all classic Minis, this is a hugely unique and entertaining classic, capable of putting a smile on your face every trip!
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