There we were, minding our own business, driving along in a Series 2 E Type that we had borrowed for a feature (you’ll see that later in the week) when we saw this little stunner on the side of the road. We love a Mini here at Car & Classic, but this is no ordinary Mini. This is a rare pickup model. You’ll find no dents or construction site-earned ding here though. This little charmer is absolutely immaculate, having just gone under the knife (or should that be welder?) in the name of restoration. No panel has been missed, no bolt left un-turned. We would even go as far as to say that this Mini is better than it was when it was new.
The Mini pickup was introduced in 1961, and shared the same platform as the van. It was deigned to be a nimble, nippy way to move, admittedly small amounts, of goods around. With a weight of 680kg, it was a definite featherweight, but it also meant it was cheep to run. For many, the Mini pickup served as superb auxiliary vehicle to help out on bigger fleets. Though for those who simply didn’t want or need a full-on, large scale van or truck, the Mini pickup was again popular.
The model we stumbled upon is from 1980, meaning it was built just before pickup production stopped in 1983 at around 58,000 units built. The keen-eyed amongst you might be wondering why, if it’s a 1980 model, does it still have external door hinges. Well, the pickup was a no frills machine, and while the design of the car evolved, the pickup largely stayed the same throughout its life.
This Mini was acquired by its current owner, mechanic and classic car specialist, Roy Raxter, some ten years ago. He knew a customer of his had one, and asked the question. The next thing he knew, the pickup had been delivered on a trailer, the V5 was in Roy’s hand and, somewhat unbelievably, there was no request for money. Yep, Roy was given the car. But there was a significant catch – the poor Mini was very, very rotten.
The car has been an ‘on and off’ project for Roy, something to tinker with when the time presented itself. Over the last decade, the Mini has become a wheeled representation of the Theseus paradox, with an untold amount of new metal and new panels going in. However, the engine, the trim and other pieces have been retained, thus ensuring this car’s originality. Frankly, had the car gone into a commercial body shop it would have been written off. It only survives today because of Roy’s passion for it. Doors, sills, wings, A-pillars, bed floor, roof, there is a panel that has gone untouched.
The interior has been re-trimmed, the the rubbers for the windows replaced, the headlining is new, and it’s all been done to a deeply impressive standard. This little Mini is ready to live a new life, it’s basically a brand new car as far as we can tell.
That A Series engine has been completely rebuilt, the clutch is new, the gearbox has been refurbished, the brakes are new, the suspension and diddy ten inch tyres too.
So what’s next for this beautiful little car? Well, Roy is actually selling it. For him, the fun, the journey if you will, is in the build. Now that the Mini is completed, it’s time for someone else to reap the benefits of Roy’s talents. We don’t know what one would use such a vehicle for. It would be criminal to make it work for a living, so perhaps just have it as a toy, as a bit of fun? Perhaps it could be a promotional vehicle for a business? That’s all for the new owner to worry about. What they won’t have to worry about are the usual Mini pitfalls of rust and reliability, as Roy has ensured they’re past tense concerns.
If you like the look of this immaculate little machine and you have £18,500 to spend, give Roy a call on 01527821408.