When it comes to motoring icons the Mini stands head to head with the best of them. Launched to a dumb-founded motoring press in 1959, the amazing Alec Issigonis-designed Morris Mini Minor introduced a whole new concept in car design.
Its space-saving front-wheel-drive layout and ingenious transverse engine allowed 80% of the car to be used for passengers and luggage. Throw in a cute little monocoque body and go-kart like handling that made 30mph feel like 60mph and Issigonis was on to a winner.
In 1969 the MkIII version was launched which had numerous small improvements including larger doors with concealed hinges, winding rather than sliding windows and rubber cone suspension in place of the Hydrolastic system on the earlier cars. Three engine sizes were available, 848, 998 and 1275cc.
Dating from August 1972, this cute Austin Mini 850 has lived in Malvern all its life and has had just four local owners to date, all of them known to each other. We are told that the indicated mileage of 29,500 is genuine, all clocked up in the first 10 years of its life, the car being put into storage in 1982 where it was to remain for the next 33 years.
The vendor acquired the car in the summer of 2015 as a project to keep himself usefully employed in his retirement. A former development engineer at the Austin plant in Longbridge, he has gone right through the car to address any issues and bring it back to life after its long slumber. This has included a full brake overhaul with many new parts, a new dynamo, new battery and a new set of tyres.
He has also fitted more comfortable seats from a Mini Clubman, an uprated electric fuel pump in the boot (rather than underneath where it takes a battering from the elements) and a combined oil pressure/water temperature gauge on the dashboard, being a firm believer that a driver should always know what is going on under the bonnet!
The bodywork has also been restored as required, both above and below, and the orange and turquoise paintwork has been refreshed as necessary – an unusual colour combination which we have never seen before but which the vendor insists is the colour scheme it has had from new.
Said to drive as well as it looks with an MOT until August 2017 with no advisories recorded, this low mileage Mini is only being sold to fund the vendor's next project, a much older Austin Seven Tourer.