1998 ROVER MINI PAUL SMITH LE 1.3i MPI

Instantly recognised around the world, the “classic” Mini is without doubt one of the most illustrious cars to be designed and manufactured in Britain. Produced by the British Motor Company (BMC) and Rover between 1959-2000, the Mini was actually conceived out of austerity. Sir Leonard Lord (Head of the Morris Company) commissioned his lead engineer, Alec Issigonis, to design a small fuel-efficient car capable of carrying four adults and yet be affordable to all. Since small was fashionable Issigonis was also told that the new vehicle had to fit into a box no larger than 10ft long x 4ft wide x 4ft high. It was from this challenge that the Mini was born. Amazingly, despite a few minor modifications over the years, the overall concept and design for the vehicle remained largely true to Issigonis’s initial idea. Though small in size, the Mini’s space-saving transverse engine and front-wheel drive arrangement allowed for 80% of the floorplan area to be used for occupants and their luggage, a layout that influenced a generation of car manufacturers.

While the car would prove to be a great example of well-engineered micro design, the iconic Mini persona is really its most enduring legacy. The crowning glory came in 1999 when the Mini was voted the second most influential car of the 20th century (behind the Ford Model T) by the Global Automotive Elections Foundation. Awarded merely a year before the final Mini would roll off the Longbridge production line, it was perhaps a fitting farewell to a car which had endured largely unchanged for over 4 decades, had sold 5,387,862 examples to every corner of the globe, and whose honest construction had entered the hearts of us all.

The special edition Mini Paul Smith was released in 1998 in a strictly limited production run of 1800 cars, of which only 300 were earmarked for the home market. All 300 UK Minis were solely available in the Paul Smith blue hue, a colour specially selected by the renowned fashion designer. Each car was built to a distinctive and instantly recognisable specification, to include charcoal grey 12” Minilite alloy wheels, twin spot lamps, 24ct gold enamelled “Paul Smith” bonnet badge, “Paul Smith” rear window sticker, full black leather trim, colour-coded dash with Paul Smith scripted instrument graphics, citrus green glovebox interior, petrol tank and boot liner and a special “Paul Smith” denim jack bag. The Mini Paul Smith featured the 1275cc fuel-injected engine from the revived Mini Cooper and was one of the few Mini variants to be fitted with the tall 2.76:1 final drive ratio, making it one of the most refined models to drive. As the most lavish Rover Mini ever produced up to that point, it also wore a premium price tag, becoming the first edition to retail at over £10,000.

Originally supplied by Priory Rover on 26th August 1998, this Mini Paul Smith displays approximately 48,000 warranted miles and is a splendid example. According to the accompanying documentation, the car spent its first 8 years as a daily driver before retiring to life as a classic toy, with recurring periods spent in storage.

The Mini is sold newly serviced and MoT’d until 26th May 2022 and also benefits from a new suspension kit, auxiliary belt and headlight adjuster. The car is supplied with two sets of keys and a comprehensive history file enclosing a fully stamped service book, owner’s handbooks, MoT certificates and sundry invoices detailing mileage and works completed.

Serviced at:

  • 146 miles (20/01/1999)
  • 806 miles (08/03/1999)
  • 3,218 miles (24/08/1999)
  • 7,072 miles (02/09/2000)
  • 12,274 miles (10/09/2002)
  • 25,992 miles (29/04/2004)
  • 29,148 miles (27/11/2004)
  • 36,597 miles (06/12/2006)
  • 37,948 miles (15/12/2007)
  • 39,192 miles (22/12/2008)
  • 42,349 miles (20/12/2010)
  • 45,524 miles (29/01/2016)
  • 48,467 miles (17/08/2021)

This vehicle is now sold.

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