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 Rover Mini 40 was launched in 1999 to mark the 40th anniversary of production of the classic Mini. Largely based on the Cooper S, only 800 examples were produced of which 250 were earmarked for the home market. The Mini 40 was one of the most expensive production Minis ever made with each car being built to a very high specification, to include Rallye-style spot lamps, Sportspack wheel arches, 13” Minilite alloy wheels, full leather interior, radio/CD stereo and an engine-turned dash with Magnolia faced dials.
First registered on 29th September 1999, this Rover Mini 40 is presented in stunning Mulberry Red with matching full leather interior and contrasting seat piping. The Mini began life as a demo car for Rover dealer South Clevedon Garages Ltd and was purchased from the dealership in November 1999 by a lady, who has remained the registered keeper ever since. Over the course of the past 22 years the car has been driven sparingly, with reoccurring periods spent in dry storage.
The Mini boasts 31,000 miles from new (a mere 4,000 miles in the past 10 years) and is in exceptional condition throughout, commensurate with such low mileage. The exterior is remarkably clean and rust free and the engine is strong and pulls impeccably. Notably, the Mini has been serviced and maintained by the same reputable garage for most of its life. She is sold newly serviced and MoT’d until 12th August 2022 (no advisories) and also benefits from a new front pipe, battery, front bump stops, tyres and reconditioned alloy wheels. The original purchase invoice, owner’s handbooks and both sets of keys are all present.