The classic car market is, as ever, full of surprises. Looking through the sold lots of a recent H&H Classics auction we were greeted with this, a 1967 (late MkI) Morris Mini-Minor 850 Deluxe in need of a fair amount of TLC that sold for an eye-watering £15,525.
Big surprise; small car. The 3.0-metre British classic in question, built two years before Mini became a brand in its own right, was bought new by the seller’s father in Lancashire as a retirement gift to himself and his wife. The couple then used it to tour all around the north of England as well as the Scottish Highlands.
When the owner was sadly diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), otherwise known as chronic fatigue syndrome, he was told he could no longer safely drive and so gave the Mini to his son, who never drove it in anger and for decades kept it raised on wooden blocks, wheels dangling, to protect the tyres and suspension components.
It’s a nice story but it hasn’t been able to keep time’s ravages away. The 36,000 miles may be low but the elements have taken their toll. Underneath the chassis there were plenty of patches of rust at the time the car went to auction. Most of the suspension components look like they need urgent attention before being driven on; as do the hubs and brakes, not to mention the long-since petrified tyres.
The bodywork was scruffy but would probably polish up well enough. The highlight was arguably the interior, which despite all the time gone by looked almost like new with its red seats, red door cards and matching red dashboard and carpet.
We hope it, and the myriad other classics to be sold by H&H Classics on the day, have all found good homes. But, at over £15,000, that home would never be one of ours.