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Ringo64

RSS Auctions: Why did this Mini sell for over $65,000?

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Filed under: Classics, Auctions, Minibonhams-1959-austin-seven-01-opt.jpg

There's good reason this Mini more than doubled it's pre-sale estimate, and it's not because Neil Armstrong once drove it. No, Lot 307 at Bonhams' Hendon, U.K., sale was bid up to $65,100 because it's an exceptionally rare early Mini, just the eighth of the iconic cars ever manufactured, according to the auction company.

The seller was clearly able to capitalize on the current collector car trend of finding unrestored survivor cars - those gems that have somehow escaped not only the ravages of time and oxidation, but five decades of enthusiastic collectors armed with an attitude that tearing it down to the base metal and building it back up, "better than new," is the only way to enjoy vintage iron. The auction company advertised this 1959 Austin Seven (the Mini name wasn't applied to the Austin version until 1961) as the oldest unrestored Mini, saying that only three earlier cars are known to exist, one of which is in the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust museum.

Unrestored cars have achieved their recent popularity in part because they serve as records of how the cars originally came from the factory. Production standards in the '50s and '60s were much more lax than they are now, and written records can be hard to come by, hence the need for cars like this to direct historians and restorers alike.

The Mini, of course, is one of the most popular cars of all time, remaining in production with few changes from 1959 through 2000. Over 5.3 million of the cars were produced over that period, before BMW shut down production to launch its modern version of the car.

Scroll down to read Bonhams full catalog description.

Continue reading Why did this Mini sell for over $65,000?

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