Over three generations and 15 years, the Mini GP has proved that a certain formula works well. Namely, that if a two-seat Mini is pitched to the market in the right way, it's going to sell. More than that, it's going to retain its value as well. It's been something of a triumph, commercially; two-seat hot hatches are often criticised for missing the point, and the Mini has held no records nor broken new ground like some others, yet all the GPs retain their value significantly better than regular Coopers.
Rarity undoubtedly plays a part, global GP production never reaching more than 3,000 (for the latest version) and the UK only ever greeting a few hundred. The unique look and two-seat status will have helped its cause, too, given it cannot be replicated with other models in the range.
Then, of course, there's the fact that the GPs have been superb cars to drive, amplifying and exaggerating all the characteristics of a 21st century Mini to create fantastic hot hatches. Well, mostly; it would be fair to say that the current GP3, the most powerful and most expensive Mini hatch yet, hasn't been received with quite the adulation of the previous two. But even that hasn't dented the residual strength - 11 of the 575 UK allocation are on PH, and some with £40k asking prices. The Mini GP brand is going to need rather more than one sub-par offering to really harm in its reputation.
Which creates a problem, in a way. Because while the GPs are renowned as great driver's cars, they're clearly quite collectible as well. And that typically results in an impending fear of heavy use. See cars like this GP1 and this GP2, showing 20,000 and 11,000 miles respectively; they're designed to be the best Minis to drive, yet the scarcity means a lot of people won't.
So how about a Mini GP like this one? It's showing 100,000 miles which, in the grand scheme of things, isn't all that much when compared to other Minis - but, when you consider that no other GP advertised has recorded more than 75k, it looks more of an achievement. As number 1938 of 2000, this is one of the last original GPs, with four owners across its 14 years. The ad speaks of a Mini and specialist service history, a car "well cared for and maintained with 100,700 miles". Certainly, it seems to present well, Recaro bolsters intact, wheels (on good Michelin tyres) unmarked and the large boot space not torn to shreds by trying to jam unsuitable luggage in there.
In theory, then, there's a lot to like here, because #1938 is never going to be a GP for the collectors - it's one to be driven, enjoyed and cared for like the other owners seemingly have. An asking price of £11,995 points to just how in demand these Minis are. The next most affordable are around the £15k mark (or £14k in Aberdeen), with average mileages of little more than 4,000 miles a year. And though £12k is of course a lot more than a standard Cooper S, the GP's significance should ensure more of it comes back at resale time. Assuming, that is, you'd want to; this is the only supercharged GP to have been made, and remains very highly regarded a decade and half later. Here's perhaps the best way to experience what all the fuss is about.
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