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Mini Cooper S: Spotted

Small electric cars are the future. But the past is more fun

By Sam Sheehan / Wednesday, March 06, 2019

We won’t be the first to compare Honda’s e Prototype to the classic Mini; both are designed to tackle urban transport problems in a lovable and quirky way. Mini’s current bosses have even said they believe Issigonis would have used electric power if he were to have created the original today, so you might argue that Honda’s little EV is a truer spiritual successor to the formula than BMW Mini’s own contemporary line-up.

Honda’s electric model and its rear-drive, short wheel base platform is being developed with fun driving as a priority, too, so perhaps we’ll soon be proclaiming how it offers Mini-like handling on city streets. If you’re not too enthused by electric power, however, nothing will ever come close to the original car. As demonstrated by the red, white and blue Minis of the Italian Job back in the day, the little Brit is as chuckable as they come.

In the right hands, the Mini has also had its fair share of success in motorsport. Paddy Hopkirk’s 1964 Monte Carlo Rally win proved that a tiny, darty city car can take on far more serious machinery. The Mini’s role as David in a battle against Goliath has continued in the years since, as is evident at the Goodwood Revival each year, where Minis have always spent the best part of their laps four-wheel drifting alongside V8-powered muscle cars.

Later variations of the Mini maintained the character of the original right the way through to the 1990s, but while the following BMW-engineered hatchbacks have all been great – the latest and largest included – their ever-growing sizes, bulbous designs and a line-up that bears little to no resemblance to the original means they’re barely more than homages. Plus, there’s just nothing quite like that original Mini design, is there?

Which is why we’ve spent the past few days since the e Prototype was revealed perusing the classifieds for a lovely example of the classic. Have you seen the prices Mini’s go for now? There’s a stunning example of a ‘66 Cooper S on PH for just shy of £50k, while even a 1980 1275 GT will set you back nearly £15k. Mini Vans are sought after as well, like this one that won’t leave you with much change from £16.5k. There’s seems to be no shortage of enthusiasm for the original Mini, put it that way.

Today’s Spotted is an example that slots into the upper realms of the aforementioned pack with an asking price of £34,995. But that does buy you an effectively new 1964 Cooper S that’s covered only 550 miles since being completely restored. Among those to have worked on the car was a retired aircraft engineer, so it’s probably safe to say all the bolts and screws have been done up correctly. According to the ad, every part has either been replaced or refurbished.

That includes the engine, gearbox and suspension, as well as the brakes, wiring loom and exhaust. The wheels, tyres and paint are, of course, also brand spankers, while the interior has been overhauled by a specialist. Since it’s practically a new car, the Mini’s odometer has been reset to zero miles, although there’s also DVLA authentication to prove that this is indeed a 1964 car.

The cost of restoration is said to have totalled £22,000, meaning the mark up applied to this car and its current owner amounts to just under thirteen grand. As far as fun-to-drive city cars go, however, this has to be one of the very best out there. And one we suspect would have no trouble out charming even Honda’s lovable new EV.


Engine: 1,275cc, inline-4
Transmission: 4-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 77@5,900rpm
Torque (lb ft): 79@3,000rpm
CO2: N/A
First registered: 1964
Recorded mileage: 0 (reset after restoration)
Price new: N/A
Yours for: £34,995

Click here for the full ad.

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