'Most popular British car ever made' could race to $28k

Following its successful sales of the 'ultimate Porsche 911', the 1973 Carrera RS 2.7 Lightweight (M471 Sport) and the 1971 Ferrari Dino 246GT, last month, H&H will be auctioning a selection of classic cars, motorcycles and automobilia, this Saturday (March 13).

The auction will offer buyers the chance to add an Italian Job-style engineering work of art to their collection, with the sale of this 1963 Austin Mini Cooper S Rally Car.

More than five million Minis were made between 1959 and 2000, making it the most popular British car ever-made. Today, car enthusiasts agree that its concept and packaging has never been bettered.

With its sideways-turned engine (the transmission is underneath) and a wheel at each corner, it wasn't long before race car entrepreneur John Cooper spotted the Mini's potential. In 1961, the first racing Cooper was born, initially in 997cc and later 998cc (after 1964).

An 1963 Austin Mini Cooper S Rally Car, estimated at £28k-32k

A more powerful 1071cc 'S' version was developed at the same time, as the little cars raced their way towards giant-felling victories and famous Monte Carlo Rally wins in 1964, '65 and '67.

This example of the 1071 'S' has been extensively restored on the original body shell with all-genuine panels.

According to the vendor, the car was possibly raced in the '60s and '70s. Today, it still includes a full array of driver's and navigator's equipment.

The 'S' that won the '64 Monte with Paddy Hopkirk and Henry Liddon was a 1071cc, just like this one. In all, only 4,030 were ever built.

From an investment point of view, Minis - especially Coopers - are known for their good value appreciation. An original 1959 pre-Cooper Austin Mini Se7en Saloon auctioned at Bonhams over the weekend with an estimate of £14,000-16,000.

Needless to say, when a historic Mini emerges on the market, it's time for collectors and investors to take note.

This 'S' will auction with an estimate of £28,000-32,000.

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