World's oldest extant Mini to make $24,173 at Royal Air Force Museum

The world's oldest existing Austin Mini is to appear at a Bonhams auction at the end of the month, which is to be held at the UK's Royal Air Force Museum.


Austin Mini Worlds Oldest Bonhams
1959 Austin Mini Se7en De Luxe Saloon

The British classic is to star in Bonhams' Collectors' Motor Cars and Automobilia sale on April 30, 2012, alongside prestigious brands such as Bentley and Rolls Royce.  

Under ordinary circumstances, this clapped-out motor wouldn't be allowed within a few miles of the auction; however this 1959 Se7en De Luxe Saloon has already stolen the show.

As the eighth of its kind to roll off the production line, it was created three months before full production of the model began. It was discovered in a garage covered in rust and in poor condition, with its 848cc engine not even starting. The Mini features the original licence plate and has just 30,000 miles on the clock.

The auction house expects the design icon to attract bids from those hoping to restore the sorry-looking car.

John Polson of Bonhams said: "The Mini is one of the most important cars of the 20th century. They have always been collectable. Some collectors would want to return her to new, but others would just like to get her going again and keep her in the original condition."

An estimate of £12,000-15,000 has been set, roughly the price of a brand new Mini Cooper. The estimate is sure to damage the pride of other cars in the sale, with one Porsche 911 Carrera hoping to achieve just £10,000.

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