This beat up, rusted, undriveable Mini was sold at auction in the UK for $65,100. You’re not alone if the first thought in your head is “Why?” But there’s a pretty reasonable explanation, aside from “old cars are cool.” You see, this 1959 Austin Se7en De Luxe is believed to be the oldest surviving un-restored Mini. And that makes it extra special cool, and valuable.
In fact, this VIN number has it pegged as the eighth ever model off the assembly line, before the iconic coupe was ever known as “Mini.” There are only three known older survivors–one of which resides in the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust museum.
According to the auction house’s press release, this Mini retains the original factory paint, panels, engine, transmission, and interior. Though it hasn’t run in years, it is believed that the odometer reading of 30,041 miles in correct. Unfortunately, there is a lot of corrosion in various places, but the shell of the car is intact and in restorable condition. And that’s the point; the new owner will undoubtedly dump a lot of money to turn this corroded junker into a factory new Mini.
“The August 2011 issue of Classic & Sports Car magazine devoted six pages to this amazing survivor, which represents a unique opportunity to own an astonishingly correct example of one of the 20th Century’s greatest cars in its earliest, purest form. There can be few more important examples of British automotive engineering.”
The $65,100 price was more than double pre-auction estimates.