eBay Find of the Week : The Mini Mira

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Chris Chapman

Thanks to AROnline reader Chris Chapman for this week’s rather quirky discovery, which puts a whole new slant on the concept of grey imports…

Weird Mini-Daihatsu hybrid - has a certain charm though, don't you think?
Weird Mini-Daihatsu hybrid – has a certain charm though, don’t you think?

 

When is a Mini not a Mini? There’s certainly some Mini DNA in this week’s online auction discovery, but under the skin it’s a 660cc Daihatsu Mira – one of Japan’s most popular K-cars. Building on Japan’s love of the original Mini, the front end of BMC’s finest is grafted on to the body of Daihatsu’s commercial variant of the Mira – the Mira van, popular among roadside traders in the country’s congested capital, Tokyo.

Utilitarian rear end has a hint of the Citroen H-Van
Utilitarian rear end has a hint of the Citroen H-Van

 

At six grand, this is a reasonably affordable way of creating a distinctive and quirky business vehicle, or for transporting all your Mini bits to an autojumble – even if it is faking it somewhat. And as for the coffee van idea? It wouldn’t surprise us if these start cropping up at classic car shows across the country next season, as the dealer is importing others as well…

No passenger seat - but at least that means you can get long loads in the back...
No passenger seat – but at least that means you can get long loads in the back…

 

Craig Cheetham

A serial impulsive car purchaser, Craig has had his name on over 200 V5s over the past 20 years. 10 per cent of those have been either 800s or Austin Allegros, with between 10 and 20 cars usually owned at any one time. Started out as a local newspaper journalist then worked for car mags including Auto Express, Classic Car Weekly and Land Rover Owner. Worked inside the car industry for a decade as an employee of General Motors, now works for a news distribution agency. Home based, which is dangerously convenient for further irrational heap purchases. Lover of all makes of car since childhood, with a particular leaning towards Austin-Rover... Father of three boys, so hoping to spread the car love. Other passions include rugby union, travelling and eating out.

13 Comments

  1. To continue the Mini connection, is that a Mini van roof vent stick in the middle, above the windscreen? Looks like it’s open at the moment.

    By the looks of the driver, it’s also got a Citroen connection – brakes from a DS. Just look at the brake button on the floor, and suddenly become intimate with the windscreen!

  2. If you think this is ugly, search ‘peugeot 205f’ I think the Mira just pips it in the style stakes by virtue of its front end, that’s as far as it goes though

  3. It reminds me of the Walls ice cream vans of my youth that were based on a Mini Van. They were so top heavy that they looked like they’d fall over when the icecream man leant out to pass you your 99!

  4. I kind of like it- after all, box van versions of small cars are rarely elegent- probably only the much larger Astramax could be described as good looking. They are designed to do a job.

    That said, it could have done that job just as well with a plain Daihatsu front end, but it certainly is quirky and interesting.

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