It’s not often that a ERA Mini Turbo comes to open market – so, when we saw this one, we had to draw it to your attention. It goes on sale with Bonhams in Oxford on 28 April and has an estimate of £14,000-17,000. The car, as you can read on these pages, was a thorough re-engineering job by ERA, a division of the Jack Knight Group. The ERA was launched in 1989 and, during its brief production run, 337 were made. Although the era of the coachbuilt Mini was long gone by 1989, the ERA proved popular, going on to fight the amazing BAC M30, as well as Rover Special Products’ Minis of later years.
The ERA Mini boasted a specification rivalling that of many current range-topping models twice its size and has performance to match courtesy of its 1275cc turbocharged engine first seen in the MG Metro. ERA badges adorn the five spoke alloy wheels and a smart matt finish black radiator grille indicates special performance. Flared wheel arches, a deep chin spoiler, twin spot-lamps and bonnet ‘power bulge’ were included in the specification, as was a Garrett T3 turbocharger which gave the car its name.
ERA Mini car number ‘R1040′, this example was purchased by the seller at Bonhams’ sale at the RAF Museum, Hendon on 25 February 2002. At time of purchase the vehicle had covered 900 miles from new and a further 1600-or-so had been added to the total when it was offered for sale at Bonhams’ Olympia auction in December 2005. Purchased there by the current vendor, the car has been serviced and MoT’d annually since acquisition and currently displays a total of 3800 miles on the odometer. ‘G745 KCL’ is finished in British Racing Green with silver roof and grey leather interior and is presented in effectively ‘as new’ condition.
Accompanying documentation consists of the original paperwork, service booklet, owner’s manual, brochure, dealers list, current MoT/tax, V5C registration document and an excellent history file containing all bills for work carried out and expired MoTs verifying the recorded mileage. The car also comes with an original publicity T-shirt, key fob and two sets of keys. The addition of silver bonnet stripes is the only notified deviation from factory specification.
It’ll be interesting to see what it’s bid up to, especially considering the glut of top-end Minis that’s been hitting the market so far this year.