When the hammer dropped and the final bid was settled for Richard Bremner’s 1959 Austin Mini Seven De Luxe, there was a ripple of applause from the buyers present at Bonhams’ Hendon auction. It’s not the oldest surviving example, but it’s really close, being the eighth to roll of the Longbridge production line – and that makes this car rather special to Mini aficionados.
The pre-sale estimate for the Mini was £15,000, but the hammer fell at £40,250, and it has experts wondering what will happen next to this fascinating barn-find. Those who have seen it say that a restoration would be a full-rebuild from the wheels up, but perhaps its patina is what’s drawn buyers in. But whatever, the bar has been raised on all early Minis.
Bremner’s car has 30,041 miles on the clock, while the 848cc engine is said never to have been touched aside from a few maintenance checks. It’s likely that this mileage tally is not going to be added to. The car has received a new door some time in its life. The car was once owned by a Gladys Hobro of Aldwick in West Sussex before being bought by David Gallimore in 1986, who then kept it in his garage in Chichester until last year.
Expect a raft of other early Minis to hit the market now…