Historics is offering this 1969 Wood & Pickett Margrave Morris Mini Cooper S MkII at no reserve at its 7 June sale. Aside from being a proper rarity at auction, the car has an interesting ownership history, having passed through the hands of Denny Laine of the Moody Blues and John Hammel, Sir Paul McCartney’s guitar technician.
The car was delivered to supplying dealers, Stewart and Arden Ltd of Acton, from where it went straight into Wood & Pickett to be converted into the super-plush Margrave version. Historics reckons that this car is unique in as much as it’s the only Mini Cooper S MkII to have been converted by Wood & Pickett from new. It was clearly a painstaking process, as it wasn’t until September 1970 that it was registered – a full year after it left Longbridge.
John Hammel’s association with the Margrave goes back to 1973 when he became its third owner. He used to drive around in it with Steve Marriott of Small Faces. Incidentally; Steve Marriot described this Cooper S as ‘a 100mph pair of shades’. In 1978, John sold the car to Denny Laine; apparently, Denny’s wife Jo wanted it. John regretted the sale and purchased the Cooper S back eight months later.
In 1997, John once again sold the car but told the buyer, if he ever wanted to sell then get in touch. A few years later he did and John bought the Mini back again. In 2012, John finally sold the car into the hands of its current owner. It’s the ultimate yo-yo car.
This Margrave Cooper S differs from most Wood & Picketts as it doesn’t feature quad headlamps or the fake soft top rear-end. And many would say it’s all the more appealing for doing so. Styling touches on this one include peaked chromed headlamp rims, borrowed from a Riley 1.5, Aston Martin DB6 leather seats, Piper electric windows, and Rolls Royce chrome handles. It really is a mini-luxury car.
Historics is selling the car with tools, Hydrolastic suspension pump, an MoT test certificate, valid until October 2014 and Historic road fund licence until September 2014. It will be interesting to see what this one goes for – no-reserve certainly doesn’t mean it’s going to be a bargain, as it has both showbiz connections, and bespoke interest for both Mini and Wood & Pickett fans.
For more information, visit Historics’ website.