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World record Mini

Mini world record

A Mini reached £108,746 at Monterey auctions, That’s the highest ever figure for a customer Mini at auction,

the Mini beach car arose out of BMC’s desire to have a car to compete directly with the Fiat Jolly, a car proving popular with wealthy Europeans looking for tenders for their yachts. Rather than go with the fringed surrey top of the Jolly, BMC’s chief stylist Dick Burzi designed a floating roof, supported only by the A- and C-pillars. He stripped off the doors and added the grab handles and wicker seats typical of the Jolly, but left the rest of the car standard Mini. A prototype Wolseley Hornet featured Burzi’s ribbed roof, but the production version ended up merely using a modified version of the Mini saloon body shell.

Exactly how many beach cars BMC built, nobody seems to know for sure. Bonhams, which handled the sale this past weekend, claims 14. Booij says that figure is likely, but it could be anywhere from nine to 16, and other sources range from two to 20. While BMC apparently considered making beach cars available on order, it ended up building them in 1961 and 1962, largely to help promote the Mini’s launch in the United States and North America (though BMC did loan one to the queen of England, and Booij mentions one custom-built to match a customer’s yacht). The later Mini Moke ended up filling the role that BMC initially envisioned for the Mini beach car,

The beach car in question, chassis number A-AY1L-197664/BMC62197664, originally went to San Francisco Austin dealer Kjell Qvale, who, according to the Bonhams description of the car, held on to it after its days promoting Minis were over. He first put it to use on his ranch and then later put it in cold storage, not to come out for a couple of decades. Since then, it’s passed through just two more owners and accumulated less than 12,000 miles, along with a 2007 refurbishment. The original 34hp 848cc four-cylinder remains, though a later transmission was installed.

Before the auction, Bonhams estimated the beach car to sell for $70,000 to $90,000. It ended up hammering for $165,000, making the final sale price $181,500 with commission, and setting a world auction record for a non-works Mini. Works Minis have long since surpassed that amount, notably in 2007 when a 1964 Mini Cooper 1275S that won the RAC Rally sold for £100,500, or about $197,000 at the time.

Thanks to Hemmings for the article

Mini sold for record sum




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