From time to time we email people who have registered their cars for invites to shows etc.
Unfortunately we receive a lot of "bounced" emails.
Would you be sure to send us an update if you change your email address via the contact form please?
This is the only way we can communicate with you.

No MOT for our 1959 Minis

As from the 18th November 2012 it will not be necessary to MOT pre 1960 cars.

For full details please read this letter recently sent to us by the DVLA.

XXL27 Auction report


XXL 27 Auction report.

Now we’ve had some time to digest the events of Monday 30th April 2012 at Bonham’s auction and the world wide reaction to it, we feel it’s time to reflect on the events.

Like everyone else including the three owners of Austin 108, we were stunned it reached the dizzy heights of £35,000 + commission and Vat = £40,250 at the auction.

Was it worth it? As the saying goes “It’s only worth what someone is willing to pay for it”, and there must have been more than one person who thought it was for the bidding to get that high, so the answer must be yes.

Was it expected? Certainly not by anyone we have spoken to before or since.

But the reality is, that is what it sold for so we must accept it and move on. I’ve read many a response on all sorts of forums and social media and sadly the majority is by uniformed or obviously disinterested parties with many being really quite negative. One was suggesting that their 1968 Mini is just the same and the buyer was some sort of fool, others that it simply needs re-shelling in to a “new” MK1 heritage shell (made using an fuel injection mini spec floor pressing no less).

It’s sad, all this teaches us is we still have a lot of educating to do to the wider public about just how special all 59’s are and these early cars even more so. Not only are these very early cars special because of where they sit in the gestation of our beloved Mini – they are Genesis – but they are special because they hold so many individual unique details and parts. You can read elsewhere on this site about all the hundreds of changes that happened over 1959 as they refined this most revolutionary car almost weekly, be we cover very little of the early changes for two reasons. 1. we have far fewer cars to use as reference and learn from, 2. we don’t want to make it too easy to “fake” a very early car. There are many totally unique items that mark 108 as special (but not unique), they are the same special things that mean we can categorically state that AOK has its original shell. Austin 108 is a normal very early production Mini, it’s no pre-production car or prototype, but it was pretty much hand built on a very new line by a team still learning how to put these odd cars together. There is evidence of some panels being hand formed, panel fit is quite extraordinary as well.

How many times have we all heard or experienced buying any old car but especially a Mini and had to spend an extortionate amount of time and money fixing past botch ups and very poor quality repairs usually done to what was just an old banger to get it through another MOT? 108 isn’t like that, it’s rough yes, but it’s not been messed with or botched up, it had a second hand door at some point yes but it was taken off the road in 1986 because it needed some welding for the MOT. There it sat with front subframe dropped for access to the rusty inner wings and it was forgotten about for the next 24 years. Original engine, seats and even carpets are all there, it’s a blank canvas and nothing short of a dilemma, what do you do with it?

We as yet don’t know who’s bought it or even in which country it’s new home might be, but we are sure that anyone willing to pay £40,250 for a Mini restoration project isn’t going to make a mistake or take short cuts now. We hope they take informed advice and guidance over its future especially if as we hear they plan to restore it. It will be very easy to destroy all that important information and originality with a welder and wholesale replacement all the old worn out parts. (You’re not going to be able to buy panels off the shelf for this Mini, most will need repairing or hand forming) This would be catastrophic and destroy not only 108’s value but importance too.

Will this have any effect on other 59 prices? We don’t think so long term no, it might have a small effect but we feel it will only serve to raise interest. They will continue to rise steadily but it does prove the growing interest in early Mini’s over the last 10 years.

Would we have paid that amount for it? No, but neither were we willing to pay the £11,500 it sold for 16 months ago (but we weren’t alone in that), but we are glad that someone had the forethought to do that and from there someone has recognised the unique opportunity 108 provides to the new lucky owner. We wish them good luck and remain hopeful they will keep the register in touch with 108 and whatever its future holds.