BRITISH CLASSIC: This 1968 Austin Mini Van, in original condition, could fetch more than R400 000 at a Silverstone auction. Image: Silverstone Auctions
LONDON, England - Virtually unused for 47 years, a 1968 Austin Mini Van will be auctioned at a Silverstone Auctions Practical Classics Restoration Show on March 28 in Birmingham, central England.
The car, valuated at R421 000 to R458 000, was registered new on March 14 1968 and at that time cost £400 (then equivalent of R700) by a G Crumcott so she could learn to drive. That was about three months pay for a "working man" back then for very basic transport.
However, Crumcott never passed her driving test so the car was kept, unused, in her garage for nearly 30 years.
LESS THAN 500KM ON THE CLOCK
The car was then bought in July 1997 by a local BMC Mini dealer, T Turkington, who placed it in the Mini centre’s showroom until 2006 before selling it to another collector in Northamptonshire.
It has since been brought back on to the market and, with so few owners, has covered only 187km. The classic van, says Silverstone Auctions, is in remarkable, original condition, down to its seat protectors and rubber floor mats.
It retains its original crossply Dunlop tyres and spare wheel. The van has been carefully stored and its initial exhaust and sealed Lucas battery are preserved. It’s equipped with its original toolbox, which remains unopened.
Silverstone Auctions MD Nick Whale said: “We're thrilled to be offering this virtually unused and untouched Austin Mini Van at our sale on March 28. This rare find is in ‘as new’ condition and is surely an alluring, promising prospect for Mini or other collectors.”
A BRITISH ICON
The van, built on the longer Traveller chassis though without windows, proved popular in 1960's Britain as a cheaper alternative to a car. It was classed as a commercial vehicle and as such carried no sales tax.
PERFECT CONDITION: This 1968 Austin Mini Van sports an almost naked facia and its original equipment. Note its spartan interior and protective plastic still on the passenger seat. Image: Newspress
For more information about this remarkable little van, as well as more images, visit Silverstone Auctions.