'Lost' last Mini up for sale

2013-05-14 10:59

LONDON, England - A salvaged Mini Clubman 1275 GT hidden in tunnels under the Longbridge factory in England for 30 years is about to be auctioned at a Silverstone classic sale.

The Mini, used to travel around the sprawling plant, was secretly dumped by workers in the 1970's after suffering some damage thought to have been caused by a falling storage container.


Images of the "lost" Mini emerged and it was saved by former factory worker Steve Morgan in 2012 before the tunnels were to be filled. This makes it the real last Mini to leave Longbridge. The 'official' last classic Mini, No. 5 387 862, rolled off the production line in 2000. The vehicle is housed at the Heritage Motor Museum in Warwickshire, central England, alongside the first one produced in 1959.

The question now: would the REAL last Mini please stand up...?

The Longbridge tunnel Mini will be auctioned on July 27 2013 at the Silverstone racing circuit.

Morgan  said: “It was a legend at the plant. I believe a storage container fell on it, so they hid it. It only has 17km on the clock.  I’ve already been offered (the equivalent of ) R280 000 for it but I’d never sell it.”

Morgan vowed to restore the car to its former glory, a decision that caused controversy within the Mini fraternity – igniting the old “restore or not to restore” debate.


Despite earlier claims in 2012 that he wouldn’t part with it, Morgan said: "After much soul searching and with a heavy heart, I have come to the decision that the tunnel Mini deserves a better future than the one it has at the moment. I really haven’t got the time to restore it and I would really like the car to go into a collection or be restored by a real enthusiast."

Nick Whale, MD of Silverstone Auctions, said: “This has to be one of the most fascinating cars we’ve secured for auction. It made international headlines when it was rescued from under the factory and has caused a fair amount of controversy in the Mini community because some people would have preferred it was left in the tunnels as a hidden memorial.

“However, now that it’s been recovered, we’re thrilled to offer it for auction. We expect it will attract a lot of attention.”