The vendor purchased the vehicle in the summer of 1987 and he has owned it since that date, using it occasionally throughout the period 1987 to 1999. The vehicle failed its MoT at that time, and work was commissioned to address the causes. At the time he purchased the vehicle, it had already been re-registered, now bearing mark BGS 311A, the previous owner, one of only two, had retained its original registration mark. Please note, it should be possible to apply to the DVLA, using the supplied Heritage Certificate, for an age related plate, if desired.
The work commissioned to address the MoT failure uncovered a significant amount of corrosion in the body shell, and substantial restoration works were found necessary in order to return the body shell to a state capable of returning to the road. The work was undertaken by Meon Valley Classics, near Droxford in Hampshire. In the course of restoration works the vehicle was stripped back to a bare shell, with front and rear sub-assemblies, trim, seats, running gear etc being removed and stored. All invoices relating to the restoration works are available, as is a pictorial record created by Meon Valley Classics during the process of restoration, showing the extent of the original corrosion and the end-state which as now delivered a solid, corrosion-free shell. All components, trim, seats, glass etc are available, most of which appear to be original, with the following exceptions, that the vendor is aware of, bumpers front and rear, exhaust, after the manifold.
The shell is now solid, with only very light surface rust from being stood for a long time. Preparation for painting and painting itself are likely to be the chief areas of work to return the shell to a state where it and the running gear can be re-united.
The original sales invoice at the time when the vendor purchased the vehicle is available, as well as invoices for restoration work and a photographic record of the works done. In addition, the V5, bearing the “new” registration mark, and MOTs with both original mark and new mark are available. There is also a certificate from the British Motor Heritage Trust, substantiating the vehicle particulars, date of manufacture, date of supply to “Car Mart” of Chelmsford, chassis, engine number, colour, trim, etc.
The vehicle was built on the day, 26 August 1959, that the Mini was unveiled, and was supplied to Car Mart on 4 September 1959. There may be other, earlier examples which are still roadworthy, but there certainly won’t be many, supported by the British Motor Heritage investigative work, it is believed this was one of the first 1500 Minis produced.
The vendor was hoping to put the vehicle back on the road himself, but neither working premises nor funds are available, so his hope is that there is a Mini enthusiast who has both, and has the passion required to put this very significant back on the road.