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World's earliest known Mini Cooper unearthed in Suffolk barn


mini cooper

This 1963 Mini Cooper is the earliest ever made (Picture: James Linsell-Clark)

He’s now the proud proprietor of the 1963 automobile – the sixth of solely four,000 ever made – which is full with its authentic engine and first tax disc.

The cream-coloured Mini is now price round £50,000 and would have value round £600 when it first got here in the marketplace.

Mr Lengthy mentioned: “I acquire uncommon vehicles and it has taken me 4 12 months to gather one thing like this.

“I used to be purposely searching for this automobile, I wished it as it’s so uncommon – I solely acquire uncommon vehicles.

“And I’ve particularly taken a liking in direction of the Mini Cooper as a result of it was my first automobile I ever purchased.

“I’d think about that automobile has finished only a few miles.”

Mr Lengthy, who lives close to Bungay, Suffolk, has been gathering vehicles as a interest since retiring from his job as a pawn dealer 5 years in the past.

He turned his consideration to the Mini Cooper S Mark I earlier this 12 months, hoping to trace down an early mannequin.

mini cooper

The GORGEOUS cream-coloured Mini is price round £50,000 (Picture: James Linsell-Clark)

However Mr Lengthy was surprised to get a response to his advert from the proprietor of the automobile, which is famously linked to the Monte Carlo rally in 1964, 1965 and 1967.

The automobile has remnants of what he believes to be a racing historical past, with Restall seats and Mini Mild wheels and a sticker on the again linked to an organization which used convert vehicles into racers.

Mr Lengthy mentioned: “This automobile is what made the Cooper well-known when it gained the rally race in Monte Carlo.

“The primary one made from this automobile would have been used to check in manufacturing and I’ve the sixth one which implies it’s actually uncommon and positively one of many first that might nonetheless be round.

“It is 100 per cent genuine. It nonetheless has its previous highway tax disc within the window, its authentic engine, and its authentic physique.

“The sky is the restrict – I knew it was an early one and intensely uncommon to search out.

“I’ve obtained the heritage certificates with its distinctive physique quantity so I do know that is the actual deal – you’ll be able to’t pretend that.”

The automobile will now go to Smith’s Storage in Bungay, Suffolk to be restored to full working situation.

mini cooper

The Mini would have value simply £600 when it first hit the market (Picture: James Linsell-Clark)

Mr Lengthy mentioned: “The automobile is not really in a nasty situation – it is rather authentic and really rot free.

“It goes into the native automobile storage on Tuesday for its recommissioning. It has all simply seized up, it is like if an individual was sitting in a chair for years; they might seize up.

“The sensation is just like the man who discovered Tutankhamun’s treasure, I’ve obtained a Mini model of that. Somebody unlocks a barn or a storage and it’s there in your grasp and you might be hopefully going to be mine!”

Mr Lengthy says he additionally owns what he believes is the earliest Mark II Mini Cooper S which was found in Florida, and in addition a uncommon Riley Alf which he described as much like a “luxurious Mini”.

mini cooper

The ‘treasure’ was discovered buried in a barn (Picture: James Linsell-Clark)

He beforehand purchased John Lennon’s Mini, which was a Rodford with Aston Martin inside at a value for £150.

Mr Lengthy mentioned: “I’ve had all of the well-known individuals; together with John Lennon’s Mini. I purchased the automobile off his cleaner. It was a Rodfords – Aston Martin inside…. it was a particular automobile. it was mine for £150!

“When he went to America he left the cleaner his automobile and it had his signature within the log e book and the whole lot.

“However I offered it seven weeks earlier than he obtained shot for £500, I could not imagine it.”

mini cooper

This cooper is the sixth out of the four,000 made (Picture: James Linsell-Clark)

However now Mr Lengthy says he isn’t trying to make the identical mistake and promote his Mini Cooper anytime quickly, however says if the suitable provide is made he’s more than pleased to have a dialog with somebody.

He added: “I’m not trying to promote it anytime quickly, except somebody was to supply me a greater value.

“I do not need to promote except I can higher my vehicles.

“I’ve been ready a very long time to get this automobile – it’s such a uncommon discover you’ll be able to’t imagine it.”



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About Alejandro Bonaparte

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