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Little Classics News: 11 March 2015

New Classic Mini Van up for Auction at NEC

1968 Austin Mini Van

Virtually unused for 47 years, a ‘time warp’ 1968 Austin Mini Van is set to be auctioned at Silverstone Auctions’ Practical Classics Restoration Show Sale on 28th March, at the NEC, Birmingham.

The classic car, estimated at between £23,000 and £25,000, was first registered on the 14th March 1968. It was bought new for just £400 by a Miss G. Crumcott from Northern Ireland so she could learn to drive. Miss Crumcott never managed to pass her driving test however, so the car was kept unused in her garage for nearly 30 years.

1968 Austin Mini Van rear

The car was then bought in July 1997 by a local BMC Mini dealer, Mr T. Turkington, who placed it in the Mini centre’s showroom until 2006 before selling it onto another collector in Northamptonshire. It has now been brought back onto the market, and, with so few owners, it is no surprise the car has covered a miniscule 302 miles.

The charming classic car is in remarkable unrestored original condition, right down to the seat protectors and rubber floor mats. Still retaining its original crossply Dunlop tyres and spare wheel, all of which are unused, the motorcar has been so carefully stored it has also preserved its initial exhaust and sealed Lucas battery. The car is also supplied with its original toolbox, which remains unopened; a delightful added extra. All in all, the van is in perfect running order.

1968 Austin Mini Van interior

Nick Whale, managing director of Silverstone Auctions, said: “We are thrilled to be offering this virtually unused and untouched Austin Mini Van at our sale on March 28th. This rare find is in ‘as new’ condition and is surely an alluring, promising prospect for Mini or other collectors in the market.”

Built on the longer Traveller chassis but without side windows, the Mini Van proved popular in 1960s Britain as a cheaper alternative to the car. It was classed as a commercial vehicle and as such carried no sales tax.

The Austin Mini Van joins nearly 70 other classic cars on offer in the sale, including a restored 1980 Aston Martin V8 and a 1969 Porsche 912 Restoration Project.

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