Barn find stories rarely disappoint, especially if the discovery unearths a piece of automotive history. That was the case with this particular Austin Mini Se7en, believed to be the oldest unrestored Mini in existence, which recently sold at a Bonhams auction for three times its original estimate.
The car is a 1959 Austin Mini Se7en Saloon, and was estimated to sell for 12,000-15,000 British pounds (around $19,400-24,300). When the Mini crossed the auction block on April 30 at the Bonhams Sale of Collectors’ Motor Cars and Automobila held at the RAF museum, however, it fetched considerably more at 40,250 pounds (roughly $65,000).
Known by its serial number, XLL 27, the Mini’s provenance is impressive, and it is believed that only three earlier examples still exist – all of which have been restored in some fashion. One of those cars belongs to the collection of the British Motoring Industry Heritage Trust, while the other two are in Japan.
A one-owner from 1986 through 2011, XLL 27 is complete in original condition, sporting early Mini hallmarks like the glass washer bottle. A few parts, such as the driver’s side door, have been replaced, but otherwise the car remains remarkably intact. It still has the original Farina Grey factory paint, along with original body panels and registration number. The engine and transmission are also original to the car, but Bonhams reports the Mini hasn’t run in many years. The mileage on the odometer reads 30,041, and Bonhams says there is evidence to support that the number is accurate.
While finds like this are rare, they make you wonder just what else is out there waiting to be discovered. Time to start crawling through some barns. Would you pay $65,000 for a car like this 1959 Austin Mini Se7en Saloon?
Story and image source: Bonhams