Lot 23 (The Pavilion Gardens, 31st October 2012)
Registration No: 549 FKF
Chassis No: M-A254/19102
Mot Expiry: None
As a result of the Suez crisis, Britain found itself back on petrol rationing by 1956. BMC's Leonard Lord recognised the urgent need for a small car with ground-breaking economy, and within a year the now famous team of Issigonis, Daniels and Kingham had designed and built a prototype, and the ubiquitous Mini was launched to huge acclaim just two years later. It was a revolution on wheels - by placing the engine across the frame and the gearbox in the engine sump, Issigonis was able to devote 80 percent of the floorpan to the accommodation of passengers and luggage. The car's original independent rubber cone suspension system was also a first, helping to endow the newcomer with its famous go kart-like handling.
Early, unmolested examples of the original Mini are keenly sought these days, and '549 FKF' is a Cowley-produced model from the second year of production. It is finished in Clipper Blue with a Blue interior and classed by the vendor as having a "good" 848cc engine and four-speed manual gearbox, "fair" bodywork, and "poor" paintwork and interior trim. Currently registering 47,509 miles, the Mini apparently not only comes with the original bill of sale and warranty paperwork, but "every possible receipt', a full service history and all its old MOTs".