Wed, 22nd Jul 2009 13:20

The Pavilion Gardens

  Lot 48

1994 Rover Mini Sprite

Sold for £2,588

(including buyers premium)

Lot details
Registration No: M885LDB
Chassis No: SAXXNYADBBD093291
Mot Expiry: June 2010

As owners of the `Sprite' name, the Rover Group had two goes at badging Minis with it - the first was in the 1983, when Austin-Rover (as-was) built 2500 examples of a `youth-appeal' 998cc model fitted with special 10-inch alloy wheels, drum brakes and bold side striping. Available in only red or yellow, this first Sprite also had black bumpers, fixed rear windows and the full instrumentation from the 1275 GT on its side. The 1990s Rover Mini Sprite revived the name, and usurped the old `City' designation. From its spring 1992 introduction, each Sprite was fitted with a carburettor-fed 50bhp version of the 1275cc motor, and had an open-loop catalytic converter. Black wheel arches and grille frontage were teamed with chrome bumpers and standard-fit 12 inch steel wheels on the front disc-braked car. A Sprite script decal was applied to each rear three-quarter panel below the side windows. The model was deleted late in 1996 at the introduction of the `front-radiator' series of Minis.

This Mini reportedly carries "every MOT issued for it", and "a full service history of receipts for work completed and money spent". The body is said to be in "excellent" order, with a commensurate paint finish. Group 2 style arches are fitted to cover the deep-dish Superlite-style rims fitted with low-profile tyres. The grille is bright aluminium, and the roof is black to match the Cooper-style bonnet stripes. The grey cloth interior trim is stated to be in "good" order throughout, and the 54,000 recorded miles are apparently corroborated by the paperwork. Any carburettor-fed 1275 Mini drives with plenty of throttle response, and the four-speed manual transmission on this Sprite is also noted by the vendor to be in "excellent" order. This Sprite is one of the final iterations of the classic Mini in its most-classic, side-radiator form. With cheekiness inspired by The Italian Job, driving fun, great parts back-up, and a huge social life available with the many Mini clubs across the UK, it's easy to see why the Mini is locked-in to the public consciousness as the British epitome of the affordable classic car.

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