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Classic Mini locked in a garage since 1990 heads to auction

As far as car adverts go, this one for a classic Mini heading to auction is a little different to the norm.

Yes, it has one owner from new, though that dates back a whopping 55 years. It also has incredibly low mileage – less than 12,000 on the clock, in fact.

But it’s the car’s lack of recent use that makes it stand out, having been stored in a garage in Buckinghamshire gathering dust since 1990!

A true ‘barn-find’ example, this remarkable Mini 1275 GT will be offered to the highest bidder later this month. And while it will need plenty of work getting it back to a roadworthy condition, the pre-sale guide price suggests it could go for a snip between £10,000 to £12,000.  

Sold as seen: This 1970 Mini 1275 GT has been in storage since 1990. Having been uncovered by classic car hunters, it will soon go to the auction block in its ‘as found’ condition

Experts believe the classic Mini was taken off the road in either late 1989 or early 1990. What's for certain is that it hadn't turned a wheel since

Experts believe the classic Mini was taken off the road in either late 1989 or early 1990. What’s for certain is that it hadn’t turned a wheel since 

The classic Mini will be offered to the highest bidder in the Classic Car Auctions sale, at the Practical Classic Car and Restoration Show, at Birmingham’s NEC over the weekend of 25 to 26 March.

The lot description says the vehicle is finished in Bronze Yellow paint, but it’s hard to tell given that it’s covered in three decades’ worth of dust, having not seen the light of day since it was taken off the road in 1990.

It even sports its last tax disc, which shows an expiration date of 30 June 90.

The Mini was found in a garage in Buckinghamshire and shows serious signs of neglect

The Mini was found in a garage in Buckinghamshire and shows serious signs of neglect

Classic car hunters were located to the car's whereabouts for the last 33 years, which was a storage unit in the village of Prestwood, which is near Great Missenden, Roald Dahl's fomer home village

Classic car hunters were located to the car’s whereabouts for the last 33 years, which was a storage unit in the village of Prestwood, which is near Great Missenden, Roald Dahl’s fomer home village

Given that it hasn't been used for 33 years, there is little surprise to see it has pretty low mileage

Given that it hasn’t been used for 33 years, there is little surprise to see it has pretty low mileage

The classic Mini will be offered to the highest bidder at the Classic Car Auctions sale at the Practical Classic Car and Restoration Show at Birmingham's NEC on 25-26 March

The classic Mini will be offered to the highest bidder at the Classic Car Auctions sale at the Practical Classic Car and Restoration Show at Birmingham’s NEC on 25-26 March

Classic car hunters were located to the car’s whereabouts for the last 33 years, which was a brick garage in the village of Prestwood, which is near Roald Dahl’s former home village of Great Missenden between Aylesbury and High Wycombe.

Once the car was tracked down to the storage unit, those attempting to retrieve the dinky vehicle struggled to even get the garage door open because it had been closed for so long. 

While the reason for why it has been locked away for so long hasn’t been revealed and the Mini shows very few signs of being loved, experts say its recent discovery will still delight Mini enthusiasts on the hunt for low-mileage examples.

The lot description says the vehicle is finished in Bronze Yellow paint, but it's hard to tell given that it's covered in three decades' worth of dust having not seen the light of day since it was taken off the road in 1990

The lot description says the vehicle is finished in Bronze Yellow paint, but it’s hard to tell given that it’s covered in three decades’ worth of dust having not seen the light of day since it was taken off the road in 1990

Registration 'RR0 797J' still has its original 1,275cc four-cylinder A-Series engine linked to a four-synchro, close-ratio, four-speed manual gearbox

Registration ‘RR0 797J’ still has its original 1,275cc four-cylinder A-Series engine linked to a four-synchro, close-ratio, four-speed manual gearbox

Classic Car Auctions said the garage where it was found hadn't been opened for so long that they struggled to get the door open to access the Mini

Classic Car Auctions said the garage where it was found hadn’t been opened for so long that they struggled to get the door open to access the Mini 

Despite being left in a garage since 1990, the interior is in remarkably good condition, with little sign of ageing

Despite being left in a garage since 1990, the interior is in remarkably good condition, with little sign of ageing 

Its availability at auction will trigger plenty of interest among collectors, especially those with the time and resources to restore a British icon back to its former glory.

The 1275 GT was the brand’s restyled version of the classic Mini.

It features a boxier front end, with a full width grille, larger headlights and a revised front bumper.

When new, it was offered in two trim levels: the Mini 1275 GT as seen here, and the Mini Clubman estate.

The Mini's odometer shows it having just 11,836 miles on the clock. That's an average of 223 miles per year since it came off the assembly line in 1970

The Mini’s odometer shows it having just 11,836 miles on the clock. That’s an average of 223 miles per year since it came off the assembly line in 1970

The car's odometer reading is supported by the last service stamp on the car, which is at 10,418 miles

The car’s odometer reading is supported by the last service stamp on the car, which is at 10,418 miles

The Mini even displays its last tax disc. It is dated for expiry on 30 June 1990

The Mini even displays its last tax disc. It is dated for expiry on 30 June 1990

The black vinyl interior is certainly better than the dust and dirty-coated bodywork on the outside

The black vinyl interior is certainly better than the dust and dirty-coated bodywork on the outside

The car heading into the auction, registration ‘RR0 797J’, still features its original 1,275cc four-cylinder A-Series engine linked to a four-synchro, close-ratio, four-speed manual gearbox.

However, having not been run for 33 years, it will likely be pushed into the auction room rather than driven under its own power.

Other desirable features include 10-inch Rostyle alloy wheels fitted over 7.5-inch Cooper ‘S’ disc brakes.

Inside, the black vinyl cabin looks to have been relatively well protected from the dust coated on the exterior panels.  

The car retains almost all of its original features. This includes 10-inch Rostyle alloy wheels fitted over 7.5-inch Cooper 'S' disc brakes

The car retains almost all of its original features. This includes 10-inch Rostyle alloy wheels fitted over 7.5-inch Cooper ‘S’ disc brakes

Classic Car Auctions says it won't be cleaning the car up before auction, presenting it in the sales room later this month in its 'as found' condition

Classic Car Auctions says it won’t be cleaning the car up before auction, presenting it in the sales room later this month in its ‘as found’ condition

Given that it hasn't been started up since 1990, the car will likely be pushed into the auction room rather than under its own power. A driver wouldn't be able to see through the dust-coated windscreen

Given that it hasn’t been started up since 1990, the car will likely be pushed into the auction room rather than under its own power. A driver wouldn’t be able to see through the dust-coated windscreen

Once refurbished, classic car valuation experts believe it could be worth between £15,100 and £18,000

Once refurbished, classic car valuation experts believe it could be worth between £15,100 and £18,000

With an indicated mileage of 11,836 and stickers confirming the next service at 13,438 miles, those who uncovered the vehicle believe it was taken off the road in late 1989 or early 1990.

And since then, it hasn’t turned a wheel on Britain’s roads. 

Commenting on its availability at auction, Richard Greenhalgh, the man who sourced the car for CCA, said that despite the coating of dirt and dust, the bodywork and interior ‘seem to remain in remarkable condition’. 

The 1275 GT was the brand's restyled version of the classic. It features a boxier front end featuring a full width grille, larger headlights and a revised front bumper

The 1275 GT was the brand’s restyled version of the classic. It features a boxier front end featuring a full width grille, larger headlights and a revised front bumper

The seats look barely used, while the red door mats appear to be aftermarket additions

The seats look barely used, while the red door mats appear to be aftermarket additions

Whoever is tasked with the clean-up operation on this 1970 Mini will have their work cut out. This is the 'view' through the windscreen

Whoever is tasked with the clean-up operation on this 1970 Mini will have their work cut out. This is the ‘view’ through the windscreen

While the seats in the front show little sign of use, the rear bench doesn't even look to have been sat in for its 53-year life

While the seats in the front show little sign of use, the rear bench doesn’t even look to have been sat in for its 53-year life

He told This is Money: ‘It almost feels as though a soapy wash and a good valet would have it back in shape. 

‘The engine bay however, is not so good and the car will undoubtedly need a full mechanical recommission.’

As with any classic car needing work to get back on the road, prospective bidders have been told to see the motor in person before placing a bid via the phone lines or over the internet during the sale at the end of the month.

After finding the car, Classic Car Auctions has transported it to its holding area to keep the vehicle safe before the auction takes place later this month

After finding the car, Classic Car Auctions has transported it to its holding area to keep the vehicle safe before the auction takes place later this month

Richard Greenhalgh, the man who sourced the car for CCA, said that despite the coating of dirt and dust, the bodywork and interior 'seem to remain in remarkable condition'

Richard Greenhalgh, the man who sourced the car for CCA, said that despite the coating of dirt and dust, the bodywork and interior ‘seem to remain in remarkable condition’

All interior components are original, including the steering wheel sporting a '1275 GT' centre

All interior components are original, including the steering wheel sporting a ‘1275 GT’ centre

Another old disc found in the dashboard shows the tax expiring in 1987. The one in the windscreen displays the tax running out in 1990

Another old disc found in the dashboard shows the tax expiring in 1987. The one in the windscreen displays the tax running out in 1990

It will be presented at the auction as it was found, with its original Passport to Service and tool kit.

Once refurbished, Hagerty UK believes the value for an excellent to ‘concours’ condition (meaning it is good enough to be put on display) is between £15,100 and £18,000.

While this might suggest the guide price of £10,000 to £12,000 for this hidden-away example offers little wriggle room in terms of profit, its incredibly low mileage and single ownership history could make this an ‘outlier’ in the auction room. 

Another panel in the car shows it as being serviced by a British Leyland main dealer using only Castrol GTX oil. The next service due is at 12,614 miles, it says. The car hasn't reached that yet!

Another panel in the car shows it as being serviced by a British Leyland main dealer using only Castrol GTX oil. The next service due is at 12,614 miles, it says. The car hasn’t reached that yet!

The boot also looks like it is need of some attention, thought there is still a spare wheel in there

The boot also looks like it is need of some attention, thought there is still a spare wheel in there

Another interior shot shows just how much dust is covering the outside of the car having been left standing in the storage unit for 33 years

Another interior shot shows just how much dust is covering the outside of the car having been left standing in the storage unit for 33 years

A close up sot of the last indicated service, which was carried out at 10,418 miles

A close up sot of the last indicated service, which was carried out at 10,418 miles

What is an ‘outlier’ in the classic car world?

John Mayhead from Hagerty UK (right) explains why collectors sometimes pay well over the odds for some classic cars

John Mayhead from Hagerty UK (right) explains why collectors sometimes pay well over the odds for some classic cars

At the end of January, a 1987 Ford Sierra smashed records by selling for a staggering £596,250 at auction.

While this was no ordinary Ford family car and was one of 500 limited-edition Sierra RS500 Cosworths, the winning bid pitched the room into a stunned silence.

That’s because the price paid for the low-mileage car utterly obliterated the previous world record for one of these models – in fact, it was more than four times higher than what anyone had ever paid before.

But what caused this to happen, and how common is it for bidders to go dramatically over pre-sale guide prices?

One man who knows is John Mayhead, editor of the Hagerty Price Guide. It’s his job to know the value of classic and collectible vehicles. And he says the Sierra sold last week – like so many before it – is what the industry dubs an ‘outlier’.

> Read John’s special clumn or This is Money in which he explains why collectors sometimes pay well over the odds for some classic cars

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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