1960 Morris Mini Minor Garage Find

1960-morris-mini-garage-find

When it comes to small cars, few are as iconic as the Mini. Built by the British Motor Corporation under a variety of names, the Mini’s influence can still be seen in car design and manufacturing today. This 1960 Morris Mini Saloon was found parked in a garage, where the previous owner left it in 1971. The current owner has had it for a few years, but has decided to let it go so they can dedicate more energy to their other projects. They have listed it here on eBay, but it can also be found in Crystal Lake, Illinois.

1960-morris-mini-garage-find-side-view

The Mini wasn’t the fastest car, but it was built none stop from 1959 till 2000. Its compact design and solid engineering made it an instant hit in Europe and as the rest of the world discovered how fun, reliable, and cheap it was to own, it gained recognition all over the globe. It really took the spot light after winning three Monte Carlo Rallies in the ’60s, showing just how dependable and capable it really was. It was even named one of the most influential cars of the century, behind the Model T.

1960-morris-mini-garage-find-engine

This Mini has some interesting history that could use more investigation. The seller claims it was originally built for export to the State, but somehow it ended up in France instead. From there it made its way to Winnetka, Illinois where it was parked in the previous owner’s garage. The seller hasn’t cleaned the car and it’s still wearing 40 years of dust and dirt. They got it running and driving, but they were careful to keep it as original as possible. It would be to fun investigate its full history and how exactly it ended up in France.

1960-morris-mini-garage-find-rear-corner

There were a large number of these built, but very few were built to be exported to the States, which would make the story of how it ended up in France even more interesting. This should make for a fun and easy project, as it mainly just needs a good cleaning. We would just replace the brakes and strap some driving lamps to the front and take it rallying just as it is.

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Comments

  1. john

    Used to watch these race at Laguna Seca in the early ’70’s.

  2. rick ingram

    Always great to find “survivors”!!

  3. SETH

    look at the size of the generator for such a small engine

    • paul

      Funny, your right, the thing is half the size of the motor, I forgotten that.

      • BradL

        I’m sure the generator is normal size – it’s the engine that’s extra small.

  4. Don

    Possibly it was sold as a USA spec car to a US service member in France. Would explain why it was USA spec and how it got imported here eventually.

    • Kevin

      Agreed. We still had a lot of troops in France.

  5. paul

    I had one of those I think a 948cc. This guy has some nice cars , a GTV, Duetto among them, I owned one of each of those.

    • paul

      Oh & very solid & original, nice.

    • paul

      Oh right an 850cc

  6. Joe

    love them so much since the 70’s that I am now about to get my 3rd keeper, been through many others in between but now limiting myself to 3, woodie wagon, moke and soon a sedan, there is no feeling like driving one even the under powered 850’s .

  7. Graham Line

    Minis were immensely popular in France. In 1960, I suspect there wasn’t much difference between French-spec and US-spec, unless it’s something to do with lighting.
    My ’59 was the same color, but this one seems to have the up-market pop-out rear windows.
    The 850 is a thoroughly entertaining city car, and was a big step up from the Fiat 500 that preceded it at my curb/kerb.

    • Graham Line

      Probably want to do the head for unleaded-compatible valve seats.

  8. Charles Rand Tupper

    I bought an IDENTICAL Morris Mini in 1969 for $24.00. Was not running, but $7.00 more and a used coil it ran like a champ … I drove it for a year to have a car with heat. On the way home from school one day, the engine seized up. It would go about 60 or 65 … but darn near that speed on a corner. Like a go cart!

  9. Ian Roberts

    early Minis make H U G E money in the UK these days… even battered, crashed and rusted out ones….. it needs to come home!

  10. rancho bella

    I dig Mini’s and I am lovin’ this color, and the roof rack. If i had not, just, got in another Lotus I would out bid these stinkers, and, the car would be in SoCal in short order. Quite a few in the L.A scene…………..

    calling mr. bean………..mr. bean?

  11. Lee

    So good! Britain did one right and they don’t leak (much!) so why can’t we build one this simple and fun and cheap?? Why does everything have to be 40k?? Oh wait, i’ll just buy one of these!!! It gets ya there!! 65k for a beemer doesn’t impress me, loser!

    Like 1
  12. Dolphin Member

    Alex Issigonis revolutionized the car industry with the Mini. Not the small size. Not the cheap price. It wasn’t even just the front wheel drive—other cars already had FWD. It was FWD with the engine turned sideways, in unit with the drivetrain, freeing up the rest of the space in the car for people and their stuff.

    If you have ever driven one you might question that last line—What space?? There wasn’t much of it, because it was a tiny economy car. But it put lots of people in a car, sometimes whole famlies. I remember working on a friend’s Mini and wondering how they all fit in, plus the groceries.

    One drawback for me is the limitations of FWD: hard to end up with a car with anything close to a 50:50 weight distribution; lots of understeer; lots of stress on the front suspension because it’s doing so much.

    On the other hand, John Cooper did good things with the Mini when he created the Mini Cooper. One actually won the Monte Carlo rally one year, and I remember seeing a mini Cooper lap just as fast as a late-50s Corvette at some vintage races, telling you that they could handle if set up and driven well. When I finally got to drive a Mini Cooper I was impressed with how much fun they can be.

    BTW, that exchange between the astute seller and the lowballer in the Q & A section at the bottom of the eBay listing is priceless. Lets hope this car goes to someone who has respect for it…and for the seller, who seems to have done an honest writeup for the listing, even if the pics are a little dim.

  13. Brent

    Check this out:

    World’s oldest unrestored Mini found covered in dust and chicken feathers sells for £40,000 (that’s 8,000 times more than it was bought for in 1959)

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2137795/Worlds-oldest-unrestored-Mini-dusty-barn-sells-40-000.html

  14. CAJunker

    I thought the neighbor’s Mini was a joke compared to our family Volkswagen as it only had the same horsepower and was even smaller. Then I drove it and wanted to swap out the VW right on the spot. It was just so much fun to drive and was actually roomier inside than the VW. Althoug I’ve never driven one, an original Mini Cooper with good tires must be about the most fun you can have in a moving car. Hope this one finds an owner who’ll appreciate it.

  15. FRED

    I FELL IN LOVE WITH THESE COOL CARS AFTER WATCHING A MOVIE WHERE ABOUT A DOZEN OF THEM WERE USED TO PULL A HEIST.I JUST CAN’T REMEMBER THE NAME OF THE MOVIE.THEY MUST STILL BE POPULAR AS THERE IS A BIG DEALERSHIP IN NEW JERSEY THAT CANNOT KEEP THEM IN STOCK. I SAT IN ONE AND WAS SURPRISED AT THE LEG ROOM AND HEAD ROOM IT HAD FOR MY 6FT4IN LBS BODY. THE ONLY PROBLEM FOR ME IS THE MOTOR. I’M USED TO BIG HORSE POWER MUSCLE CARS AND THIS LITTLE THING MIGHT NOT GET THE ATTENTION IT REALLY DESERVES.

    • Richard

      You mean the original 1969 version of The Italian Job. That movie WAS nuts! They did a remake a few years after the new redesigned BMW version of the car came out, it’s more like a 2-hour long Mini advertisement than an actual movie, as far as I’m concerned.

  16. Haig Haleblian

    I’m the owner of this Mini. It is a very solid honest piece. Someone is going to get a very nice car by the time the auction is competed. Most of these were rode hard, rusted, or modified. Neither is the case here. I regret selling it, but then I regret selling any of my cars. I have a 356A coupe and a 911S that I need to finish thus the sale of a couple sweet pieces. Thanks for posting it to your site. I appreciate the effort.
    There was a theory put out there on the French Connection. Could have been a european delivery. The owner of the car was an antique dealer in a very exclusive area of Chicago’s north suburbs. My guess is the owner was importing European antiques, had the car delivered to dealership in Paris and the rest is history.

  17. Jesse

    Thanks for chiming in Haig and good luck with the sale. We will follow up after the auction ends to see what it ends up going for.

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