1962 Austin Mini: Part or Save?


They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, while I see the beauty on the Austin Mini I’m having trouble seeing how this one might ever return to the roads. Listed here on eBay with an opening bid of $1,000, it looks all kinds of rusty and generally beaten, which makes me think the asking price is a touch high for such an undertaking. The seller proffers it might be a good race car candidate (more accurately, in my opinion, it should be used for rallies or hillclimbs), but to do so I would want a clear understanding of just how compromised the chassis is. When your car appears to be rusting at every corner, more information will definitely be needed. But imagining the original teal color with some silver Minilite wheels attached does help me envision the possibilities of restoring this ’62 Mini back to fighting form. Would you attempt this project?


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  1. dj

    Someone must have thought it was worth that, it’s gone.

  2. RichieRich

    Or maybe collapsed of its own weight? There were 5.3 million of these produced over 40 years. If the mechanicals are good then transfer them over to a new shell. Unless you’ve got oodles of time or money don’t get started on patch welding. It’s a money pit.

  3. -packrat

    Search for “Project Binky” in videos, to see a really interesting series on mini racer creation…

  4. Dave Wright

    I pulled one like this out of a riverbank where it had been used as erosion control. It was an easy fix and made a really fast SCCA race car. Every panel, nut bolt and washer was readily available and cheep at that time.

  5. JW454

    This one just has a sad look on it’s “face”. Used, abused, and neglected. I hope the new owner gives it a second (or third) chance.

  6. Patrick McC.

    I inspected the images closer and I think that under all that latex paint, junk (inside) and dust, there sits a car reasonable for restoration. After all, it is an earlier model and it seems to have most of the parts.

  7. Daymo

    It all depends where you are, I suppose. Getting parts in the US could be costly and difficult to source but here in the UK, parts are cheap and plentiful.

  8. Jim C

    If it’s really beyond repair, it would be a worthy piece just to store it in this current condition. Lol

  9. Tim

    Having owned several of these I know that what you see is far from what you’ll get. I also had a 1992 that was rusty within 3 years of buying it, so buyer beware! The usual places are the seams, which are external, the front fenders (wings), inners, A-post, rockers (sills), front valance, engine/suspension subframe, rear subframe, trunk (boot) floor, etc, etc. Given how rusty this is on the surface I bet it’s rotten to hell underneath. I know it’s 1962, but it’s worth so little after a $15-20k restoration that it’s better to buy someone else’s restoration folly. If it were a twin-filler-cap original race Cooper then it’s a different story….

  10. cory

    That sad puppy face is killing me. I wanna go rescue this car. It says unsold on ebay, so maybe it is still available

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