An Early Mini Project? 1962 Morris Mini

Coming from the UK, it was common for young drivers to either learn to drive in a classic Mini, or to purchase one as their first car. They were remarkably common on the streets of the UK and could be picked up for a few pounds. Now, however, the market has woken up, and for early Mini’s which are not riddled with rust, it’s very hard to find a good deal. However, our little red 1962 Mini project today comes with all the right ingredients to restore, at a price of $4500.  The car is located in Colorado Springs and is available here on Craigslist. Thanks to Gunter Kramer for this tip!

Thanks to their astounding popularity, there is a plethora of spares and new parts available for Mini’s, and all for a reasonable price. They started producing these from the Oxford plant in the UK in 1959, meaning our 1962 model is early and the closest to Sir Alec Issigonis’s original vision. The mini was not an instant best seller but started off slowly initially before selling almost 1,190,000 of the Mark 1 version. We are unable to see if this started off life elsewhere before making its way to the US, but with its steering wheel on the left, it would seem that it was destined for overseas markets.

Our seller doesn’t give a great deal of detail about the specifics of the car, except to say it has a 998cc engine and has a few new components installed. Given that this looks like a stalled project, it makes you wonder why it stalled. We cannot see any terminal rust on the shell, just a few age-related rusty and dusty parts over the car. Unfortunately, some of the upgrades have been less than sympathetic – the wing mirrors for instance are not the original, and neither are the plastic mudguards which are off a later model. In fact, a lot of the parts appear to be from later models, so this may be an excellent opportunity to bring it back to 1960s spec.

A quick look at the interior shows it’s in decent condition, and probably just needs a cleaning. So it does appear that this Mini needs some small engine work and some minor cosmetic upgrades to bring it back to rude health. So, what would you do with this Mini project, upgrade it to Cooper S specification, or carefully bring it back to the 1962 Mark 1 specification?


  1. angliagt angliagt Member

    I’m surprised it has sold already.

    Like 2
    • bobhess bobhess Member

      I’m not. Good price, all the parts, and the car looks solid.

      Like 5
  2. angliagt angliagt Member

    I meant to post that I was surprised that it
    HADN’T sold yet.

    Like 4
  3. Marce

    What on earth is that ugly growth on the back end? Never seen a panel like that… maybe fibreglass?

    Like 2
    • Daymo

      Looks to me it’s been bashed in at the rear!

  4. Jimbosidecar

    My first car (bought at 15) was a 1965 Mini Cooper. Paid $25 for it in 1969

    Like 1
  5. Military guy

    No word on whether the engine is in running condition. Makes you wonder

  6. Graham Line

    My ’59 never had the stamped ridges on the roof. What’s that about? First step in working on Minis or Midgets is to put them on stands or a lift so you don’t have to work doubled over. LHD Minis were popular in FRance, Germany and Canada. Don’t think they were marketed in the US much by ’62.

    Like 2
  7. DON

    My Scottish cousin told me years ago it wasn’t a big deal to swap the steering over to left hand drive , its possible this one started life as a RHD car ?

  8. OldCarGuy

    The roof ridges appear to be stick-on plastic dress-up items. Rod change trans is late ’60s, but the engine is earlier ’60s (alternator adapted). Changing steering from LH to RH, or vice versa, required a different rack & pinion, and dropping, at least partially, the front sub-frame. That is a strange rear panel.Will need a new wiring harness, as wiring is, at present, a nightmare. For the price, not enough pics for me. I think this car started out with the 850 cc motor, which matched the speedo binnacle. IIRC, when they standardized the 998 as the base motor, the Cooper instrument panel was used, with oil pressure and water temp(?). Memory is going. :>)) Lots of other things, too. Could be a decent buy at a bit lower price.

    Like 1

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