Barn Find Mini Cooper: World’s Oldest Known Survivor

Found in a barn in Suffolk, U.K., this 1963 Mini Cooper S Mark I is said to have been stored since 1983. The new owner claims it was the sixth of only 4,000 ever made. Found here on, the car and new owner are featured in an article telling the story of the car and its history. Not only is this an amazing barn find, it also apparently has a racing history. Check out more of this amazing find below.

The article states: “Bob…has been collecting cars as a hobby since retiring from his job as a pawnbroker five years ago. He turned his attention to the Mini Cooper S Mark I earlier this year, hoping to track down an early model. But Bob was stunned to get a response to his ad from the owner of the car, which is famously linked to the Monte Carlo rally in 1964, 1965 and 1967. The vehicle has remnants of what he believes to be a racing history, with Restall seats and Minilite wheels and a sticker on the back linked to a company which used to convert cars into racers.

The car has the original engine and looks like it is great shape. Unfortunately, there aren’t many details in the ad regarding the car. It mainly talks about the new owner and a bit about the history of the Mini. There are a few more photos of this car in an article posted on It sounds like this owner is building quite a collection of early Mini’s.

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  1. Bob S

    There were really popular in Vancouver, in the early 60s, and I used to race them with my mkI Sprite, but what they didn’t know until I fired my car up, was that I was putting out more power than they were. They weren’t used to getting beat.
    They are fantastic little cars, and in the hands of a good driver, they are killer.

    • Alexander Tomich

      There is a video on YouTube of one going heads-on vs. a Mustang, and eventually beating it!

  2. David

    Ok I give up.How much for the Mini? Or are we just showing it off? I lived in Germany for two years in the sixties and that was a very popular car there. I just want to know what are they worth in today’s market. Thanks for your time.

  3. Derek

    My pal’s dad’s A40 had an Ecurie Ecosse sticker in the back window – they used to service it – but that doesn’t mean that it was a racer.

    • Steve R

      It does, because it makes the car more valuable. Unfortunately, that’s becoming the norm. Throw out any unsubstantiated claim that can potentially drive the price higher and see what sticks.

      Steve R

    • Dirk

      Doesn’t mean that it wasn’t either.

  4. Roger N Wall

    If you are thinking about this Mini Cooper get someone who really knows, Minis to look over it for you, buyer beware. !!!!!

  5. Martin Horrocks

    The Daily Express is hardly a beacon of truth……but this is obviously a lovely car, with all the right period bits. Not sure about a competition background, just looks like a road car which someone threw money at.

  6. Rabbit

    There are about 2 dozen of these down in Watkins Glen this week for SVRA Vintage Grand Prix (just racers. Likely a ton more as show cars, as MINI is the featured marque this year.) Not really fast cars, but they handle like skateboards and are a blast to watch. Was gonna go, but my travel companion bailed.


      So a Mini is not a really fast car? That’s true if comparing it to something like a Porsche 911. I drove a 1275 Morris Cooper S back in the late 1960s in Germany. I was a complete amateur and 6’4″, weighing in at about 260 lbs. The car was built by Wooding of Hamburg. Their driver, Christian Schmarje, won the 1300cc sedan class when I started racing. The main competition came from 1300cc Alfa Romeos. And indeed the Alfas could be faster on the long straightaways, especially if the happened to be drafting a cheating Alfa 1600. At the end of the race, which the 1600 Alfa won, he pulled onto a trailer and left the track without ever going through the post-race inspection. But at a track like the Nurburgring, either north or south track, the Mini was king. I remember at the Hockenheimring, I finished 4th; Alfas finished 2nd and 3rd. Schmarje finished first in the Wooding Mini. So, in their class in their day, the 1275 Cooper S was very fast. My favorite race was at Zolder in Belgium. It was just for us new guys. (The guys with international racing licenses had their own races) They combined the 1300cc class with the 1600cc class. The line-up was Alfa 1600, Alfa 1600, BMW 1600 in the first row. Two Minis were the second row. I was next to a British woman with a real British Mini (steering wheel on the right side). I finished 3rd, behind the two Alfas. I managed to pass the BMW after riding his bumper for a few laps. He overcooked it in a turn, and I was able to sneak by on the inside. My only 1300cc win.

    • Peter Pentz

      I’m sorry, but I am going to have to respectfully disagree with your statement.
      Think back to the Mid Ohio Can Am Mini Challenge race 3 years back – the front 10 Cooper S’s put up times that were faster than a lot of cars of much larger capacity.
      They handle incredibly well on both tight and open corners, and can more than hold a candle to a Porsche 911 2.5 of the period, and in the right hands beat them, just as one example of correct period oposition.
      Judging by the associated photo, you are the owner of the yellow Mini with the wind up key in the trunk lid. Sorry to tell you this, but by personal observation, your car is slow, very slow, and as for the visible message being projected, no way to say it, other than it’s offensive, and degrades the image of the Cooper S.
      It takes all types I suppose …..

      • Rabbit

        My apologies if anyone feels offended by the photo. No, the car in question is not mine, however, I am acquainted with the owner. The guy has a great self-depreciating humor, which underscores the fact that he loves his little car. I guess you’d have to meet him to understand. I stand by my remark that these cars handle like they’re on rails, and are a blast to see in action. As far as myself, I grew up hot-rodding ACVW’s, so what does that tell you?

  7. Peter Pentz

    What a lot of hogswash ! Sorry, but this ex Pawnshop owner needs to go back to his original trade.
    BTW, those are actually Cooper Magnesium petal wheels, not Mini Lites, and as such, any new owner needs to remove them immediately as they are well beyond there “use by date” – they suffer from bad corrosion problems and have the tendency to inexplicably disintegrate the first time they hit a hard bump. They are very pretty, and have been put back in production, so replacements are available.
    So regarding the car being #6, that is ridiculous and untraceable.
    There was no differentiation between the VIN numbers of the concurrently produced 997 Cooper and 1070 Cooper S – they shared the same VIN number range, so to know that this was car # 6 of the 1070 S is a baseless fabrication. Secondly, sorry to tell the seller, but the first 50 cars off the line where demonstrators / press cars or converted to race and rally cars.
    And there are other really bothersome obvious signs – the early 1070S and 997 had cast alloy window catches, not the later plastic catches, the windscreen washer nossels where metal and not plastic, and the 63 car had 3 piece polished SS trim over the wheel arches and along the sill, and not the later plastic trim seen on this car.
    Conclusion – judging by other visual signs, this is likely a 64 1070 but almost definitely not the 6th car made.
    If the current owner is certain of this – give us the VIN and engine number, or even better the Heritage Certificate.

    So onto the topic of it having a race history …… right !
    As to the racing history, you would think as a minimum the car would have been fitted with a rev-counter – not visible here ! In the period the car would have been fitted will a roll hoop behind the driver / passenger seats (known in the period as an Alley Bar) – so is it missing?. Are there holes in the floor and rear wheel arches or signs of welding in these locations showing that one was fitted ? Finally – who would bother removing these items after a racing carear, and not simply leave it in place ?
    The seats are period aftermarket, but these were never used for racing, it should have had the typical simple tight bucket seats. Looks like these are adjustable recliners, which where never used, and in some groups not allowed for racing.

    So lets cut the BS ……This is a nice reasonably original period 1070 Cooper S, but one of the very first 1070’s or a car with a racing history – on both counts I doubt it!

    • Philip Middleton

      Seats look very much like Microcell Contour recliners.

  8. Brian M

    Curious about the remote shift lever. I had a 68 (E reg plate) countryman in England is 77-80 and it had the “magic wand” lever emerging from the floor board near my feet. It was an 849(?), which died and we forced a 998 into it before we realized that the new engine had the remote shifter. Quick torch work and it fit. I would have thought that the original engine in this would have had the wand.

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