EXCLUSIVE: 1973 Mini Innocenti 1300 + Spares

The classic Mini is an absolute hoot to drive, with go-kart level handling and a clever design. If you’ve been hunting for a Mini project but want something a little different, Reader Mike N’s Innocenti is definitely worth a closer look! It needs work but comes with a sweet spare engine that could make this a really wild machine to drive. We will let Mike tell you more about the car and the spare drivetrain below. So take a closer look and if you’d love to have this Italian Mini, you can find it in Madison, Connecticut.

From Mike N – This is the Italian made version of the Mini Cooper, known as the Innocenti 1300. These cars were made in Italy under the licensure of BMC. The Innocenti was revised with some minor and unique trim details such as a dashboard with gauges, headlight bezel, grille, and some other interior trim pieces. This is a 1973 model that came from Italy. There is a USAA insurance/registration card from Italy on the windshield indicating that it was owned and imported by a US Military person. There is no history that came with the car. I purchased the car locally from someone who had intentions to restore it. It is obvious that it was taken apart years ago. The information I got from the seller is that there was a gearbox issue. This has not been confirmed with a teardown and inspection.

Currently, the engine/gearbox are out of the car. I suggest a full teardown and rebuild of these. The twin SU carbs and manifold are included. They require a full restoration/rebuild. I inspected the alternator and starter and neither of these two turn freely. It looks like moisture got to them. These are readily available new and make sense to replace for reliability anyways. The bell housing is off the engine but included. Some miscellaneous hardware may be missing as the car got moved around in disassembled condition.

The interior is complete, but the seats are tired, and the carpeting is worn. The original rubber heel pads with “Innocenti” printed on them are worth keeping to sew onto replacement carpets . Re-upholstery and new cushions/webbing, or sport seats and rear bench delete would be my choice. Add a roll bar and the car takes on a much more sporty look. The 10″ tires are shot and only two of them hold air. Rims need restoring (sandblast/paint). Car rolls easily.

The body looks straight. No signs of any accidents. All gaps look proper. Doors shut without binding. The blue color appears to be a very thorough color change. The floors of the car were patched from the inside as weld seams are visible. There are two (2) layers of floors. The original floor under the car and new metal on top of that is in the cabin. There are rust and holes visible on the floor. New floors would be the way to go. The trunk floor has surface rust and some smaller repairable holes. Could be saved but if one opts to do a rotisserie job on this car perhaps a new trunk floor would be the way to go. The left side door has a lot of rust. It would benefit from a new skin. The right side door is structurally solid with a bubble on the skin. Roof and gutters are in decent (small localized area of rust in gutter edge) condition. The hood and the trunk lid are both solid. The nose looks good but there are signs of some rust at the seams of the cowl and fenders, and also at the fender lower nose panel seam.

The car comes with the original engine and gearbox as described above. I will ALSO include a wild engine swap setup as I have had it for years awaiting a project car! The package includes a Toyota 4AGE engine with gearbox installed on a MINI front sub-frame. This was pulled out of a Mini years ago, so the heavy lifting is done. The axles will need some more work according to my friend that had this setup. They had problems getting the engine to run properly with the Toyota EFI setup.

If anyone wishes to purchase the car and go the Toyota engine route, IMO the best option would be to run a stand-alone ignition and 4 small motorcycle Mikuni carbs. This will yield more engine space, tuneability, and the sound would-be killer. This was my intention but time is not on my side. Anyone looking to build a hot rod Mini here is your package. An Innocenti is not your bread and butter Mini. Certainly a car worthy of a restoration. The price is $5,500 with both engines as-is. Car is located in Connecticut. I can assist to deliver the North East. Detailed pictures and in-person inspection upon request.

  • Asking Price: $5,500
  • Location: Madison, Connecticut
  • Mileage: 50,000
  • Title Status: Clean
  • VIN: DGM9463OM

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  1. Ken Tilly UK Member

    Love the dash in comparison to the original Mini.

    • RayT Member

      I still prefer the original dah layout, Ken.

      Now, if I could find a Radford Mini, I might change my mind….

      Like 1
  2. Wayne

    Great project at a reasonable price.
    However not in the cards for me right now.
    Good luck Mike N.!

    Like 3
  3. djjerme

    Not a bad deal for some one with the time and space to sort it out. Finish it and then drive the snot out of it..

  4. John

    Potential to spend a lot and have a cool car. Headlight eyebrows ( bezels?) must go!

    Like 2
  5. Peter

    Having built a Cooper S many years ago I can tell you that working on these is relatively easy setting the twin SU’s is a bit of a pain however that body will require a lot of work. Parts are available but be prepared rust is the enemy of these unibodies

  6. TimM

    The car looks good but I wonder if at one point it was under water???? The bottom of the seat is toast but the top looks fine!! The alternator and starter are both frozen and I have original cars 20 years older than this that are sitting in my todo yard and the starter and alternators still spin!! It’s a nice project and the price doesn’t seem bad but it just shows signs of it being submerged!!! In my opinion!!!

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