Herd Of Minis In New Mexico!

If you’re a fan of the original Mini, you absolutely need to check this out! Listed here on craigslist, in Las Cruces, New Mexico, are numerous Minis for sale, and thanks go to our reader Ed. Read on to learn more!

For those unfamiliar with the original Mini, let me summarize: The “Mini” that we know originated in England around 1959, from the British Motor Corporation (BMC). It was produced by BMC and the successor companies British Motor Holdings, Leyland Motors, British Leyland, Rover Group of British Aerospace, and BMW. It has become truly an iconic British symbol, having been featured in many movies and television shows like The Italian Job and Mr. Bean. My research uncovered the fact that they were apparently produced in factories in  England, Australia, Spain, Belgium, Chile, Italy, Portugal, South Africa, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Yugoslavia. It was named the second most influential car of the 20th century, the Ford Model T being the #1, and was produced in multiple body configurations, not just the cute little coupe that most people recall.

Normally, we would look closely at the features and conditions of the individual vehicles, but in this case, that doesn’t really apply. The seller tells us that they have the cars shown in the pictures and another 8 cars in the U.K. awaiting restoration and shipping to America. We’re told also that all of the cars in the ad are legit and the paperwork is in order, a crucial piece of the puzzle when purchasing a car from overseas.

I don’t know about you, but I sure would like to have one of these in my garage – a Mini would actually fit in my garage, unlike most of the classics that I want to own. Wait, what am I saying? If you’re reading this far into the article, I bet you would too! Shall I bring the tea and cakes?

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Comments

  1. bobhess Member

    Right hand drive in a car as small as the Minis greatly increases your risk of becoming a road fritter. The early cars weren’t that hard to convert to left hand drive but the later ones are tough to do. Nice looking cars though.

    2
    • Brakeservo

      I wouldn’t have anything but RHD!

      1
  2. Jack M.

    You could probably fit two Minis in an average parking spot for a North American car.

    3
  3. Bob S

    Those little Coopers were fun to drive, and would stick on a corner like crap on a blanket. I would love that early Cooper. All the performance and none of the electronics.
    The original Minis we saw in Canada, were 850cc, and even an old VW would look on them as fodder. Even they were still fun to drive in the mountains.
    Bob

    5
  4. Dennis Marth

    Be still, my beating heart!

    In the 60’s and 70’s my friends and I were all MG, Triumph & Healey guys. But one friend had a Mini Cooper and god, was that thing fast! Ran us aground with that little car.

    This collection looks very nice, and the prices are less extreme than one normally sees for a decent (real) Mini. One of the greatest cars in history, along with the Model T and the VW Bug.

    5
  5. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Russell: when I told my recently divorced pal about the movie Minis and your offer he said never mind bringing the tea and cakes- bring Charlize Theron instead.
    I had to tell him “Wrong type of Mini”…

    2
  6. Jim Member

    I can remember being at a course in England in the summer of 1959 when all the big names where involved in a promotional race. Moss had fallen behind and swerved off the course, ran across the middle and suddenly reappeared ahead of everyone; great fun. In about 1965 a pal in Boston, taking advantage of the construction and front wheel drive, cut out the middle section of the mini, reattached the back portion, to make an incredible mini. parking is tough in Boston

    4
  7. 86_Vette_Convertible

    They are cute cars and though I’ve not driven or sat in one, I suspect they would be fun to drive. After all, they do rally them. One surprising thing is there isn’t a single one in British Racing Green.

    I admire the person that collected all them.

    3
    • David F

      You need to get a ride in one somehow somewhere. I’ll be giving folks rides in one Sunday for the museum’s Sunday drives. Folks are always amazed at how roomy it is and how much fun the ride is. The speedo reads high, so I tell riders it’s in scale MPH.

      2
  8. CanuckCarGuy

    My uncle bought one new in 1977…as I recall he pushed it as often as he drove it, but as a 10 year old kid it was still the coolest car I’d ever been in.

    2
  9. Kevin Harper

    I use to have one of these. It was a version called the Mayfair and it was around a 1984 model but titled as a 65 as we didn’t have the 25 year rule then.
    It had a 1275 and front disc brakes and right hand drive. It was a ball to drive and I never had any issues with driving a RHD car in a LHD world, you get use to it pretty quick with the only real issues is that if you switch cars frequently you will find yourself trying to shift the door handle and you will embarrass yourself by getting in the wrong side occasionally.

    4
  10. h5mind

    I drove the Venezuelan version and it was a hoot. Not much power but plenty of headroom for this six-foot gringo and up to three pals. Their version was called the ‘Minicord’ and its body is made from fiberglass (glassfibre) instead of steel, so none of the famous rust these are known for. Easier and cheaper to have them switched to LHD in England as they do it all the time for the export market. If they check out OK, his prices are very fair.

  11. Derek

    I had loads of Minis. Prone to rust but an absolute hoot. They handle better than a handley thing in Handlesville.
    Only 10″ wheels allowed, though; anything else is an aberration…
    LCB and an RC40, thank you very much!

    1
  12. Brakeservo

    These are hardly “Barn Finds” Apparently Mike has become a quasi-dealer and importer and this is an expansion of his British car repair shop. But I think it’s nice to see more RHD Minis on the road! And as I like to say to the naysayers, if you can’t drive RHD you shouldn’t drive LHD either!!

  13. Roger E. Carlton

    The ad encourages me. I already have two, but there is room for three. Both of mine are disassemble and I am getting them ready for re-assembly. I am going original on the ’59 850 cc and souped up on the ’60 1200 cc. I have only driven one of them and they are fun little cars. Both of mine are left hand drive. One day they will be on the Georgia roads again.

    2
  14. Mark

    Yes yes yes
    This is MINI – not the new one
    I love my Cooper

    1
  15. wuzjeepnowsaab

    Wow that’s a lot of Minis. I owned one when I lived in Canada. Great driving cars…loud but you don’t feel underpowered or in danger on the roads and they’re surprisingly roomy inside. One of my favorite memories was trying to find parking in downtown Toronto and finally just backing it in a space between an Impala and Lincoln perpendicular to the curb. Perfect fit!

    2
  16. TinBox

    The RHD is really not an issue, the cars are so narrow that a slight shift of your head and it’s on the other side. Have had my RHD mk1 for 30 yrs and the only challenge is passing on a two lane road, and left turns behind trucks…patience takes care of both. How they drive and how much fun you have makes up for it.
    Fix problems (properly) as they come up and it’ll never leave you walking.

    1
  17. rod444

    Coincidentally my brother sent me a pic of a beautiful Mini parked beside his truck just a minute ago.

    Makes me think you’d want to be in the truck for a collision, but in the Mini for driving fun. Dang, that thing is tiny…https://i.imgur.com/5iIne82.jpg

  18. DougJ

    First right hand drive car I ever drove in the States was a Mini. Freaky experience at first, but after a few city miles, it became very natural (for me at least). Love how these things handle, and still a great choice for a city car – zippy (enough), maneuverable, and just plain-old fun-to-drive. Love to have one again, timing is just not right. Right now, at least.

    1
  19. Daymo

    All from The UK on their original plates. Would love to repatriate the yellow one at the back as its got its plates from where I live now. And I’m sure I’ve seen it about too!

    1
  20. Peter Pentz

    To the trained eye, most would have spotted that all of these Minis are from the later years of production – circa 90s and early 2000’s.
    These were all produced by Rover Group and later BMW.
    Not the most desirable ……
    One thing in their favor though is that the quality was a lot better than the Leyland period series 3 cars, and had better amenities.
    The most desirable though are the original Series 1 and 2 cars produced by BMC, complete with their quaint poor quality !

    • Timport

      If in fact some of these cars are newer than 1994, but titled earlier, a buyer runs the risk of US Customs seizing and crushing the cars. While I think it’s a stupid move on the part of the Feds, they do those things, probably mostly for the publicity value.

  21. Willowen Member

    Changing RHD to LHD is not a massive undertaking with these, though the best imports are from Spain and Portugal, where tons of Minis were sold and all LHD. We had an importer here in Pasadena who had a Portuguese Mini wagon, a LWB version like my old Austin Countryman, only without that useless-if-cute wood trim. Sadly, he went out of business before I could afford to buy it, but I would certainly like another. The four inches of extra wheelbase makes them much better settled on the road and steadier in corners, with no apparent loss of their legendary agility. My GF and I actually slept in mine a few times on our trip from SF Bay south. and then out to Nashville … We were a LOT younger then, I must say!

    1
  22. TimM

    What a cool collection!! I’ve only seen a couple of these at car shows and as drivers in the area I live during my lifetime!! It’s amazing to me that all of these are in one place!!

  23. Mitch Ross

    They were also made in Italy by Innocenti. Those were LHD. In fact, I’m pretty sure more LHD minis were made than RHD. The ones in Canada were 1000cc, at least in the 70s

    1
  24. Edward Skakie

    The Morris Mini’s and Austin 7/Mini’s, as imported to Canada, were 848cc, 997cc Cooper, 998cc Cooper, 1070cc Cooper S, and 1275cc Cooper S. It was said that a few 970cc Cooper S’s were brought in by BMC, and there was at least one other model imported, besides the Mayfair, as I viewed a number of them on the road. The other name escapes me at the moment, but it might have been an MG Mini. The Mayfair front and back end bodywork was different, with the Mayfair having extended rear fenders with different tail-lights, and extended front fenders with a totally different grille that must be seen to be believed. Unless it was a rust-bucket, Mini’s were pretty safe in an accident: I’ve seen a few, on the race-track, as high as 30′ in the air, tumbling, with no resulting injury, other than a nose scratch from sunglasses. Of course, the bodies were trashed & twisted, with the doors folded like origami, but the occupant, while wobbly, was whole, and still functioning.

  25. Edward Skakie

    The Riley Elf was another one, with reworked grille, and front & rear fenders.

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