Live Auctions

JDM Import? 1993 Rover Austin Mini

Original Austin Mini Coopers have been in style for some time now, especially if you find one made in-period from the 1960s. But the brand continued to produce the genuine article under the Rover brand and markets like Japan saw especially strong demand drive sales long past the original expiration date. This is one of those cars, a 1993 right-hand drive model sold new in Japan and showing just 8,000 miles from new. Japanese market collector cars tend to always have obscenely low miles, and this one presents quite well with tons of eyeball appeal courtesy of fender flares and driving lamps. Find it here on craigslist in Miami, Florida for $25,000.

The Rover-built Minis incorporated numerous updates to make them more akin to a modern commuter car, much like the Mexican Beetle did later on its life. More modern interiors, fuel injection, improved ergonomics, and more options like factory sport packages made the later Minis far more usable on a day-to-day basis, but using one as your daily still demands a certain lifestyle. The fat fenders and chunky wheels and tires are a great look, and while purists may prefer the originals, I totally dig the later Rover-built Minis. This one also has a large rear spot lamp and some stickers to pay homage to the Mini’s rallying exploits.

The engine bay is compact, and I believe this is considered an “A+” engine. The lack of a carburetor is a bit jarring at first given how most of us have only see the original article; these later production Minis are a rare sight on our shores but now far more accessible given what can be imported under the 25 year rule. The seller notes the engine runs great and is paired to a four-speed manual, and on the stopping side, you’ll find front disc brakes. The Mini is also equipped with a K&N air filter, but that seems to be it for engine modifications. And with just 8,000 miles, it should run happily for quite some time. The seller does not report if any maintenance records are included with the sale.

The Mini features custom covers over the stock cloth seats; presumably, this is because a previous owner wanted to keep the factory buckets in mint condition given the mileage has remained so low. The Mini is equipped with air conditioning, rounding out a list of modern amenities that will let you go back in time without paying the price for it. A previous owner has added chrome touches throughout to dress the car up a bit, but really, this one is a looker with or without the additional cosmetic enhancements. The end result may be one of the pricier Minis you can buy, but it looks like tons of fun and will likely see its value continue to grow even if the next owner adds a few thousand miles.


  1. Alan Brase

    Way nicer than some of those left rotting in garden shed in Britain since the 1960’s.
    I wonder what ever happened to Enzo Ferrari’s Mini? I think he sometimes drove it to work!

    Like 4
  2. grant

    JDM is “Japanese Domestic Market” that is a car built in Japan for sale in Japan. This would be a British Export Market car, that is built in Britain to be exported. I know I’m being pendantic but this is a car site, come on.

    Like 8
  3. Chinga-Trailer

    Is that an air conditioning condenser under the hood and gee, the alternator looks to be as big as the engine! There are three small cars I’d like to own again, just as a commuter in my little retirement community here – a Mini like this, a 2CV or an old Ford ‘Pop” side valve. The Mini makes the most sense, but I’ll probably hold out for the best Ford Popular or Anglia I can find . . . because, if we only did things that made sense, life would be no fun!

    Like 2
  4. Tin Box

    The 1275 in this is a nice bonus, makes it completely usable as an everyday car, and will happily sing along at 75mph. The AC it’ll be usable for those in warm climates…but some service work will bring no joy.

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