Low-Mile Daily: 1991 Mini Cooper

One of the best parts of car culture is the practice of customization and modification. Endless variations and types of modifications can be made to cars. And one car which gets a lot of modifications, other than the classic VW Beetle, is the classic Mini. Not only did they come from the factory with various options of body styles, but people have added older parts onto their new model Mini’s to backdate them and there are even ‘Singer’ style restomods available for the Mini now (for a considerable sum of money!). So our Mini comes at us today from 1991 and has a backdated grill, but modern interior. If this mix is something you are after, then take a look here on Craigslist at the 1991 Mini Classic located in Aurora, Denver for $7900. Thanks to Mark_K for the tip!

We all know the classic Mini as one of the cars with the longest production run in history. It’s easy to see why – practical, small and easy to work on with plenty of spare parts available, including complete new body shells. Our white Mini comes from 1991 but has had some modifications on the outside to backdate it, including the grill. The grill and paint are in reasonable condition, however, there is some rust bubbling under the surface on one of the wings, so this would need to be rectified by the new owner. The 4 corners have brand new tires with only 2km driven on them. Unfortunately, we don’t see the back of the Mini, so not sure that’s in good condition too, but we can safely say that its likely given that this has only been off the road for two months.

The seller admits that the mechanicals needs some looking at, including the fuel gauge which has stopped working. There may be some more electrical gremlins inside as the rear taillights do not work, so an electrical overhaul may be necessary for this one. Our car comes with its original 1275cc engine and has covered just 87,000 miles meaning that it’s probably been a well-cared-for classic.

Whilst the exterior exudes classic 1960s Mini, the interior is the polar opposite, with very modern leather seats which look like they came from a BMW-era Mini. The red seatbelts are a great touch, but the checkerboard black and white headlining may not be to everyone’s taste. So which direction would you take this classic Mini in? A retromod backdating it to the classic Mini of the 1960s or a more modern recreation? What we do know is that it’s only a few days away from getting back on the road again.

Comments

  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Shaky deal here. I’d bet that rust on the left front isn’t the only rust on this car.

    Like 9
    • Edward Sel

      bobbo – I also notice, first, the wider front tires/wheels extending on both sides and the ‘extendo’ wheel well fender flanges (on the front only), all of which may have exacerbated the front fascia behind the paint rust problemo – but which also probably made it a hoot to drive ‘rally-style’ in the Denver snow, where, BTW, they don’t salt the roads in winter, but they do use magnesium chloride, which sounds even worse, here – https://www.prestigeimports.net/avoid-problems-magnesium-chloride-deicer/

      Like 1
  2. Denny N. Member

    It’s right hand drive; if it came from England it’s probably loaded with rust. These early Minis were serious rusters!

    Like 9
  3. Mark

    This is not a 1991 Mini. More like a 1961 modded in 1991.

    Like 10
  4. Derek

    The grille panel’s a van/pickup one.

    Like 8
  5. Slomoogee

    Red flags all over this one. And it’s painted in the ever popular rust hider white.

    Like 6
  6. bill tebbutt

    I don’t understand this car. Looking at the switchgear tells me that it is a late mini, so 1991 is likely. No engine pics. But I don’t get the van front end at all. Those fenders and front panel are all welded on and together – putting this fron end on a non-van is neither cheap nor easy. I’m guessing that this thing had a heck of an accident at some point, and someone had an old van lying about, and after a couple of beers…….

    Love the flasher unit dangling on its wires. And the disconnected wires dangling under the dash – confidence inspiring!

    cheers,
    BT

    Like 6
    • Daymo

      I also doubt it’s ‘91 as it still has the central speedo – unless of course it’s been retro-fitted. By 1991 it would have had an updated 3-gauge binnacle – consisting of speedo, rev counter and petrol/radiator temp/warning lights – situated right in front of the driver!

      • Shaun Martin

        What about the mk3 doors. I think it’s been shelled with a (maybe stolen)early mk3. 2 screws to change identity (VIN plate). There you go Joe!
        You gotta nooooo veHicle.
        Trying to sound like the sherrif who was in a couple of James Bond films.
        🤣

    • Edward Sel

      It’s like a trip to the wrecker brought them both the updated interior and the van front to fix that outside part. Look at that shot of the passenger door interior – new panel with a…piece of slotted metal for a door handle? Perhaps that was a “temporary” solution – I’m sure the driver – maybe a young bloke, enjoyed the seat/steering column upgrade – might have a ‘mod’ Vespa parked around there too.

  7. Troy

    I don’t deliver the mail or newspaper so I can’t see any other use for it other than just drive it hard until it blows up then sell it to the next person willing to take it on

  8. Tom

    Had a “72 with a 1300 Clubman from Canada. Put a Webber 45 and velocity stacks on it. (Had to remove the speedo for the stacks). Misc. Paddy Hobkirk upgrades and solid suspension made this little guy a rocket that turned 90 degrees at unreal speed. Auto crossed (mostly on three wheels) with great success. Wish I still had it…

  9. nick

    Rear lights and fuel gauge probably have a common ground, so that’s probably rusted. My experience with rust would leave me to believe that the floors are at least as bad as the exterior, and that rust may go all the way back, to the rear body/frame mounts and trunk floor. Anyone seriously advertising a Cooper would specify the engine displacement.

    Like 1
  10. Gazzer

    They stopped making Coopers in 71 or 72. That’s why we got the clubman instead.

    Like 2
  11. Gazzer

    They stopped making Coopers in 71 or 72.

    • Daymo

      Sorry to disagree but they made the Coopers right until the end of the ‘original’ run in 2000!
      That said, the current BMW Minis have Cooper variants too!

      Like 2
      • bobhess bobhess Member

        We have a 2011 Mini Cooper. Nice car but the engine’s junk.

        Like 1
  12. Roger Wall

    The description is complete rubbish it’s not a Cooper it’s not a 1991, looking at the photos it looks like a rust bucket it was probably brought into the USA with false documents it’s so easily done with a Mini so Buyer BEWARE.

    Like 4
  13. Edward Sel

    It’s like a trip to the wrecker brought them both the updated interior and the van front to fix that outside part. Look at that shot of the passenger door interior – new panel with a…piece of slotted metal for a door handle? Perhaps that was a “temporary” solution – I’m sure the driver – maybe a young bloke, enjoyed the seat/steering column upgrade – might have a ‘mod’ Vespa parked around there too.

  14. Roger N Wall

    The point is its not a Rover Cooper body shell, it’s bean given a Cooper identity the log books are easy to buy, plus changing the chassis number to Cooper is easy to, its NOT A ROVER COOPER.

  15. jwaltb

    I woke up today with a headache. That headliner just made it ten times worse.

    Like 1
  16. jwaltb

    Great mouse fur dash!

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