Motoring Monday: 1972 Innocenti Mini 1000

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Yes, I know it’s technically not a British car for Motoring Monday, but the Innocenti was built under licence from BMC and BL from 1961 to 1976. Generally considered to be a little nicer outfitted than the British original, Innocenti Mini’s are highly prized by collectors, even the more basic ones like this car. The seller states that it has less than 27,000 miles and was in a museum for a portion of that time frame. It’s currently located in Georgia (the seller doesn’t specify which city) and is listed here on eBay where bidding is spirited but has not yet met reserve as I write this.

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It’s pretty obvious that this Mini has been living in a collection among some pretty nice garage-mates. The car really looks to be in spectacular condition, and despite the seller saying there is a ding in the front bumper, I can’t find it in the admittedly blurred picture of the nose.

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While not very large, the trunk is usable and looks very original. 10″ tires add to the charm of the Mini, and when the owner describes it driving like a go-kart they aren’t exaggerating! It’s nice to see the jack and tools in place as well.

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A nice steering wheel sets off a pleasant but still relatively sparse interior. It’s hard to fault the condition of this survivor automobile. Even the weatherstripping looks nice!

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It’s unusual to see the A-series engine, in this case a 998cc version, in anything but Morris green; does anyone know if they were originally supplied in black like this? I’m guessing so considering how original the rest of the car appears. It does look like an aftermarket electronic ignition has been installed based on the leads going to the coil; I’ve put the same ignition on some of my Triumphs with excellent results. Would you drive this car, or keep it in its current preserved state?

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. RayT Member

    I’d drive it! And drive it some more….

    Innocenti Minis I’ve seen have been finished a bit better than their Austin/Morris contemporaries, but — based on exactly one experience — are the same dynamically. Which is to say they are loads of fun, and therefore shouldn’t be consigned to a life as display pieces (the same is true for many if not most “classics”).

    Not sure if it’s worth the kind of five-figure bid someone is sure to lay down for it, but that’s entirely a matter of personal choice and wallet capacity.

  2. jim s

    seller has 3 cars for sale on ebay and a lot of interesting vehicles in the background of photos. i think the reserve price is going to be too high for this to be used as a driver. i would love to have this as a driver and to autocross. great find

  3. Graham Line

    Looks like a coil and distributor in the usual spots, carefully planned to catch all possible spray and muck from traffix. Not sure what suggests a change. P/O of my ’59 850 had a lacquered cardboard box sitting over the dizzy cap on mine.

    Thought my Morris version had a panel above the spare and tool kit, but it’s been a few years ago.

    Bidding seems right.

  4. gunningbar

    Love this!

  5. mike young

    Nice one. Love the color! About protecting the distributor… Why? Too nice to drive in the rain!

  6. George

    I don’t know if it was ever an issue with minis, But a friend had an Austin America back when those were new in the US. It would short out in the rain.

  7. Graham Line

    Moisture was definitely an issue with Minis. The positioning made timing and setting points easy, but it was definitely vulnerable to water. There was always a can of WD40 in the boot.

    Absolutely fun cars to drive, even in the lower-HP versions. Very well-planted in wet conditions.

  8. CattooButt Member

    As a mid teen teenager my friends dad had a Honda that looked much like this car. One day driving down a gravel road we ended up sliding into a ditch with enough forward momentum to get out again… Until the gopher hole caught the front left wheel and we ended up on the drivers side door. His dad was pissed. Car still drove fine although there were dings in the roof from where the barrels of the .22 rifles in back seat hit.

  9. wagon master

    Wait, even with that turbo it won’t get out of its own way. Boost it till it blows!

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