Multi-Colored Mini Machine!

We don’t know whether or not this 1965 Mini panel van is an Austin or a Morris, but I suppose ultimately it doesn’t matter much. Despite the patchwork appearance, there is an interesting vehicle under the paint and primer. It’s available in Chickasha, Oklahoma and is being sold here on eBay. There’s a buy it now of $4,000 although bidding is opening at $2,500 without a reserve. Thanks to reader Peter R. for submitting this unusual find!

The body shell looks pretty darned solid. The seller tells us that over $12,000 has been spent already on the vehicle and it comes with $3,000 in new spares, including some sheet metal. It would be really nice to see where the metal is needed and what parts it actually comes with, but details are short. In one part of the ad, it states look at the pictures for the spare parts, but I don’t see any pictures of them included in the listing. On the other hand, I like the “Minilite-type” wheels and the practicality of the vehicle. Yes, I’m calling a tiny little delivery van practical.

We’re not told whether this is the original engine or not, but based on the air cleaner construction I don’t think it dates from 1965. Hopefully that means it’s a later 1275 cc engine with a little more torque and horsepower than the original engine. The vehicle is a European import, specifically from the UK or Ireland as it’s right hand drive.

Here’s where things start to get a little weird…but maybe this makes sense as well. According to the ad, this is a $600 air bag system. Once I researched this a little, I realized that this particular Mini originally would have had the hydrolastic suspension system, which can be expensive to get worked on in the USA. In most cases I’m aware of, enthusiasts retrofit the rubber cone suspension that both preceded and came after the hydrolastic system. I’m not really sure how I feel about introducing air suspension to a Mini, but I’m pretty sure you’ll want to go over the installation with a fine tooth comb before driving the Mini. So what do you think? Do you have a small business that could use a small, economical delivery van?

 

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Comments

  1. JamestownMike

    Mikey likes it! VERY COOL find! However, I’m not a fan of right hand drive vehicles. Wonder if they made a US version of this body style? I have a 2010 Mini Cooper (base model) hardtop hatchback with a TON of options including the panaramic roof, Harmon Kardon sound and a 6 speed manual transmission with only 52k miles.

    • Dave Wright

      There were plenty of left hand drive vans and woody wagons built. They are not tough to convert either. You are correct about not being a fan of right hand drive cars in a left hand world……..or the other way around. On the racetrack (or a mail route) it doesn’t really make a difference to me but in every day use it can be dangerous.

  2. MGTOMMM

    I had a Mini Van that I drove as an every day summer vehicle. It had a fairly hot engine and was one of the most fun things to drive, ever. Only problem, being a RHD van in Ohio, when I’d come to some odd angle intersections, I’d have to jerk handbrake on, jump out to check left rear traffic, jump back in, then take off while hoping no traffic sneaked in. Massive blind spot was killer.

    I finally sold the Van and got a Mini Traveller. Much better visabilty.

  3. JW

    Pretty awesome little panel IMHO.

  4. Richie Rich

    Cool project – not too many of these left. The air cleaner matches my 1975 Mini 998cc engine, and that engine was typical for the year and that model. If the seller has any spare wheels I’m interested!

  5. johnincm

    It is shown as sold on ebay now. I hope the buyer noticed the suicide doors with the door glass frames cut off. That is a small bore engine, most likely a 998.

    Converting an early Mini from RHD to LHD (or the other way around) is pretty straightforward with only a few parts required. No need to reposition the speedo right?

  6. Adam T45 Staff

    The auction has ended. EBay indicates that it sold for $4000.

  7. cliffyc

    Love these little vans!. Hello from the UK. My first car was a Mini Pick-up which was sold as a Morris. So this van should be likewise, as they were commercial vehicles they got round the purchase tax at that time, as they had no side windows.My pick-up had a 1097cc engine fitted to it and being lighter than a Mini saloon Even painted in British Racing Green,it was fast. A real sleeper!. Wish I still owned it tnday…. .

  8. Tin Box

    Small bore engine fitted – 850-1098cc, and long wheelbase cars never came with hyrolastic suspension…it might’ve come from a dry climate as there is no fresh air heater fitted, which in the uk would mean fogged windows 6m of the year…

  9. Armin

    Hello guys –
    A little comment on the hydrolastic suspension mentioned above – ALL long wheel based models, i.e. Van, Pick-up, Traveller had NEVER the “wet suspension”, (as we call it here in UK) fitted!
    The body shell is certainly a MK1, as it has a smooth roof panel, which was superseded by a fluted roof in October ’67 when the MK2 was introduced.
    The most interesting point from my pov is that the door hinges are reversed to the rear panel and so the doors are opening forwards?!! Never seen that done on any Minis before, and i have seen quite a few!!
    Greetings from the south of England

  10. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    liked it…….and so did some else……..

  11. Peter Pentz

    I’ve had several little Mini panel vans over the years.
    That is a 998 in there as per standard.
    Converting RHD to LHD is simple – only component to switch is the rack and pinion.
    No ! The vans and pickups were never hydraulastic – rubber only.

  12. Mike Burnett

    I had one of these when I was at University and it was one of the most enjoyable cars I ever had. I was living in London at the time and it was very suited to the crowded streets, nippy in traffic, very easy to drive, easy to park and economical to run. I loved it, but was so disappointed when someone levered open the back doors, damaging them, to steal the tool box Inside, that I sold it. Big mistake, as they were scarce even then and I couldn’t find a replacement. My only gripes about these vehicles, and it applies also the cars too, were that for a cheap car the parts were surprisingly expensive and, more seriously, the rear suspension, prop shaft, axle and wheels were all supported in a substantial sub frame facing backwards, that were bolted onto a vertical bulkhead behind the seats, if memory serves right about 8″ high. The wheels threw rain and mud up against this bulkhead that was not thick enough so they rusted out making the car dangerous to drive and an instant MOT failure (the MOT test was a yearly examination of the car’s overall condition without which it was illegal to drive. Now replaced by another test called the DOT test, but still referred to by most English as the MOT even though the Ministry of Transport has not existed for some years.) Also, the ignition coil was at the front of the transverse engine, just behind the radiator, so it would short out in heavy rain, making the cheap (less than $3) aftermarket rubber sheath for the coil a necessity. I preferred the earlier smaller engined ones with the earlier wheels. Happy memories. I live in France now and would love to take a trip down memory lane by buying another one, but I also wonder whether they ever made them in left hand drive. Anyone know the answer?

  13. MiniGuy

    Does anyone know what happened to this Mini panel van? I’m not sure, but it looks like one I owned in about 1999. (Not sure if it’s still on my MiniGuy website, but I’m always looking for classic Minis and Mini Coopers.)

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