Lot 375 - 1960 Austin Seven Mini Van
|Chassis Number||A AV7/33137|
|Odometer reading||41,338 miles|
|Estimate||£8,000 - £10,000|
The production version of the Mini was demonstrated to the press in April 1959 with the first Mini rolled off the production line on 26 August 1959. The name Mini did not appear by itself immediately; the first models being marketed under two of BMC's brand names, 'Austin' and 'Morris', the name Austin Seven recalled the popular small Austin 7 of the 1920s and 1930s. A commercial panel van rated at ¼-tonne load capacity was available from June 1960. Built on the longer 'Traveller' chassis but without side windows, it proved very popular in the 1960s as a cheaper alternative to the car; it was classed as a commercial vehicle and, as such, carried no sales tax. A set of simple stamped steel slots served in place of a more costly chrome grille. The Mini Van was renamed as the Mini 95 in 1978, the number representing the gross vehicle weight of 0.95 tonnes, in total 521,494 were built. Despite this renaming, the motoring public, quite rightly, continued to call it the Mini Van.
Offered for sale today is an Austin Seven Mini Van, unquestionably one of the oldest, if not the oldest, surviving Mini Van in the UK today. Built on 26th May 1960 and despatched the following day, this example was registered in the UK on 16th June that same year and indeed was the first week that Mini Vans were available to be purchased and registered. Note from the photographs the straight gear lever; a modification was carried out after three months of production to 'dog leg' the long gear lever due to it hitting the heater flaps in 1st and 3rd. The current vendor, an enthusiastic Mini collector, has restored this van to a very high standard. Supplied with a V5 registration document and an MoT test certificate valid until 6th June, 2012, this iconic example is finished in Marigold with tan interior and represents a rare opportunity to own one of the very first Mini Vans ever produced.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.