One of the most influential automobiles of all time, the Alec Issigonis-designed Mini debuted in 1959 to universal acclaim. True, there had been numerous front-wheel-drive designs before the Mini's arrival, but the transverse engine layout allowed Issigonis to create a trend-setting masterpiece of automotive packaging. The first Mini prototypes were running by November 1957 and in April 1959 the first pre-production examples were hand-assembled at Austin's Longbridge factory. In May 1959, the first Morris-badged version was built at Cowley and that car, registration '621 AOK', now forms part of the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust's collection at Gaydon.
Less than two-and-a-half years after its initial conception the Mini was officially launched at the 1959 Motor Show, having been shown to the motoring press eight days previously. BMC chose to market the car as the 'Austin Se7en' and 'Morris Mini Minor' before 'Mini' became a marque in its own right in 1969. The early Mk1 had the 848cc A-Series engine, rubber cone suspension and floor-mounted starter button, the latter two features being replaced by Hydrolastic suspension and key starting respectively in 1964. De Luxe versions preferred by the majority of customers came with bumper over-riders and additional exterior brightwork.
By the time production ceased in 2000 a total of 5,387,862 Minis of all types had been built worldwide making it the most successful British car of all time. At the turn of the millennium the Mini was voted 'European Car of the Century', only losing out to the Ford Model T for the 'World' title.
Manufactured in August 1960, this beautiful Morris Mini has just undergone a painstakingly detailed restoration to former glory, a process that began in 2010 and was only completed in January of this year. The car retains a large percentage of its original parts, including the voltage regulator complete with factory sticker, and is much the same now as when it rolled out of the Cowley works more than half a century ago. With all work completed, including rebuilds of the engine and gearbox, all there is left for the fortunate new owner to do is enjoy the car.
We are advised that 'XFU 200' has covered a genuine 59,537 miles from new and has a true joy to both drive and own. Finished in Cherry Red with red/grey interior, the car is offered with restoration invoices, current road fund licence, Mot to April 2014 and Swansea V5 registration document.