The property of Richard Stewart Williams 'Old Min', the ex-Peter Sellers/Spike Milligan,1930 Austin Heavy Twelve Open Road Tourer Deluxe  Chassis no. 68282

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Lot 92
The property of Richard Stewart Williams 'Old Min', the ex-Peter Sellers/Spike Milligan 1930 Austin Heavy Twelve Open Road Tourer Deluxe
Registration no. GO 3252 Chassis no. 68282

Sold for £ 30,375 (US$ 41,434) inc. premium
The property of Richard Stewart Williams 'Old Min', the ex-Peter Sellers/Spike Milligan
1930 Austin Heavy Twelve Open Road Tourer Deluxe
Registration no. GO 3252
Chassis no. 68282
*First acquired by Spike Milligan in the 1950s
*Owned by Peter Sellers at the time of his death in 1980
*Totally restored by RS Williams 2012-2015
*Little used since restoration
*Serviced for sale and fully operational


This beautiful Austin Heavy Twelve Open Road Tourer has the unique distinction of having been owned by two members of the famous British comedy ensemble, The Goons: Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers. Affectionately known as 'Old Min', the Austin took its name from one of The Goon Show's many comic characters: elderly spinster Minnie Bannister. Acquired by Milligan in the 1950s, 'Old Min' was coveted by Sellers, a lifelong motoring enthusiast, from the moment he first saw it.

Launched in late 1921, the Twelve owed its success to Austin's superior build quality and the soundness of the basic design. The engine was a five-bearing side-valve four displacing 1,661cc (1,861cc from 1927), delivering 40-45mph cruising and circa 26 miles per gallon. Enduringly popular, the model remains a favourite with Austin enthusiasts.

While his growing international fame and wealth enabled Sellers to indulge his taste in fine thoroughbred automobiles (he would own various Rolls-Royces, Aston Martins and Ferraris), he never forgot 'Old Min', and when Milligan lost his licence he became its owner in 1968.

By this time Sellers had met the world-renowned Aston Martin specialist Richard Williams, who took on the role of the actor's 'fleet manager'. Having enjoyed the Austin for 11 years, Sellers gave 'Old Min' back to Milligan only to retrieve the car almost immediately as he felt his friend was failing to care for it properly. The car's history following Sellers' death in 1980 is not clear, but Richard Williams later became acquainted with one of the subsequent owners and was able to purchase 'Old Min' in March 2010.

In 2012 Richard commenced a total restoration to Sellers' famously exacting standards, a long and painstaking process that would take the next three years to complete. The original hood was retained; the upholstery sympathetically refurbished; and the engine rebuilt by Vintage-era Austin specialist, Bob James. Richard spent over £45,000 on the restoration, and his detailed summary of the costs may be found in the extensive history file together with old photographs, various invoices, magazine articles, and an original handbook inscribed 'Property of Spike Milligan – please return'. Used sparingly since the restoration, 'Old Min' is in fully operational condition and will have been fully serviced immediately prior to sale.

Shortly after the rebuild's completion, 'Old Min' was road-tested by Andrew Roberts for an article in Classic & Sports Car magazine (March 2016 edition, copy on file) in which he succinctly sums up its unique charm. "This test possibly means more to me than almost any other I've done for C&SC," he declared. "In my day job as a film historian, I genuinely regard Peter Sellers, at the height of his powers, to have been the finest actor in post-war British cinema, and so the experience of riding in Old Min was on a par with another motoring scribe driving the former property of Graham Hill or Jim Clark." One can only envy the Austin's fortunate next owner.

Please click the link to view the walkaround video of this lot: click here

Footnotes

  • Vendor Score Total: 93/100

    Bidders should note that the automated 100-point Seller's Assessment is provided by each Seller at the point of consignment using the guidelines below, and is not provided, assessed or verified by Bonhams MPH. Accordingly Customers (Bidders) are on notice that each vehicle is offered "as is / as seen" subject to the Conditions of Sale for the auction, and Customers (Bidders) are strongly recommended to view the Lot(s) being offered, before bidding, in order to satisfy themselves as to their condition; Bonhams MPH will not entertain disputes over Sellers' Assessments.

    Key for sellers' assessments:
    1/5 POOR. A project vehicle | Requires urgent attention | Damaged | Parts missing
    2/5 AVERAGE. Useable condition | Requires some attention | Light damage
    3/5 GOOD. Drive away | Presents well | Good history file | Drives well
    4/5 VERY GOOD. Well restored | Running and driving with no noticeable faults | Sound throughout
    5/5 EXCELLENT. Concours condition | Beautifully presented | Driving very well

    EXTERIOR TOTAL: 25/25
    Body Work: 5
    Chrome/Plastics/Trim: 5
    Glass: 5
    Paint: 5
    Wheels/Tyres: 5

    INTERIOR TOTAL: 16/20
    Dashboard/Door cards/Carpets: 4
    Headlining: 4
    Seats: 4
    Trim: 4

    ENGINE TOTAL: 19/20
    Mechanical components: 5
    Running: 5
    Starting: 5
    Under Bonnet: 4

    RUNNING GEAR TOTAL: 18/20
    Axles: 5
    Brakes: 5
    Gearbox/Clutch: 4
    Suspension: 4

    ELECTRICAL TOTAL: 10/10
    Ancillary components: 5
    Main components: 5

    Car History File: 5
Contacts
The property of Richard Stewart Williams 'Old Min', the ex-Peter Sellers/Spike Milligan,1930 Austin Heavy Twelve Open Road Tourer Deluxe  Chassis no. 68282
The property of Richard Stewart Williams 'Old Min', the ex-Peter Sellers/Spike Milligan,1930 Austin Heavy Twelve Open Road Tourer Deluxe  Chassis no. 68282
The property of Richard Stewart Williams 'Old Min', the ex-Peter Sellers/Spike Milligan,1930 Austin Heavy Twelve Open Road Tourer Deluxe  Chassis no. 68282
The property of Richard Stewart Williams 'Old Min', the ex-Peter Sellers/Spike Milligan,1930 Austin Heavy Twelve Open Road Tourer Deluxe  Chassis no. 68282
The property of Richard Stewart Williams 'Old Min', the ex-Peter Sellers/Spike Milligan,1930 Austin Heavy Twelve Open Road Tourer Deluxe  Chassis no. 68282
The property of Richard Stewart Williams 'Old Min', the ex-Peter Sellers/Spike Milligan,1930 Austin Heavy Twelve Open Road Tourer Deluxe  Chassis no. 68282
The property of Richard Stewart Williams 'Old Min', the ex-Peter Sellers/Spike Milligan,1930 Austin Heavy Twelve Open Road Tourer Deluxe  Chassis no. 68282
The property of Richard Stewart Williams 'Old Min', the ex-Peter Sellers/Spike Milligan,1930 Austin Heavy Twelve Open Road Tourer Deluxe  Chassis no. 68282
The property of Richard Stewart Williams 'Old Min', the ex-Peter Sellers/Spike Milligan,1930 Austin Heavy Twelve Open Road Tourer Deluxe  Chassis no. 68282
The property of Richard Stewart Williams 'Old Min', the ex-Peter Sellers/Spike Milligan,1930 Austin Heavy Twelve Open Road Tourer Deluxe  Chassis no. 68282
The property of Richard Stewart Williams 'Old Min', the ex-Peter Sellers/Spike Milligan,1930 Austin Heavy Twelve Open Road Tourer Deluxe  Chassis no. 68282
The property of Richard Stewart Williams 'Old Min', the ex-Peter Sellers/Spike Milligan,1930 Austin Heavy Twelve Open Road Tourer Deluxe  Chassis no. 68282
The property of Richard Stewart Williams 'Old Min', the ex-Peter Sellers/Spike Milligan,1930 Austin Heavy Twelve Open Road Tourer Deluxe  Chassis no. 68282
The property of Richard Stewart Williams 'Old Min', the ex-Peter Sellers/Spike Milligan,1930 Austin Heavy Twelve Open Road Tourer Deluxe  Chassis no. 68282
The property of Richard Stewart Williams 'Old Min', the ex-Peter Sellers/Spike Milligan,1930 Austin Heavy Twelve Open Road Tourer Deluxe  Chassis no. 68282
The property of Richard Stewart Williams 'Old Min', the ex-Peter Sellers/Spike Milligan,1930 Austin Heavy Twelve Open Road Tourer Deluxe  Chassis no. 68282
The property of Richard Stewart Williams 'Old Min', the ex-Peter Sellers/Spike Milligan,1930 Austin Heavy Twelve Open Road Tourer Deluxe  Chassis no. 68282
The property of Richard Stewart Williams 'Old Min', the ex-Peter Sellers/Spike Milligan,1930 Austin Heavy Twelve Open Road Tourer Deluxe  Chassis no. 68282
The property of Richard Stewart Williams 'Old Min', the ex-Peter Sellers/Spike Milligan,1930 Austin Heavy Twelve Open Road Tourer Deluxe  Chassis no. 68282
The property of Richard Stewart Williams 'Old Min', the ex-Peter Sellers/Spike Milligan,1930 Austin Heavy Twelve Open Road Tourer Deluxe  Chassis no. 68282
The property of Richard Stewart Williams 'Old Min', the ex-Peter Sellers/Spike Milligan,1930 Austin Heavy Twelve Open Road Tourer Deluxe  Chassis no. 68282
The property of Richard Stewart Williams 'Old Min', the ex-Peter Sellers/Spike Milligan,1930 Austin Heavy Twelve Open Road Tourer Deluxe  Chassis no. 68282
The property of Richard Stewart Williams 'Old Min', the ex-Peter Sellers/Spike Milligan,1930 Austin Heavy Twelve Open Road Tourer Deluxe  Chassis no. 68282
The property of Richard Stewart Williams 'Old Min', the ex-Peter Sellers/Spike Milligan,1930 Austin Heavy Twelve Open Road Tourer Deluxe  Chassis no. 68282
The property of Richard Stewart Williams 'Old Min', the ex-Peter Sellers/Spike Milligan,1930 Austin Heavy Twelve Open Road Tourer Deluxe  Chassis no. 68282
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