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Used car buying guide: Mini Cooper (1959-2000)

So if you’re convinced that a classic Mini Cooper is the car for you, what sort of budget do you need? The good news is that prices start at less than £10,000 – surprisingly little for such a beloved automotive icon.

We would certainly recommend snapping one up while you can, though, because they’re only becoming more desirable by the day. Wait too long and you might have to undertake an epic gold heist of your own in order to afford one.

What we said then

12 April 1963: “To transmit the extra torque [of the Cooper S]the [Cooper’s] clutch has been modified, but it has lost nothing of its feel or smoothness for ordinary driving. For a quick getaway, it bites positively without spin and, wet as well as dry, the SP tires grip in a remarkable manner to help the little car away. Zero to 30mph in first gear in 4.3sec is a rapid departure for one so small and unobtrusive.”

How to get one in your garage

An owner’s view, Sam Phillips: “I own a 1990 Rover Mini Cooper RSR. Having a motoring icon tucked away in the garage is a real privilege, not only because it’s a great little car to hoon around in but because of the history that goes with it. Naturally, an older car brings a host of maintenance tasks, and rust is something you need to be wary of, particularly on the sills and bulkhead. But from behind the wheel, you can’t help smiling, thanks to its agile handling and wonderfully charismatic exhaust, which produces a nostalgic throaty warble reminiscent of the cars in The Italian Job.”


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