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Classic Mini prices set to rise in model’s 60th year

A man admires British Motor Company Mini cars at a classic car gathering at Sudeley Castle in the Cotswolds.
A man admires British Motor Company Mini cars at a classic car gathering at Sudeley Castle in the Cotswolds.

The classic Mini celebrates its 60th birthday this year – and people could end up paying a lot more to own one as a result.

Autocar’s James Ruppert says even ‘affordable’ Minis could trade hands for higher prices after the car’s August diamond anniversary.

The icon of the UK’s motoring culture is one of the most important small cars of all time – and the milestone is certainly an event that parent company BMW intends to mark. It’s already revealed a celebratory edition of the Mini’s latest incarnation, named the Cooper S 60 Years Edition. It’s limited to 500 examples and is priced from a hefty £29,990.

The classic Mini was a very different beast from the current car, though. It popularised the transverse-engined, front-wheel-drive layout that’s since become the template for small cars, and offered a huge amount of interior space for its tiny, 10-foot length.

Luckily, you won’t need to spend anywhere near as much as the 60 Years Edition to get a serviceable example of the classic model. Ruppert points to some he’s found in the classifieds for as little as £800 – albeit usually severely rusted-out models good for only a full restoration or stripping for parts.

“If you want an MOT then up your budget to £3,500,” he writes. At that price, you’ll likely be choosing from the later 1990s models – including several interesting so-called ‘special’ editions and possibly an automatic or two. He also advises that even late models can suffer as badly from rust as the earlier cars – so don’t become complacent simply because you’ve found a particularly young example.

A fully restored example, Ruppert says, should cost you around £16,000 – although extremely rare or desirable editions can be worth considerably more. An unrestored 1965 Cooper S went to auction last year with an estimate of at least £50,000.

Luckily for prospective buyers, Minis are fairly simple cars to maintain. If you’re looking at buying, your priority should be rust – and checking the quality of past repairs.