1990 Rover Mini Classic
Pending Sale: $8,995
The original mini is as real and authentic as it gets. Iconic styling, go-kart handling, and incredible efficiency all rolled into one snug fitting package. This 1990 Rover mini has some distinctive touches that improve the overall aesthetic of this bantam weight saloon. Starting with the Cloud Silver paint, which looks exceptionally lustrous and deep giving this Cooper an abundance of curb appeal. Aside from some small dings and routine imperfections, the body is as good as a handcrafted 50 year old British design can be. The silver alloy rolling stock, and early 90's style fender flares, make for sporty ride that can be a weekend cruiser or even a daily driver if you wanted.
The interior is a mix of several iterations of the model. The most famous interior layout, a wood dash with center tachometer, has been recreated with via an aftermarket dash. The light colored wood veneer utilizes Smiths oil pressure, temp and RPM gauges with fancy black faces. Wooden door handles and window cranks have been installed to complete the look. The dash swap doesn't allow us to verify miles since the cluster was replaced, but the car was clearly cared for by its prior owner. Some touches of the Mayfair edition remaining include the door pocket storage and rear seats, which are in good shape. The door cards and piping are Mayfair as well, however, the factory seats have been replaced with a set of gray ones. The factory seats were likely removed because they can abuse ones tailbone once the padding has worn down; these seats have all the support you could wish for. The side windows have been replaced with fixed ones to prevent water intrusion. The headliner doesn't have any major defects or sags. Despite no power assist, the three spoke steering wheel upgrade is easy to grip and improves the driver connection with the road. The steering and suspension are compliant as any mini might get, but we wouldn't describe them as refined.
Under the bonnet, the trademark transverse mounted four cylinder. The 998cc mill is peppy and the four speed manual transmission mates up well. The car fires right up and buzzes to life, settling into a nice idle when the choke is released. The power unit makes decent torque and pulls to redline without any issues. The carburetted models are nice because they lack the complication of later EFI versions, necessitated by the demand to comply with tightening emissions standards. Right around 4K RPM is the sweet spot of the power band, and with it's upgraded center exit exhaust it spits out the characteristic 'burble' that everyone loves. The brakes have been bled and the oil and filter has been changed to ensure all the maintenance is up to date. Despite no power assist, the three spoke steering wheel upgrade is easy to grip and improves the driver connection with the road. Upon inspection we did find that one of the front tie rods had a bit of excess play so that was replaced as well. The steering and suspension are compliant as with any Mini, however with their older technology we wouldn't necessarily call them refined. Despite its rudimentary nature, this Mini puts a smile on your face every time you drive it.
Loved for its under dog character and sublime handling this mini is a steal at $8,995. It's forgiving nature, inexpensive and abundant parts, and timeless appeal make this a great turn key Japanese Classic!
*California Residents: In order to register a Grey Market vehicle in the state of California then it will have to be made CARB complaint first. CARB certifications will have to be performed within the state. Depending on the vehicle and any existing modifications will affect the pricing. Typically CARB compliance will range between 5-10K. Additional information can be found on the California Air Resources Board website.