Back in August, I had the incredible opportunity to attend the Monterey Car Week with BMW. While there, I was able to drive a 1965 Mini Cooper S through Carmel, across the famous Bixby Creek Bridge and through the stunning coast of Southern California. It was an incredible experience and one I won’t soon forget. In fact, it’s one I can’t stop thinking about and it’s a car that I desperately want to buy. I continue to claim that driving a classic Mini hard is more fun than driving any high-priced exotic because it’s actually about driving. Which is why this 1967 Austin Mini currently up for sale on Bring-A-Trailer is a car that you should buy if you want some genuine driving fun.
This Mini is a bit interesting, actually, because it looks tired and old on the outside, with a surprising amount of rust, but its engine has just undergone a comprehensive rebuild. I will admit tht the price of this car seems a bit steep because of how rusty it is. But its engine rebuild and upgrade might be worth it to a Mini collector.
I also look at these classics with rose-tinted glasses, as I absolutely adore them. I also still maintain the fact that this Mini, so long as it’s running properly, is more fun to drive hard than an exotic. Objectively, it’s incredibly slow and its brakes feel almost non-existent compared to even modern day econoboxes. However, the levels of feel and communication through the steering wheel and chassis are second-to-none and really teach you what real driving is all about. It’s sensational.
This is also close to the exact spec I’d want. One of the features this car has (or doesn’t have) is its lack of wind-up windows. Instead, the windows just slide fore and aft on a track. This frees up space in the door panel and allows it to be thinner, making the interior feel more spacious. Its heater only has two settings; Car and Screen. The former heats up the cabin and the latter heats up the “windscreen”. Wonderful.
This Mini is such a wonderfully simple, enjoyable car that ownership of it would be more enjoyable than that of a much faster, more expensive, more exotic car. I don’t know if I’d spend nearly $10,000 on this specific rusty one but I’d certainly think about it.