1999 Rover Mini - today's tempter

By: Guy Allen, Unique Cars magazine

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Last of the flying Brit bricks

1999 Rover Mini - today's tempter
This is a very late example of the iconic BMC or Rover Mini.

What is it about Minis? They put a smile on your face and anyone who's driven one - and we mean the original Alec Issigonis design, not the BMW-built giant - will tell you they are pure visceral fun to drive.

They're not wickedly fast by today's standards, but have enough poke to make them entertaining, mostly because they handle and communicate so well with the driver.

Built from 1959 all the way through to 2000, they rate as a collectible regardless of build date.

Which is why we were very curious to see this ultra-late 1999 version offered up. Minis were assembled in Australia for a while, but this example was made years after local production stopped. In fact it's a grey import from Japan and we can't think of any reason why that should count against it. Japan is another right-hand-drive country, so there's no conversion involved - what you get will be close to what rolled out of the Rover factory gates in the sunset days of the iconic series.

The Queensland-based seller comes across as being a dealer who says the car is in excellent shape with about 84,000km on the clock.

The engine is a an EFI 1275cc unit and the car has air-conditioning plus a leather interior with airbags. To us, this sounds a little like having your cake and eating it too: an old-school Mini but with modern appointments.

It's a tough one to value, but the $19,900 asking price doesn't seem ridiculous.

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