The “100mph Pair of Shades”: Wood & Pickett Margrave Mini Cooper S

No sooner had we written about the cars favoured by The Beatles, including John Lennon’s particular preference for Wood & Pickett Minis, than one comes up for auction at Barons’ Yuletide Classic sale at Sandown Park on 18 December. And not just any one, either...

This might not be the exact Mini that Lennon once owned, but it’s only one step removed. This is the unique 1969 Wood & Pickett Margrave Mini Cooper S (note the S: it’s believed to be the only one that Wood & Pickett ever built) that was bought three times by the same person – John Hammel, long-time guitar technician to Paul McCartney, among others. Imagine the rock musicians who must have travelled in its leather interior: Steve Marriott (of Small Faces and Humble Pie fame) is just one that we know about, and he was so impressed that he described the Mini as “a 100mph pair of shades”.

But even he did not have quite the affection for the little Mini that John Hammel had. Having first acquired the car in 1973, he sold it a few years later to Denny Lane (of Moody Blues and Wings), but after just eight months bought it back. In the early 1990s he sold the car again, but asked the buyer to give him first refusal should he ever decide to sell; and bingo, a few years later Hammel bought the Mini back for a second time.


The “100mph Pair of Shades”:  Wood & Pickett Margrave Mini Cooper S

According to Barons, the car has since been the subject of a full nut-and-bolt rebuild and is in “quite superb” condition, carrying a not-unreasonable estimate of £27,500-£35,000. Just make sure you still have enough cash left over for a Les Paul guitar and a pair of flares. And remember… only six careful owners; three of them the same man.

Photos: Courtesy of Mini World magazine

For more information, visit the Barons Auctions website

Classic and modern Minis can be found in the Classic Driver Market