1959 Austin Mini

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1959
  • Chassis number 
    A-A2S7/3608
  • Lot number 
    246
  • Drive 
    LHD
  • Condition 
    Used
  • Number of seats 
    2
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Other
  • Drivetrain 
    2wd
  • Fuel type 
    Petrol

Description

1959 Austin Mini Saloon
Registration no. WRY 220
Chassis no. A-A2S7/3608

One of the first Minis completed, 'WRY 220' was delivered to dealers Lathams Limited of Leicester on 1st October 1959, a mere two months after this revolutionary new design had been launched. 'WRY 220' comes with its original old-style buff logbook showing that it was first owned by one Francis Kelly of Leicester, followed in 1961 by Ernest Ryan (also of Leicester) who used the car before laying it up for 10 years; it was acquired by the immediately preceding (third) owner in 1974. The owner undertook to replace the rear sub-frame, and the Mini was put into his garage and the sub-frame removed. The car remained like that for the next 43 years before being sold as a basically sound and complete restoration project at Bonhams' Beaulieu Sale in September 2017 (Lot 502) showing a believed-genuine 57,111 miles on the odometer. Purchased there by the current (fourth) owner, the Mini was entrusted to Melvin Floyd of Just Historic Cars for restoration.

Great care was taken during the restoration to ensure that original parts were reused wherever possible; this even extended to reusing the original 1959-dated clutch plate, which was little worn. Interviewed by MiniWorld magazine for an article on 'WRY 220' (September 2019 edition, copy available) Melvin revealed that even details such as a dealer water-slide transfer on the dash rail and service stickers at 40,000 miles had been preserved.

Surprisingly, no major panels needed replacing, only relatively minor repairs being required, while the paint colour was matched to concealed areas of the original Tartan Red paintwork. As the rear sub-frame was absent, a newer one was sourced and modified to 1959 specification. The engine and transmission were overhauled, though the former did not need a re-bore, only re-ringing. Following the rebuild both the engine and transmission were drained of fluids as the vendor had no intention of driving the restored car. The interior was in a good state of preservation although the carpets and headlining had to be renewed. The original seats only needed a clean, but the original trim panels were past saving and were replaced.

Painstakingly restored with commendable attention to detail, this collectible early Mini is offered with an old-style logbook, BMIHT Certificate, V5C registration document, and bills relating to its restoration.