1969 Morris Mini Cooper S
Year of manufacture1969
Number of seats2
1969 Morris Mini Cooper S Margrave Sports Saloon
Coachwork by Wood & Pickett Ltd
Registration no. YYU 292H
Chassis no. KA2S6-1321285
Wood & Pickett Ltd was founded in the early 1960s by Bill Wood and Les Pickett, both of whom had been employed until the late 1940s by Hooper & Co, one of Britain's leading traditional coachbuilding firms. Inspired by the success of Harold Radford's upmarket Mini de Ville, Wood & Pickett decided to specialise in converting Minis to similarly luxurious specification, calling their version the 'Margrave'. The latter featured a distinctive leather and walnut dashboard, leather or Dralon upholstery, and front/rear 'nudge' bars, while customers were able to choose from a wide range of extra-cost options. A number of senior staff defected from Radford to Wood & Pickett and the latter went from strength to strength, diversifying into conversions for other models, most notably the Range Rover.
Wood & Pickett's converted Minis, like those of Harold Radford, were much in demand from show business celebrities and 'creatives' of all kinds, as is the case with this Cooper S, which was sent to W&P when new for rebuilding to Margrave specification. Its first owner was American sports car racer David Weir, the highlight of whose short career was a 4th place finish at Le Mans in 1971, sharing David Piper's Ferrari 512LM with Chris Craft. Weir was followed by celebrity hairdresser Leonard Lewis and then fashion photographer Clive Arrowsmith. Arrowsmith was succeeded by John Hammel, Paul McCartney's long-time personal assistant, while the Mini's next owner was Denny Laine, guitarist with the Moody Blues and McCartney's band, Wings.
Reinforcing the Wings connection, Arrowsmith was responsible for designing the cover of the group's 'Band on the Run' album. We are advised by the vendor that this is the only Mini Cooper S Mark II converted to Margrave specification by Wood & Pickett. Specification highlights include a full leather interior, electric windows, and Minilite alloy wheels.
Restored between 2010 and 2012, this Cooper S had already been judged 'Car of the Show' at the 2009 London-Brighton Mini Run. Described by the private vendor as in generally very good condition, retaining its original interior, this rare and desirable Mini variant is offered with restoration invoices, current MoT, and a V5C Registration Certificate.