Rare Mini Cooper With Just 292 Miles Hasn’t Moved in 25 Years
It’s hard to put a finger on exactly what it is, but there’s a strange allure to an unused car of an age past. Whether it be a DeSoto left to rot in a barn, or a Beetle driven only on Sundays. Car fans like a genuine time capsule, and this familiar sight appears to be one such car. In 1990, after two decades of absence from the British market, the Rover Group decided to bring the iconic and sporty Mini Cooper back to life. A scant 1,050 were built for the UK market and immediately became a sales hit, rekindling the Cooper’s racing heritage and jump-starting a new production run the following year. This is said to be one of those cars, a rarity in its day, and even more so now. That’s because since 1991 it has been hibernating in storage, untouched, and showing just 292 miles to its name. Best of all, it’s recently woken up, and now it’s up for sale. RELATED: Mini Might Go Mainstream with a New Sedan for 2018
While commonly referred to as the “limited edition”, the official term for these cars is “RSP”, for “Rover Special Products”. When Rover reintroduced the Mini Cooper for 1990 (once a hallmark of the ‘60s Mini lineup), it did so by also bringing back its “big” A-series engine as well, the 1,275cc four-cylinder. With 60 horsepower it was no slouch, however John Cooper, who had played a big part of the famed car’s revival, also offered a more powerful “S” conversion which turned up a zesty 78 horsepower.
The Mini Cooper “RSP” cars came in only three colors—Flame Red, Black and British Racing Green (seen here)—and tacked on sporty looks courtesy of white stripes with “John Cooper” signatures, Cooper badges, a vibrant chrome grille, chrome bumper, a pair of driving lamps, and Minilite wheels. Inside, the RSPs featured black leather seats, red carpets, and a red leather steering wheel. An additional 650 Mini Coopers were also exported to Japan.
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Said to be a one-owner car, this 292-mile Mini Cooper will likely need some liberal TLC before it becomes roadworthy again, but for 25 years left cooped up… we’d gander it looks pretty impressive.
According to the UK’s Classic Car Auctions, the first owner originally paid £7,417 for the special edition Mini. Now, even in “barn find” status, it’s expected to gavel for upwards of £14,000 (about $20,000).
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