LHD Austin Minivan
This is a UK (Longbridge) built LHD export car (not Spanish Authi) originally supplied to Tenerife, Canary Islands. It was brought into mainland Spain by the current owner in 2018. All local taxes were paid.
The Minivan apparently had 3 owners in the Canary Islands, the first being a grocery shop where it was used for deliveries. The second owner used the car as a support vehicle for classic rallies, at which point it was fitted with a 1275cc engine and remote change gearbox, from a 1300 BLMC donor. The car was repainted at the same time.
The car is in remarkably good condition. Most Minivans were destroyed early in their lives by heavy commercial use and zero rust proofing . LHD cars are particularly rare, as very few were exported outside UK. This car, on the other hand, had an easy life in the extremely benign climate of Tenerife
The car was repainted in its original white some 15 plus years ago. Minivan is fitted with roof vent and radio antennae and also a sumpguard.
The car has been fitted with a set of ultra rare Cosmic Mk1 4″x10″ wheels, possibly fitted from new. These wheels were professionally refinished in March 2019, and fitted with a new set of Falken FK0/E 165/70/10″ tires. Spare wheel is standard steel 3.5″ steel, original jack and brace are still in place.
Interior is original and excellent, also equipped with unusual folding rear seats. The walls and floor of the rear van compartment are straight and in excellent shape, having been repainted with the rest of the car. New headlining and sunvisors are fitted
Full load area is still available, and note the addition of a full wooden dashboard and period «Les Leston» woodrim steering wheel and gear knob.
All instruments work, and new headlining and correct sunvisors complement the excellent condition of the seats.
The second owner fitted a 1275 single SU motor and 4 speed all synchro gearbox from a BLMC 1300. This gives about 60bhp and enough torque to move a 600KG (1320 pounds) box along well. The car has just been serviced with fresh oil, filter, brake fluid and coolant.
The brakes have been completely overhauled, with new master cylinder, shoes, and brake cylinders. Although the car retains the original drum brake set up, the drums have been machined and everything is working correctly.
Minivan is remarkably original, with no evidence of welding or replacement panels. Similarly the subframes are the originals.
Hilarious. The engine is torquey and the gearbox very sweet. 60bhp /600kg is equivalent to 100bhp/ton, and being a van, wheelbase is longer and CoG lower than a standard Mini. The car will cruise happily at 70mph and pulls well up hills.
The steering is incredibly direct and communicative, with feeling enhanced by the period woodrim wheel, so changes of direction are instant. Handling is vintage Mini, entirely predictable and tenacious. Micro size makes it ideal for country back roads, particularly in the mountains.
Brakes are stock but all fresh and properly set up, so stop the car well, straight and predictable. There is no fade, even in the mountains. Brakes can easily be upgraded to front discs and beyond, but it isn´t an essential upgrade for 60bhp.
The load bay will take 560lbs, so the Minivan could be a perfect promotional tool for any business.
Minivans are now a rare sight, and in LHD they are extremely hard to find, espècially in unretored but excellent condition, so this Minivan attracts huge attention, as most people are now unaware that such a van was ever built. «