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Mini Cooper, Red, for sale in Charlotte, North Carolina, for $13,995.
With more than 50 years of history behind them, the Mini is not a new phenomenon. The original Minis, such as this 1973 Austin Mini, were even more popular than today's version, beloved for their agile handling and rugged mechanicals that dominated rally events of the time. Despite their diminutive size, small tires, and four cylinder engine, competitors found that it's awfully hard to beat a car that can go around corners without lifting off the throttle. Big fun definitely comes in small packages.
This brilliant red '73 Mini has been well restored and includes some of the best modifications gleaned after 30 years of Mini development, and the style just can't be beat. Although we think of the modern Mini as a small car, the originals are positively microscopic, which makes them an absolute blast to drive. With fresh paint over the original bodywork, as well as the famous Union Jack decal on the roof, this one presents as a nicely finished car that is ready for touring, showing, autocross, or just about anything else you can throw at it. The shape is unmistakable, the panels fit together extremely well, and these have always been durable, well-made little cars. It also retains all its original chrome and trim, with no modifications or alterations to the classic Mini design. Small as it is, I guarantee nobody will miss you out on the road.
Part of the Mini's design included a spacious interior for four, which was accomplished by pushing the wheels out to the very corners of the body (and with 10-inch wheels, the wheelwells could be smaller as well). Stylish black buckets piped in red give it a sporty look, and the seats themselves are more comfortable than those found in, say, a contemporary VW Beetle. The dash offers a simple array of gauges that are typical of British cars of the era, and a lovely new wood-rimmed steering wheel that connects you directly to the front wheels. The pedals are well-located for heel-and-toe shifting, and the stubby little shifter rows the gears effortlessly. Other upgrades include an AM/FM/CD stereo with big deck-mounted speakers and a set of racy aluminum pedals.
Power comes from the original 1275 cc inline-four, which was the top performer in the Mini. As is common with these cars, this one has been given the full performance makeover to really get the most performance out of it, and the results are impressive. Obvious upgrades include the aluminum valve cover, a big side-mounted brass radiator, and a massive alternator, but not-so-visible modifications are things like a set of roller rockers, tuned exhaust header, and an upgraded carburetor. It rides on a set of period-correct Minilite alloy wheels and sticky Yokohama tires.
More than a few competitors laughed at the Mini when it showed up at the track, only to be humiliated by the car's impressive abilities. This nicely restored '73 continues the tradition, and is an absolute party to drive on the street. Call today!
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Transmission:4 speed manual
Location:Charlotte, North Carolina