Classic Mini storage discovery
Image: Katherine Tompkins, 2012
An Austin Mini first sold almost five decades ago has been discovered in a storage lock-up in the UK, more than 36 years after it was first put into hibernation.
Owner Brian Smith had secured the car in the mid 1970s and none of his family apparently knew where it was, until he died at the age of 76 in 2012 and it was unearthed.
All of those years in storage have not been particularly kind, but the solid condition of the car will hopefully net the family the best part of $20,000 when it is sold at auction, since it has only covered 22,000 miles from new.
The car is a Mini Cooper, which is the sportier take on the standard car and one of the models that helped to make this marque particularly iconic.
The Austin Mini still lives on today, with contemporary equivalents now built under German influence. There are thousands of dedicated enthusiasts who are committed to maintaining the classic models based in the UK, but it is a car that also has a big following further afield.
As well as being popular in the US, the Mini has also been a big hit in Japan, where classic collectors regularly consider it a prized vehicle.