The Beatles each had one. Princess Margaret liked to drive her own. Peter Sellers had a bespoke model. The democratic design genius of the Mini was aimed at providing a car for everyone. It also provided the opportunity for endless upmarket modifications for those who could afford somewhat more. The remarkable car you see here is one of those coach-built celebrity Minis — and very much one of a kind.
Those black leather seats — tailor made by Connolly, naturally — have played host to musician Denny Laine of the Moody Blues and Wings, Steve Marriott of the Small Faces as well as Mayfair celebrity hairdresser Leonard Lewis, all of whom once owned this extraordinary piece of Mini history.
The coach builders were Wood & Pickett, who became the go-to company for anyone desiring a little extra from their little Mini. The Margrave Morris Mini was their most expensive model and this Pacific Blue Metallic car, the only Mk II Cooper S Margrave known to be in existence, has many of the most desirable options.
Electric windows, then an unheard of luxury, are not only present and correct, but operated - of course - by Aston Martin switches. Internal door handles are by Rolls Royce. The sumptuous wood-rimmed steering wheel is by Moto-Lita. The simple Mini central speedometer is replaced by a full length walnut and leather fascia panel featuring auxiliary dials by Jaguar. The eight track tape player — the very height of 60s sophistication — is by Radiomobile.
Windows are heavily tinted to prevent fans from seeing you within, and there's a full length Webasto fabric sunroof to emerge from in order to wave at them. The Mini is well known among aficionados and, after extensive exterior restoration, has won the Car of the Show award at the London to Brighton Mini Run, which attracts some 2,000 Minis each year.
The Margrave Morris Mini is, as it always has been, expensive. But it is also totally unique, with an extraordinary heritage. Oh, and did we mention huge fun to drive? An essential for your collection, available now from Hexagon Classics.
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