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CLynn85
CLynn85 New Reader
12/20/09 10:09 p.m.

So for some reason I've always been drawn to small, underpowered British roadsters, but the only one I've been able to get my hands on is my extremely disassembled sprite. My wife, who's mostly on board with the car thing, is in love with it's cousin, the Mini.

My question is, why is it that the minis command such a higher price tag than the spridget, and is it worth it? You can find a nice early spridget for half the cost of a driver mini, and you get a quintessential lbc roadster.

Here's a couple examples for discussion that we've recently looked at on the interweb.

http://richmond.craigslist.org/cto/1482693680.html

http://www.turkys.com/82redjeff.html

Thoughts?

CLynn85
CLynn85 New Reader
12/20/09 10:13 p.m.

Oh, and one other thing, will gray market cars (second link) appreciate in value as much as usdm models?

ddavidv
ddavidv SuperDork
12/21/09 7:55 a.m.

That Inno looks like a pretty good buy. That vintage should be a 1275 with disc brakes...seems cheap by a couple thou and makes me wonder what's wrong with it. Looks like it has a standard BMC grille in it, but it IS an Inno judging by the headlamp rings and repeaters.

Turkys...proceed with caution. Some of his stuff is a little flaky. Not that you can't get a decent car from him, but I've heard both pros and neg from folks about that place.

Do NOT buy a car from a guy named Bill Cox in NC. He's a crook.

USDM means nothing. RHD Minis are actually almost more desirable. These cars are way more expensive than Spridgets for a couple reasons...they are cuter, more usable (proper windows and roof), and more importantly, there are fewer of them to go around so the price stays high. They are fantastic cars if you get a good one, absolute nightmares if you don't. If you decide to shop for one you need to get educated heavily before committing. Rust is unbelievably bad in these. You need to learn about wet and dry suspensions, cars from GB, NZ, AU and elsewhere, 848, 998, 1275 and other displacements, sliding or crank windows...the list goes on. And then there's the whole reVIN business with not-so-legal cars being brought in and titled as earlier cars, something you have to decide if you can live with or not.

I wrote a little "Buying a Mini in the USA" article for my web site you may like: http://mongrelmotorsports.homestead.com/Mini.html

Ian F
Ian F Dork
12/22/09 8:11 a.m.

There were so few US market Minis imported that it's rare to see one. Importation stopped in... '68 I think? Due to changes in DOT safety regs.

Otherwise, I agree with every David said. I've been looking at and wanting a Mini for a number of years now. IMHO, Turkys' prices are a wee-bit on the high side... apparently, he doesn't care as some of the cars listed have been there for a awhile now...

I see Minis in much the same way I see 1800's. Either buy one for next to nothing, knowing you'll have to restore it (but at least you will then know what has been done), or find one that is well documented and expect to pay dearly.

All Minis have some rust. They were practically built that way. Anyone who says they have a 100% rust-free Mini is lieing through their teeth unless they can document a complete tear-down restoration.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim HalfDork
12/22/09 9:50 a.m.

Hmm, the dash in the Innocenti doesn't look quite right to me - AFAIK all Innocentis should have the dash as in a car some here might recognise: http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2616621

The dash in the car above looks like the standard centre BL dash, not the Inno one.

Gary
Gary Reader
12/22/09 10:39 a.m.

... and speaking of paying dearly for a Mini: http://www.newenglandclassics.com/cars/NE-1966-5/

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/22/09 12:14 p.m.
BoxheadTim wrote: Hmm, the dash in the Innocenti doesn't look quite right to me - AFAIK all Innocentis should have the dash as in a car some here might recognise: http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2616621 The dash in the car above looks like the standard centre BL dash, not the Inno one.

Hey, I know that car.

You know, off the top of my head I don't remember if the non-Cooper Innocentis got a more regular dash. I can check when I get home.

Gary
Gary Reader
12/22/09 12:56 p.m.

This question is directed at the Mini experts: If someone preferred a ’67 or earlier Cooper S, what would be a reasonable price to pay for a daily driver that isn’t afflicted with terminal rust? I think $15K for a 1966 998cc Cooper with a few nice mods as New England Classics is offering is way over-priced. But they’re a dealer. What’s considered a good price to pay from a respected dealer and what’s a good price to pay for a private sale?

Ian F
Ian F Dork
12/22/09 2:21 p.m.

A real Cooper S with documentation? Or just a Mini built to Cooper S specs? Big difference in value. For the former, $15K could be cheap... I've seen ncie ones valued at well over $20K... for the latter... would depend on how nicely it's built.

aeronca65t
aeronca65t HalfDork
12/22/09 4:05 p.m.

If you search eBay right now for "classic Mini Cooper" you'll see what looks like a nice one for a "Buy It Now" price of $9950.

The seller says it's really a 1982 model and has a clear SC title. That seems wierd, but he's not hiding the fact, so maybe it's on the up-and-up.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim HalfDork
12/23/09 2:38 a.m.

A friend of mine used to export Minis to the US quite a while ago so he got to see a few interesting ideas. Let's just say that with a lot of the sixties Minis there wasn't much left to attach the VIN plate to unless you stuck it to a newer shell...

Also, you have to keep in mind that I can reshell a car here in the UK and as long as everything else transfers from the old car, I can use, say, an early 90s shell with 60s running gear. As long as I use everything else from the 60s car, I am in for a good chance of getting it re-registered as a 60s car. That is if I'm scrupulous enough not to transfer the VIN plate, too.

$15k for a 998 Cooper (if it's a genuine one and has all the correct parts on it) isn't overpriced judging by UK prices for them. If it's a genuine good one, that'll cost you 10k-12k over here at least. Don't forget that they are eligible for the sub-1000cc race classes and are very competitive there. This keeps prices up.

Gary
Gary Reader
12/23/09 7:35 a.m.

I’m still not clear on what one should expect to pay, so I’ll clarify the question: Example 1: Let’s say it’s a 1275cc Cooper S clone that’s rust-free (either professionally patched or re-bodied with a newer rust-free production body, not a Heritage body) with parts and VIN from a ’67 or earlier car, and set up as LHD. What you pay for that? $5K, $10K, $15K? More? Example 2: What would you pay for the real thing, i.e., a ’67 or earlier rust-free example with LHD? $20K, $30K, $50? More? It would not need to have a European rally heritage, just a good clean U.S. market example. I would think those of you who already own vintage Minis or who are Mini experts should be able to provide a pretty accurate price range based on your purchase experience. Assuming due diligence had been done, and without caveats or hedging, what would you pay?

metalman
metalman Reader
12/23/09 11:45 p.m.
ddavidv wrote: Do NOT buy a car from a guy named Bill Cox in NC. He's a crook.

I know some folks that got pretty nice cars from him. Dont know what your story is, but a lot of people like to blame a seller when they dont bring their own brain to a transaction.

ddavidv
ddavidv SuperDork
12/24/09 5:33 a.m.

For the above: after hanging around the Mini Mania message board for a year while searching for a car, and subsequently reading it since, and meeting a number of people who have bought junk from him, I stand by my warning. I have met only ONE person out of a dozen who did not want to punch him in the nose on sight. He misleads, intentionally, the quality of his cars. One buyer who lives in my own town not only received a car with the wrong size engine (really? It's not a 1275? How did that happen?) the engine was completely worn out. Not at all as advertised. This type of story repeats itself almost religiously. Buyer beware.

As for value, any no-rust 1275 Cooper-esque car with disc brakes is going to set you back $10,000. You would be very hard pressed to find one for less than that without it needing something, unless it's a distress sale of some sort.

Here's a dealer who sells a lot of reVINs which reflects what I stated above: http://www.miniobsession.com/forsale.htm

Typical price for a 998 in good knick: http://www.minimania.com/web/id/8940/Cars4Sale_Detail.cfm

Nice example of an early car but WAY overpriced for an 850 no matter how nice it may be: http://www.minimania.com/web/id/8925/Cars4Sale_Detail.cfm

Basically, if you browse the classifieds there long enough you'll get a decent feel for what stuff is worth. The market is a bit depressed right now because of the economy but good cars still seem to move.

Cosworth1
Cosworth1 New Reader
12/24/09 2:54 p.m.

I got my '69 Cooper 998cc off of eBay from a downright gentleman over in the UK. Not a recommended way to buy any vehicle, meaning I bought it sight-unseen, only photos that he sent me. But I'd wanted one forever, did not like what I saw here in the states (especially for the prices they wanted), the price was right for a good, solid, presentable, and dependable driver (just what I wanted), and I had the money set aside. So, I took a shot, and luckily, everything worked out perfectly, and the car was actually much better than I expected. I paid roughly $5500 US for the car about 8 years ago (that includes customs, duties and RORO shipping on the boat to get it over here). My collectible insurance did not flinch at putting a stated value on it of $12K when I first got it. I contacted them just last year to see if they could maybe increase the value a bit, and they shot it up to $25K! Granted these are replacement costs, and I realise any car is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it, but I really believe the value on the older Mini's (at least over here) has really skyrocketed since the introduction of the new BMW version in 2002. Good deals on old ones can still be found in the UK and New Zealand, but if you do it the way I did, I hope you get as lucky!

ddavidv
ddavidv PowerDork
12/25/09 7:26 a.m.

UK prices have shot up quite a bit for good cars. I have a friend living in the UK who helped me get my car, he tells me finding nice cars has become very difficult unless you pay top dollar. It used to be you could buy and import for less than the cost of one already here, that is no longer true. There is a decent supply here, you just need to be patient until the right car presents itself and then be ready to pounce.

Ian F
Ian F Dork
12/26/09 4:41 p.m.

That seems to be what I've heard as well. West PA Mini's in the Pittsburgh area stopped selling Mini's a couple of years ago when they were not able to find decent cars in England anymore that met their requirements (clean, relatively rust free, reasonably priced, 25+ years old so no title-issues). I'm still kicking myself for not buying the last car they had (literally missed it by a DAY.. :( )

metalman
metalman Reader
12/27/09 11:54 a.m.
ddavidv wrote: He misleads, intentionally, the quality of his cars.

LOL Congrats! You have just described nearly EVERY used car dealer in the entire universe. Like I said, bring your own brain to EVERY transaction. Do your own homework and checking of cars before buying. Its been my observation that people that bitch and moan are mostly the types that dont.

ddavidv
ddavidv SuperDork
12/27/09 3:22 p.m.

Edit: no point in arguing further. If you don't do due diligence in buying you get what you deserve. If you buy from BC, well, you get what you deserve too.

metalman
metalman Reader
12/30/09 11:18 a.m.

I find it amusing, sad even, that so many BC 'haters' have had no personal dealings with him. Internet forum hearsay and a friend of a friend stories abound however. Not the kind horsesheit I would personally get involved in spreading ...regarding anyone.

ddavidv
ddavidv SuperDork
12/30/09 8:19 p.m.

"No personal dealings"...yeah, I was smart enough to do research before I bought so I avoided that.

I think a Mini owner, who I went to school with, who lives in my home town, and I see at most car shows is going to provide a bit more than heresay. And he still has the shot engine in his garage from the car BC sold him that was supposed to be so perfect.

You're always welcome to ask the collective on Mini Mania. More than a few people know BC personally.

Oh, and your personal purchase dealing with BC would be...? Just askin'.

werewolf
werewolf New Reader
12/13/13 8:58 p.m.

In reply to ddavidv:

ddavid.. yea.. you got mad when I would NOT drop price of nice mini to fit your TINY budget of $3k few years ago.. and wanted me to swap to LHD and 1275cc for FREE?? lets note ddavid was trying to sell cars for Peter Cavaillo of barnhilsminis usa.. NOW shuttered. Cheeky Pete ran back to UK before the OLD bill nailed him.. funny thing. I imported 400 plus minis and mokes in last 15 years and ONLY had one dealer complaint.in all these years. and this was from guy that bought moke and was too FAT to get under the steering wheel AFTER he picked up here in EARL NC and wanted full refund and expected to KEEP the moke.. If I scammed so many folks why do I still have proper Dealer lic here. and US CUSTOMS bond.?? I am the SOLE delaer left out of about 20 mini dealers 10 years ago. YOUR story about some friend of friend is total BS.. why did he NOT file complaint with DMV ..? this would have been FRAUD.. Real clear it is BOGUS and urban legend.. later bc

travellering
travellering New Reader
12/17/13 8:12 p.m.

Wow Mr. Cox! This thread was last posted to in 2009! Do you think dragging old bad publicity up from four years ago is going to help anything? Most people outside the long-term owner classic Mini community won't even know who the names you're dropping refer to.

CLynn85
CLynn85 HalfDork
12/17/13 9:03 p.m.

Wow, I forgot I had even started this thread!

Gary
Gary Reader
12/19/13 11:55 a.m.

I too had forgotten about this one ... and I had even participated in the thread on a couple occasions. But anyway, Werewolf a.k.a. Mr. Cox was apparently tipped off by somebody here that he'd been dissed on this board many years ago and felt compelled to vindicate himself. Any astute businessman should know that you don't attempt to do that 4 years after the fact, but if you do then you absolutely don't get down in the mud with your accusers! If he thought it was a good idea to drag this accusation back, a proper reply could have been simply "I imported 400 plus minis and mokes in last 15 years and only had one dealer complaint in all these years. I am the sole dealer left out of about 20 mini dealers 10 years ago." That would have lightened up the situation and put him on the high road. Instead his beligerent reply makes us suspect of him and his business acumen. In any case Werewold is classified as a New Reader and only has one posting. He probably won't be back with any interesting, enlightening, upbeat, and educational stories about his supposedly successful career selling minis. But I think that would put him a lot closer to vindication on this board if he did.

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