Jump to content


Photo

Thinking Of Getting A Classic Mini Cooper


  • Please log in to reply
30 replies to this topic

#1 PRG123

PRG123

    Stage One Kit Fitted

  • Noobies
  • PipPipPip
  • 53 posts
  • Location: Bracknell berkshire

Posted 15 November 2012 - 07:58 AM

Hi,

I'm thinking of getting a classic mini cooper, any things I should look out for?

There is a dealer in Swanley ( http://www.gcminis.c...ver-mini-cooper ) that seem to have quite a few minis, has anyone used them?

Thanks

Pete

#2 AVV IT

AVV IT

    I am a shed dragger.

  • TMF+ Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,122 posts
  • Name: Dave
  • Location: Cambridgeshire
  • Local Club: Nobody will have me!!

Posted 15 November 2012 - 08:21 AM

Personally I wouldn't buy a classic mini from a dealer. The whole point of buying through a dealer is that you pay an inflated price for the protection of a warrantee that will protect you from expensive parts and labour charges should anything go wrong. With a classic mini though, parts are relativley inexpensive and most things you can fix yourself with a few basic tools and a Haynes manual, so by going to a dealer, you would be paying well over the odds for something you really don't need.

Edited by AVV IT, 15 November 2012 - 08:22 AM.


#3 PRG123

PRG123

    Stage One Kit Fitted

  • Noobies
  • PipPipPip
  • 53 posts
  • Location: Bracknell berkshire

Posted 15 November 2012 - 08:30 AM

The reason I was thinking about a dealer is because the car should be a decent quality..... If I bought private it might not be what it is advertised to be ( maybe I'm being a bit niave )

Do you know of a good cooper for sale at a decent price?

- Pete

#4 AVV IT

AVV IT

    I am a shed dragger.

  • TMF+ Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,122 posts
  • Name: Dave
  • Location: Cambridgeshire
  • Local Club: Nobody will have me!!

Posted 15 November 2012 - 08:57 AM

Buying from a dealer is really no gaurantee of quality, in my experience dealers are in business to make profit and will sell cars having done the minimum to them in order to get them up to a saleable standard.

Whether you buy from a dealer or not, it would be advisable to spend some time here learning what to look for and what to avoid when buying and learning to recognise quality for yourself, or alternativley take someone who knows about classic minis with you to view a car instead. If you buy a mini private sale from an enthusiast who had looked after it, then you are more likely to get a quality car. Plus if you don't buy through a dealer you will probably have a couple of thousand left over to spend on sorting out any problems that the car may have.

I don't know of any coopers for sale I'm afraid, but have you had a look through the classifieds section here? Also are you talking about an early austin/morris Cooper, or a late Rover model?

Edited by AVV IT, 15 November 2012 - 09:00 AM.


#5 fusionfanatic

fusionfanatic

    Stage One Kit Fitted

  • Noobies
  • PipPipPip
  • 56 posts
  • Location: norfolk

Posted 15 November 2012 - 01:10 PM

What price range and where are you, I am in north norfolk and there is a nice W reg sport pack a friend is selling with low mileage and I recon he would take £6k for it. I have been looking for an early 90's one and I would say that the smart money goes on one which does need some work doing but the private seller is honest about it.

I go along with what AVV IT says about what the dealers are like, true there are honest ones but many people will tell you that if you make money on a restored classic you haven't done it right! You must remember that the dealers get their cars from somewhere at a lower price and that place is available to everyone. its an open market.

There is another side to this which is that private sellers often grossly over price their pride and joy whereas dealers like to keep their stock moving.

Another thing I would say is that if you are thinking of becoming a long term mini owner then get to know how they work and the best practices on working on them because if you are to do work yourself or have others do the work you must be able to know the correct good quality way to do it.

Golden rule, do your research and don't be afraid to walk away.

#6 Badboytunes

Badboytunes

    Camshaft & Stage Two Head

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,615 posts
  • Location: Northampton
  • Local Club: MINIS Unleashed

Posted 15 November 2012 - 02:27 PM

^^^ and get the best within your budget. Take your time. Rust is the main killr on a Mini, especially the later MPi's.

#7 PRG123

PRG123

    Stage One Kit Fitted

  • Noobies
  • PipPipPip
  • 53 posts
  • Location: Bracknell berkshire

Posted 15 November 2012 - 06:26 PM


What price range and where are you, I am in north norfolk and there is a nice W reg sport pack a friend is selling with low mileage and I recon he would take £6k for it. I have been looking for an early 90's one and I would say that the smart money goes on one which does need some work doing but the private seller is honest about it.

I go along with what AVV IT says about what the dealers are like, true there are honest ones but many people will tell you that if you make money on a restored classic you haven't done it right! You must remember that the dealers get their cars from somewhere at a lower price and that place is available to everyone. its an open market.

There is another side to this which is that private sellers often grossly over price their pride and joy whereas dealers like to keep their stock moving.

Another thing I would say is that if you are thinking of becoming a long term mini owner then get to know how they work and the best practices on working on them because if you are to do work yourself or have others do the work you must be able to know the correct good quality way to do it.

Golden rule, do your research and don't be afraid to walk away.

thanks makes sent, I'm in Berkshire so Norfolk a bit too far for me to go...... Don't want to pay more than about 4k really will I get a reasonable one for that?
- Pete

#8 AVV IT

AVV IT

    I am a shed dragger.

  • TMF+ Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,122 posts
  • Name: Dave
  • Location: Cambridgeshire
  • Local Club: Nobody will have me!!

Posted 15 November 2012 - 07:33 PM

Ok so I take it we are talking about a Rover Cooper here then??

In terms of value, the late mpi models (96-2000) tend to be much more expensive, particularly very late examples (99 & 2000 models) and the sports pack versions. £4k should get you a reasonable mpi, but you're really only paying for desirability, so they're not actually very good value for money, particularly as they are the models most prone to rot, due to poor rustproofing at the factory. The earlier carb/spi Rover coopers (91-95) are much more reasonably priced and with the market as it is currently, you can pick up a near mint example for more like the £2.5k-£3k.

#9 Wise Old Elf

Wise Old Elf

    Camshaft & Stage Two Head

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,654 posts
  • Location: Colchester
  • Local Club: Club Lotus

Posted 15 November 2012 - 07:46 PM

You should be able to get a mint Cooper RSP for £4,500

Contact Roger on the Mini Cooper RSP Register (put it in Google) and he may be able to steer you in the right direction.

J

#10 Smoke Grey

Smoke Grey

    Starting My Mini Up

  • Noobies
  • Pip
  • 1 posts
  • Location: Ribble Valley

Posted 16 November 2012 - 12:41 AM

Just joined this site ... but I have owned 8 Minis during the past 40 years. Sold a beautiful near concours 1966 MK1 Cooper 1275 S last year .... and I've missed it ever since. Will have to get another Mini in my life sometime soon!

With respect to your dilemma - others have already offered some very sound advice. Personally I would never buy from a dealer. You will generally pay more - and there really is no additional likelyhood of better quality. Buying from a recommendation from someone on here ... or the Mini Cooper Register ... would not be a bad idea. Have a look at a few before you buy so that you can get a "feel" for what's out there.
Rule number one is buy the best you can afford .... and by that I mean the best condition ... not the flashiest or youngest. Absolutely THE biggest money pit is rotten metal. The body is by a VERY long way the most important part of the whole in terms of potential expense. If the rest of the shell is really sound and it just needs two new wings the that may be something you could consider ... but be really careful not to take on a basket case. I friend has just bought a Cooper MPI with the later full width wood dash .... which very effectively hid the fact that the metal top dash rail below the windscreen had rotted away!
The very worst thing you could do would be to look at a car that needed "a few new panels" and do a rough calculation as to how much a "simple" restoration might cost. Rule number two is that repairing bodywork (particularly if that extends to sills and floorpans and boot floors etc) wil ALWAYS cost much more than you budget for.
If it doesn't feel like the right car ... just walk away. There are plenty out there to choose from.
Finally - I wouldn't let distance put you off. If you do .... and you stay relatively local ..... you are massively reducing the pool of potentially nice cars to choose from. I have bought two or three cars in the past on photographic evidence and reassurances by e-mail and phone from private sellers. If you like the look of a car on line or in a mag ... ask the vendor to send you loads of close up pics and ask all the right questions about condition and spec. Then negotiate a price and hop on a train. If its a nice as described you can hand over the cash and drive it home. If not ... you can ALWAYS walk away.
Good luck.
Cheers
Phil

#11 minidizzy

minidizzy

    Super Mini Mad

  • Validating
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 613 posts
  • Local Club: LSMOC, Mini Cooper Register

Posted 16 November 2012 - 01:03 AM

It may help if you understand the different versions of the Rover Mini Cooper and decide what you would prefer.
The RSP was the first of the revived Coopers (after 19 years absence) and is quite rare (only 1050 sold on the UK market) and tends to be more expensive. These days it is preferable not to modify them as they will lose value. They were made in 1990 and have a carburettor.
The mainstream Cooper was made from 1990 to 1991 and although about 20,000 were made they are not that common. They are very similar to the RSP but with less features.They are also carb.
The SPi (single point injection) was made from late 1991 to late 1996. Injection and engine management does give reliability and the price of these cars always seems reasonable. They are easier to tune than the MPi.
The MPi (twin point injection) was made from 1997 to 2000 and does have some refinement. It seems to have a reputation for rust but mine is perfectly sound. There are all sorts of reasons speculated for rust but the one I find most credible is that the windscreen is thicker and the seal does not work affectively causing the scuttle to rust.
The Sports Pack version has no enhanced performance. It is just cosmetic and although it seems to cost more the large wheels are detrimental.
A Cooper S from the 90s will have had a performance conversion by John Cooper Garages and will have a plate on the cross member just inside the driver's door. These are not very common and bound to be more expensive.
On any Mini you will be very lucky if there is no rust.
I found my MPi on the street with a for sale sign on it. I found my RSP at a Mini Show, also with a for sale sign on it.
I think £4k should give you quite a lot of choice.

#12 PRG123

PRG123

    Stage One Kit Fitted

  • Noobies
  • PipPipPip
  • 53 posts
  • Location: Bracknell berkshire

Posted 16 November 2012 - 07:45 AM

Guys thanks V much for your help, so probably better not to get a. Later mpi mini as they are prone to rust and are expensive. I should look at 91-96 car with either carbs or single point fuel injection, also look out for rust ont he body....

I'll have a look at the RSP register as well.


Thanks guys

Pete

#13 PRG123

PRG123

    Stage One Kit Fitted

  • Noobies
  • PipPipPip
  • 53 posts
  • Location: Bracknell berkshire

Posted 18 November 2012 - 07:45 PM

What about this one?

http://www.ebay.co.u...984.m1427.l2649

#14 Wise Old Elf

Wise Old Elf

    Camshaft & Stage Two Head

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,654 posts
  • Location: Colchester
  • Local Club: Club Lotus

Posted 18 November 2012 - 08:09 PM

You need to see it in the flesh Pete.

The rust on these cars can end up costing you a fortune.
Did Roger come back to you?

J

#15 PRG123

PRG123

    Stage One Kit Fitted

  • Noobies
  • PipPipPip
  • 53 posts
  • Location: Bracknell berkshire

Posted 18 November 2012 - 08:22 PM

I put a message on the RSP forum, didn't get a comment from Roger, but loads of other comments....

Pete




2 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 2 guests, 0 anonymous users

Mini Spares