1970 Wood & Pickett Mini Cooper S Mk II - John Hammell

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  Lot #328  (Sale Order: 28 of 64)  
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Synonymous with the Mini badge, Wood and Pickett have been converting, tuning and supplying parts for Minis since the 1960s. Proprietors and founders, Bill Wood and Les Pickett mastered their craft at Hooper and Co in London before joining forces and setting up their own company in 1947. Spotting a gap in the market, they were determined to offer Mini conversions better than that of leading rival Radford and the 'Margrave' Mini was their first offering, featuring a distinctive leather and walnut fascia panel, leather or Dralon seating and front and rear nudge bars, to which customers were invited to add from a long list of individually-priced options. Bill and Les retired in the early 1980s but the business still remains strong under the stewardship of Mike Standring and currently operates from its home in Leatherhead, Surrey. from where it is still able to supply a full list of parts for the early WandP Minis. This particular right-hand drive Morris Mini Cooper 'S' Mk II was supplied new to Stewart and Ardern Limited of Acton, West London on 9th December 1969, finished in El Paso Beige with a Snowberry White roof. At that time, Stewart and Ardern were the largest distributors of Morris vehicles in the UK and were at the fore of ensuring the success of the Morris brand in the intervening years. This Cooper S was then sent to Wood and Pickett where it was to be converted into the Margrave specification and finished in Pacific Blue. Modifications included; Aston Martin DB6-style seats, Aston Martin electric window switches, Radiomobile 8-track radio, a Benelite front grille, Jaguar dials, Mini-van doors with quarter-lights and unique front wings with a crease at the top, creating a very special look. It was then registered 'YYU 292H' on 11th September 1970 and sold to its first owner. Wood and Pickett Minis of the 60's and 70's were the preferred mode of transport for many musicians, actors, and pop stars, and this Cooper S has its own Rock 'N Roll story..... The third owner of the car in 1973 was a Mr. John Hammel, personal assistant and guitar technician to Sir Paul McCartney. Despite his love for the car, John sold the little Mini to Denny Laine of 1960's group, The Moody Blues, and at that time a member of Wings. Mr. Laine had bought it for his wife, but after only 8 months, John Hammel asked Denny Laine if he could buy it back and a deal was struck. He kept the car on this occasion car until 1997 when he sold it to a Mr. Andrew Stewart, but did stipulate to the new owner that if the car were ever to become available again, to please get in touch. A few years after that, Mr. Stewart made that call, and again, John bought back 'YYU 292H'! In the early 2000s and now onto his third 'chapter' with the car, he had it fully restored by Woods Restoration Services at Brand Hatch. The car was taken back to bare metal and given a coat of its original Wood and Pickett colour Pacific Blue. The wings had to be replaced and repairs had to be made on the sills, floors, and rear valance. Fortunately, the interior had stood the test of time and a simple re-Connolising was enough to bring it up to top spec. In 2009, this Cooper S won 'Car of the Show' at that year's London to Brighton Mini run with John Hammel proudly at the wheel. The car was sold in 2012 to a Mr. Ascione, ending John's 39-year love affair with this special car, before our vendor took the reins in 2014. Supplied with a superb history file, and now showing a little more than 72,000 miles from new, this is thought to be the only Cooper S Mk II to have received the Wood and Pickett magic. John Hammel's skill with guitars was legendary and in addition to Sir Paul, he helped a large number of musicians from different bands deal with technical issues with their instruments. The music and club scene at that time was pretty tight and we would imagine that he would have communicated his enthusiasm for his WandP to some of his other clients and even given them a lift in his pride and joy. John Lennon became a fan as did Ringo Starr, Mick Jagger, Laurence Harvey and George Best and who's to say if a ride in YYU 292H didn't influence their decisions. One household name regularly offered a ride was Steve Marriot of the Small Faces and it was he who once described it as a "100 mph pair of shades." Enough said. Seriously cool.

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This item is part of NEC Classic Motor Show Sale 2016 - Day 1
 Saturday, Nov 12, 2016 | 2:00 PM  EUR (GMT)
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1970 Wood & Pickett  Mini Cooper S Mk II - John Hammell
1970 Wood & Pickett Mini Cooper S Mk II - John Hammell
Lot number: 328
Seller: Silverstone Auctions
Event: NEC Classic Motor Show Sale 2016 - Day 1
Ends: Saturday, November 12 | 2:00 PM  EUR (GMT)

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