1998 Ferrari 550 Maranello

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  Lot #452  (Sale Order: 52 of 56)  
Sold for: £90,000.00 to onsite
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Delightfully restored and upgraded early Mini-Cooper from long-term ownership
  • Dating from mid-October 1961, this is one of the earliest production cars

  • Owned by our vendor for 50 years and subject to a seven-year restoration

  • Rebuilt around a 1961 Australian CKD bodyshell with some replacement panels

  • Superbly painted in its original Tartan Red and Black by ‘Old Skool Minis’

  • Fitted with its original 997cc engine, rebuilt, balanced and upgraded by SMMC

  • Fully rewired with an Alternator concealed within the Lucas Dynamo case

  • Upgrades include S gearbox, 7.5” Cooper S brakes with stainless flex pipes, RC40 exhaust

  • Period correct red/grey Brocade trim, new carpets/door cards, heated screen

  • Supplied with its current V5c, Green logbook, Heritage Certificate and restoration invoices

  • Delightfully restored and upgraded early Cooper from long-term ownership

Anyone who has commenced, what they hope will be, a bit of a refurb or a quick tidy-up with some fresh paint of their classic car will recognise the point at which a partial restoration inevitably becomes a full one and this was certainly the case with 5392 LJ on offer here.

The car’s Heritage Certificate tells us that it’s an Austin Cooper built on 16/10/1961 (within months of the start of production) and finished in Tartan Red with a Black roof before being delivered to Imperial Motors in Bournemouth and subsequently registered on 3/11/1961. Our vendor purchased the Mini in 1969 and has owned it ever since. It was his daily driver and the following year was used to transport the happy couple on their honeymoon but, inevitably, as more modern cars arrived, the little Cooper was used less and less eventually spending long periods in storage. Around 2009, the decision was made to tidy-up the car and return it to the road in time for the couples 40 th Wedding Anniversary, however, as Robbie Burns once said “The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley.” and it was to be a further seven years before 5392 LJ was returned to her sparkling best.

Once the car had been fully stripped it became obvious that the shell was beyond economic repair and luckily a rust-free 1961 CKD (completely knocked down) bodyshell was located in Australia and shipped to Birmingham to enable the restoration to commence. The rebuild was entrusted to ‘Old Skool Minis’ in Bloxwich and the quality of their work is evident from the photographs of the restoration in the car’s history file. The shell was closely inspected when it arrived and the outer sills were removed to properly inspect the inner ones before new outer sills were fitted together with rear quarter panels, two front wings and door skins. It was then fully prepared and painted to a very high standard in its original colours of Tartan Red (RD9) and gloss black. The original (final-quarter 1961-dated) glass was reinstated with the exception of the windscreen which is now a bespoke Triplex/Pilkington heated item. A new wiring harness was fitted and the electrics are supplied by an alternator cleverly located within a Lucas dynamo case allowing the standard look to be retained but with a better output.

Internally the front and rear seats are the original BMC Tartan Red/Gey and Gold Brocade with other items of trim, door cards etc. purchased from Newton Commercial. The new carpets are naturally Tartan Red and the original “Fug Stir” heater was restored and replaced and works in conjunction with the new heated screen. The original speedometer, which on the very early cars had no ‘Tenths’ on the odometer, was restored and set to zero and now indicates a shade less than 800 miles.

Mechanically the decision was taken to forego pedantic originality and build a car that was altogether more safe and usable with upgrades that are acceptable and often advisable. The original 997 engine was retained and fully rebuilt by Southam Mini (SMMC). The block was overbored by ten thou and fitted with new (OE) BMC pistons, the original crank (with modified oilways) was fine and the flywheel was adapted to accept a diaphragm clutch before final balancing. The head was overhauled and fitted with hardened valve seats for unleaded fuel. The rebuilt engine was placed on a fully-synchromesh Cooper ‘S’ gearbox with Hardy Spicer joints and a 3.7 diff and finally fitted with standard twin 1.25” SU

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This item is part of NEC CLASSIC MOTOR SHOW SALE 2019-Day 2-Cars
 Sunday, Nov 10, 2019 | 2:00 PM  EUR (GMT)
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1998 Ferrari 550 Maranello
1998 Ferrari 550 Maranello
Lot number: 452
Seller: Silverstone Auctions
Ends: Sunday, November 10 | 2:00 PM  EUR (GMT)

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