1960 Austin Mini 850
sn-AA2S7L18001 .. 1982-1994

1960 Austin Mini 850 sn-AA2S7L18001

1960 Austin Mini 850 sn-AA2S7L18001
1992 California

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Mini History by Geoff Wheatley


1960 Austin Mini 850 sn-AA2S7L18001

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1960 Austin Mini 850 sn-AA2S7L18001 1994
1960 Austin Mini 850 sn-AA2S7L18001

1960 Austin Mini 850 sn-AA2S7L18001 from 1982-1994
by Frank Cunningham

MY first Mini

I guess the story of our Mini begins back in the 70's when someone in a bar started talking about Mini's. I said, "I had always wanted one". I don't know why, I said this because I really had never paid any attention to this particular marque or model. But hey, it was, after all, a British car, so I must have after all "always wanted one". Right!

Well, as any card-carrying car fanatic would do, I did not forget this profound conversation that I had bestowed upon the world. And I kept my eyes open.

Then in 1982, it happened. In among several older examples of discarded Detroit iron adorning all the open space around a disheveled ex-petrol station-cum-service shop called "HARRY'S GARAGE" was a MINI. This was no ordinary find, after all this was in Salt Lake City, Utah; not exactly the British car center of the world. But never mind that, this was the car that my wife needed. I just had to convince her of it.

1960 Austin Mini 850 sn-AA2S7L18001 1982 UTAH
1960 Austin Mini 850 sn-AA2S7L18001

I failed......

Undaunted, I made an inquiry, but with no contact. Then some days later the phone rang. It was about the Mini. The caller informed me that that his father had died, and he was looking after the estate and would I like to buy the Austin. The deal was made over the phone. I had not yet really seen the Mini, but how bad could it be, after all it was British.

My new car; my wife would not have anything to do with it, sat there at "HARRY'S" with a bashed-in backend, no floorboards, no brakes, no tail or head lights, spray-can-painted maroon over light blue. But it was now mine.

1960 Austin Mini 850 sn-AA2S7L18001 in UTAH 1982

1960 Austin Mini 850 sn-AA2S7L18001

Oh, did the motor run? Who knows, no battery.

We towed it home on a chain. I can still remember the look on the seller's face when we reached the first stop sign. No brakes, remember. The Mini went .flying by me and stopped only when it ran out of slack on the chain.. I thought the seller was the expert at this kind of thing. After all, he runs "HARRY'S".

By the way, It also had no title. It seems that this car had been rescued from a wrecking yard, and the permit had been lost. Now what? Some research led me to the last (pre-wrecking-yard) owner. His story was that he won the car in a local V.F.W. raffle.

The car was full of groceries (there had to be some value here if this was to be a genuine prize). This fine fellow did what any normal person would do - he ate the food and threw- out the packaging, i.e. the car. Later his grandson came along and asked to use the Mini. Next stop, wrecking yard (Breakers to the Brits).

"Harry" later come along seeing the Mini being used as a lot car, hauling drive shafts and the like, and thinking it to be a Cooper, purchased it on the spot (it was only a 1960 850 Mk. 1). It was towed to "HARRY'S" and parked.

Then Harry died.

1960 Austin Mini 850 sn-AA2S7L18001

I now had a Mini. Well sort of. The engine had no oil pressure, brakes, lights, floorboards, bumpers, grill, and the seats were useless. But it was a Mini and "I had always wanted one".

Every photo on the story page is the same mini. I kicked it around for about 10 years and it was a great fun project. Had racing seats, wink mirror, big lights on the front, built twin gas tanks with quick-release caps, large Mini-Finn aluminum drums and twin leading edge front brakes, 1300 AA engine, twin SU's, and hot red paint.

The Mini and I just missed death in Seattle on a wet freeway at about 60 mph when the tires locked-up and I was hydroplaning into the back of a line of cars. I was just able to power around them to the left side, blowing past them at about 70 mph instead into them. It all happened in seconds, thanks to the wink mirror and front wheel drive.

The thing I liked about the Mini! --- It always made people smile.

1960 Austin Mini 850 sn-AA2S7L18001 in 1992 California
1960 Austin Mini 850 sn-AA2S7L18001

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