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2014 Shannons Melbourne Spring Classic Auction
Lot
12

1963 Morris Mini Traveller Van

$29,000

Sold

Specifications

Engine In-line 4-cylinder, 1293cc (see text)
Gearbox 5-speed manual (see text)
Body Work Station Wagon
Colour Speedwell Blue
Interior Westminster Grey
Trim Vinyl
Wheels Steel Disc
Brakes Drum

Description

This lot is no longer available

The Mini is a design icon, as much a part of the Swinging Sixties as The Beatles and Carnaby Street. No other small car has managed to capture the public imagination in quite the same way, nor revolutionise motoring to the extent that the Mini managed. The brilliant designer, Alec Issigonis, conceived a car that was both diminutive on the outside, roomy on the inside and - just as importantly - great fun to drive. The front wheel drive, Hydrolastic suspension and wheel-at-each-corner layout conspired to give great handling and roadholding while the A-Series engines provided plenty of zip for city driving. Pretty soon, the Mini was the car of choice for everyone, from the average punter to numerous celebrities, while racing drivers busy were unleashing the giant-killing potential of the Mini on the racetrack before long. The Mini, either with Austin or Morris badges, hit the streets in 1959 and sold strongly for eight years before BMC felt any freshening up was required. In addition to the original two-door saloon, several variants proved popular, including an estate car built on an extended 84-inch wheelbase. Badged either as a the Morris Traveller or the Austin Countryman, they both featured the purely decorative wood inserts previously used on the Morris Minor Traveller and were only sold in DeLuxe specification. A company press release describing the new model stated ?The Morris Mini Traveller is the dual-purpose vehicle 'par excellence'. Unrivalled in performance, road-holding and economy, it provides ample seating for four adults and, with the rear seat folded flat, no less than 35 cubic feet of luggage space.? In addition a plainer van was also marketed by BMC, lacking the side windows and wood trim, while certain markets received an all-steel version of the estate from 1962. Like the Mini on which it was based, the estate proved hugely popular, with around 100,000 each of the Traveller and Countrymans built between 1961 and 1969 but a high attrition rate makes either a rare sight on the roads today. Although a Traveller was imported by BMC Australia for evaluation here in 1962, it was deemed unsuitable for local production, making them a scarce sight in this country.