A rare chance to buy a ‘saloon’-bodied Mini Shorty has come up. Are you tempted by this very orange curio?
By modern standards, the original Mini is a tiny thing. At around three metres long, it’s 50cm shorter than a current city car like the VW Up and dwarfed by the current Mini hatchback by almost a metre. Some, though, would rather it were shorter still.
Those with such a point of view take a huge chunk out of the Mini’s already diddly two-metre wheelbase to create what’s known as a ‘Shorty’. It’s far from a new idea, but you don’t often see these things for sale, especially not in hardtop ‘saloon’ form – most are convertibles. Only hacking up the floor and not the roof too makes life a whole lot easier, see.
This particular Shorty was originally a 1968 Morris Mini finished in cream, a colour it retained post-shortening. We don’t know exactly how long the car is, but judging by the proportions, it’d look tiny even next to a Smart ForTwo. Limited parking in your area? Look no further.
The car had a whole heap of work done at the London Mini Centre in Putney last year, receiving a service plus a thorough body restoration. Once the latter was complete, the Shorty received a fantastically lurid lick of bright orange paint.
It’s still running the stock 1.0-litre A-series inline-four, meaning it has around 40bhp to play with. But hey, at least it’s a lot lighter now. The car is said to be mechanically sound, although the gearchange “isn’t especially sharp and could do with some attention,” the advert states.
It’s fitted with a set of black and silver Minilite-style wheels wrapped in Nankang tyres with a decent amount of tread left. The wheel and tyre combo is a lot wider than what would have been fitted originally, so the Shorty has some neat, body-coloured arch extensions. There’s also a stainless steel exhaust, so it will at least sound fast.
Inside, despite the very obvious lack of a rear seat bench, it’s all pretty original. The seats have been retrimmed, but other elements could do with a sort out – the carpets a loose-fitting, and the gear gaiter is torn.
Sadly, much of the car’s paperwork has been lost. All you get is the V5, some photos of it before the respray, and images of the 2020 restoration, some of which are on the auction page.
If that doesn’t put you off, the Mini is currently advertised on Car & Classic. A one-week online auction for the Shorty will begin on 20 October.