The Austin Mini was an amazing critter, a tiny box on wheels with surprisingly roomy passenger space and agile drivability, which put many of them on race tracks competing against sports cars of the era.
The Pick of the Day is a 1961 Austin Mini Countryman, a longer-wheelbase version of the British staple designed to expand cargo space and usability. Not to mention adding a touch of flair with its wood-framed cargo bed.
Like the Morris Minor wagon that went before, the Countryman is not quite an actual woody but a stylish representation that tugs at the nostalgia strings. The double barn doors in the rear open to a stowage area that makes the Mini Countryman usable for business and vacation road trips.
The Countryman version also adds to the iconic form of the groundbreaking Mini, which pioneered the front-wheel-drive, transverse engine design that’s so prevalent in passenger cars today.
“But the larger Countryman version is also a more distinct and rarer way to celebrate a motoring icon,” according to the Lithia Springs, Georgia, dealer advertising the little gem on ClassicCars.com. “After all, the real wood frame gives it the appearance of an iconic American surf wagon… but in a more European size.
“It gives you a surprising amount of cargo room for its diminutive size, which gets our minds racing about the difference practical uses for this vintage wagon.”
The left-hand drive Mini is powered by an 850cc A-series 4-cylinder engine, which might be small but “It’s part of the backbone of English motoring, which makes it quite hardy and easy parts availability,” the seller says.
“When matched with the four-speed manual transmission, the performance can be quite nippy,” the seller adds. “Add in a nice modern-tread tire and steering that is so exact it feels telepathic, and you’ve got in your hands all the reasons why people are passionate about driving a Mini.”
The odometer shows just 37,265 miles, although there’s no indication in the ad as to whether that is actual mileage. Nor is there mention of restoration history, though it does look super nice in the photos with the ad.
The Mini comes with a surfboard to hook onto its chrome roof rack, playing off the woody theme. The wood trim looks to be in good shape.
The asking price is $23,995, which I’d like to say is a lot of car for the money, but that sounds facetious with a car so small.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.