Thursday, January 29, 2015

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1971 Mini 1000 Automatic

I've sort of made a recurring thing posting classic Minis every so often. Here's another monthly Mini, if you will. It's our first factory-automatic one, a 1971 Mini 1000.

I really like this little car. It's such a pure Mini, all one color with no fender flares, no rally stripes, no accessory lights. Just factory-matched Blaze Orange for a bit of cheek and a set of actual Minilite wheels providing just the right stance. The interior is beautiful, retaining the car's original right-hand-drive configuration and dainty little four-speed automatic shifter on the floor. It even has a set of period UK license plates and matching California vanity plates with the same characters. This is one of my favorite vintage Minis, even though it isn't a Cooper. In fact, I may even like it more because it isn't a Cooper. It's an economy runabout with a nod to convenience, a little retro style and the ability to park virtually anywhere. What's not to like?


  1. I still hate these cars. The proportions just don't look right. The backend looks unfinished and ugly. tailights should have been round, and the curve be,ow the rear window should have been a straight down plain. Also it should have 15 inch wheels, not 12's.

    1. The wheels are 10" not 12".
      The tiny wheels were part of the design, fitting massive interior space in a small exterior package. Fitting large wheels would have made the interior too small.
      Form follows function in all the best designs.

  2. Still registered at home!
    Vehicle make AUSTIN
    Date of first registration 03 September 1971 Year of manufacture 1971
    Cylinder capacity (cc) 998cc
    CO₂Emissions Not available
    Fuel type PETROL
    Vehicle status SORN in place"

    Registered in East Sussex, by the way.

  3. Amazing to see this car again! It was first owned by my mum in 1971, in Teddington, UK. Same license plate BNJ 308K, same colour. She sold it in 1975, I think. I can't believe it got as far as San Francisco! I showed this blog to her the other day (she's 93 and in grand health) and she got emotional about seeing it again. Thank you for putting this on your blog. It's like a blast from the past for me and her!

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I'm happy to have helped bring back (hopefully positive) memories. Wishing your mother all the best!