Lot 304

Cliveden House

1990 Mini Margrave by Wood & Pickett

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£40,000 - £50,000 GBP  | Offered Without Reserve

United Kingdom | Taplow, Berkshire, United Kingdom

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Chassis No.
SAXXL2S1020436408
Engine No.
ABR24789
To be offered on Wednesday, 12 June 2024
  • The last Mini built by Wood & Pickett of London Ltd, which drew the company into bankruptcy
  • Finished in Rolls-Royce Midnight Blue Metallic over a Magnolia leather interior with Recaro LX seats
  • Highly specified inside and out; powered by a 1,298-cc Avonbar-tuned engine
  • Single family ownership from new, covering just 2,606 miles
  • Unrivalled documentation spanning from the initial order to letters with the administrators

Wood & Pickett Ltd was founded in 1947 by Bill Wood and Les Pickett, who had learned their craft at Hooper & Co coachbuilders. Following the introduction of the BMC Mini in 1959, Wood & Pickett Ltd introduced a luxury version of the compact car dubbed the “Margrave”. This version was highly popular, with celebrities such as Elton John, Denny Laine, Mick Jagger, and Paul and Linda McCartney commissioning their own Minis from the London-based coachbuilder.

The car offered here was instigated by the vendor’s father, who had entered discussions with Wood & Pickett to build a Mini Margrave equipped with an extensive and detailed list of modifications. With the total cost exceeding £12,000, an order was placed with Penta Reading for a new Mini City 1000 to be sent to Wood & Pickett’s workshop.

As found in detailed correspondence (available to view on file), this Mini was repainted in Rolls-Royce Midnight Blue, and fitted with an electric sunroof alongside tinted Sicursiv glass all-round. As with all Margraves, the body seams were removed. Under the bonnet, a 1,298-cc balanced MG Metro engine was supplied by the performance specialist, Avonbar.

Inside was truly a luxury affair, with Wilton navy blue carpets sourced to match a sheepskin overmat. These were complemented by Magnolia leather-trimmed Recaro LX seats with blue piping and a matching leather steering wheel. The headliner was cream and trimmed to the waistline, while electric tinted windows were also supplied. Up front, a walnut dash was fitted, with a three-clock binnacle, 12-hour VDO clock, further to an aftermarket Blaupunkt radio and sound system. Every facet of this Mini was considered, down to the wing mirrors, which originated from the Ferrari 308, and were electrically powered.

With the build taking longer than expected, the consignor’s father eventually received the car on 22 February 1990. Not having met the agreed specifications, the final payment cheque of £12,000 was withheld. Regrettably—after the company failed to pay the body shop that had omitted several of the agreed modifications—Wood & Pickett’s financial difficulties were compounded and the coachbuilder entered administration by 3 March.

A meticulous individual, the consignor’s father organised the finalisation of the conversion. He paid the body shop, sent the car to be fitted with a radio and sound system from Surrey Car Radios, but argued that the overall finish was still below standard. A letter was sent to the administrators detailing the associated costs to have the car finished, claiming that Wood & Pickett breached the agreement and had not provided the agreed service. On 12 April 1990, the administrators accepted an offer of £9,495.75 from the consignor’s father.

First registered on 15 February 1990, the consignor’s father presented this Wood & Pickett Mini Margrave as a gift to his wife. However, she is said to have much preferred her Mazda MX-5, and by the mid-1990s the Mini was driven into the garage, having only covered a few thousand miles. It remained there until 2016, when the consignor had the car recommissioned. Having gone through his father’s original requests, various small missing details were rectified and installed, such as front and rear corner bars on the bumpers. With a mechanical overhaul, and professional paint correction, this Wood & Pickett Mini passed its MoT on 15 March 2017 and was deemed ready for the open road. The Mini has continued to be tested since, passing its most recent MoT on 18 April 2023.

Remaining in dry storage since the recommissioning, this vehicle has been sparingly used and as such, the odometer reads just 2,606 miles at the time of cataloguing.

Offered today in an extremely well-preserved state, this Mini is no ordinary example of Alec Issigonis’ iconic design. Complemented by a fascinating history file, this Mini Margrave by Wood & Pickett is perfect for collectors of the rare and sublime.