1982 Mini Clubman 1275E Convertible - SOLD

1982 Mini Clubman 1275E Convertible - SOLD

Attention all Mini collectors! An incredible opportunity to purchase one of these super rare factory produced classic Mini Clubman cabriolets in the UK. These cars are super rare even in the home market of South Africa and very sought after as a collector's piece. 

In the early 80's a very special and unique South African Mini was announced, The 'Mini Clubman convertible' Aside from the Clubman front end, it was a coach built replica of the bespoke Mini given to Princess Diana by Charles on her 21st birthday. 

It came with pile carpets, wooden dashboard, trim and panelling, check cloth seating, wheel arch extensions, side stripes and Mistral 6 spoke alloy wheels. 

A company called Carvalette who were leaders in the sunroof and convertible top market in South Africa at the time carried out the conversions. These were not after-market but official Leyland factory approved conversions on new and unregistered models sold through the main dealer network. The best draughtsmen and engineers from around the world experienced in this type of work were recruited. This model was only sold through the top selected dealerships in South Africa as the highest priced Mini ever in that market at 35% higher than the standard Mini Clubman 1275E. This was the major factor in sales being much lower than anticipated.

The roof and all pillars except the windscreen pillars were professionally removed and replaced with a foldaway canvas top with perspex rear and side windows. The front door top windows were kept and some box channelling was welded in between the floorpan and the side panel to strengthen the body without it's roof. 

A roll bar was fitted where the door pillars had been, just behind the front seats enhancing body strength and safety with an extra support from the middle of the roll bar to the centre of the windscreen surround. On the earlier cars such as this one and the Princess Diana car, the spare wheel was mounted on the left hand side of the boot with a vinyl cover. The right side of the boot had a box section for mounting the number plate and balance. 

Mechanically the car runs the factory 1275cc engine with a compression ration of 9.4:1, is equipped with a single 1.5 inch SU carb, has a final drive of 3,44:1 and all drum dual circuit brakes without servo. Suspension is dry rubber cone. The engine is rated at 56bhp with a top speed of 140 km/h. 

The example for sale here spent much of it's life in the Graaf Reinet Museum in the Eastern Cape from where it was purchased and has an odometer reading of just 32,000km (20,000 miles) which is believed to be genuine, but undocumented. Looking at the condition of the interior, the steering wheel and the control pedals it would be reasonable to assume as correct. It starts, runs and drives really well indeed feeling very taut, tight and nippy out on the road. 

It is not known exactly how many of these cars were ever manufactured over the two year period they were sold from but estimates suggest only between 40 and 50, of which it is believed only single figure numbers remain.


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