Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Mixed Grill For The Mini Van

Corgi made a superb job of reproducing the Mini Van and I am surprised that it was only produced for a little more than a year, appearing in December 1964 and discontinued in 1966.

In that short time, however, even this otherwise quite bland model had some variations! 

Normally, the grill is all painted and has straight bars and horizontal elements. The ones to look out for are the comparatively scarce grills that have been painted silver and the less easy to find wavy style as made for the Austin Countryman.

I have been able to get a couple with silver grills, and the paint does look original rather than having been added later by someone. They were quite inexpensive but both have a bent rear door. I have also found a good model with the Countryman style grill but this was probably only affordable by reason of the missing rear door! I think it should be fairly straightforward to fit a door sometime once I have found a very cheap wreck that still has one.

As far as I know, all the Mini Vans have Austin badges. I am still checking almost every one I see, though, just in case there is a Morris somewhere. I believe that there is a Morris version of the #485 'Austin' Countryman so it is not totally impossible.

There is great fun to be had checking the badges on all the Minis, in fact. A little while ago this little blue #226 came up at an auction. A collector friend had spotted the Austin badge on what was supposed to be a Morris Mini-Minor (and which was painted in Morris Mini-Minor pale blue and had Morris Mini-Minor on the base)! We were very hopeful at the time that we might get it for a modest, typical #226 price. 

Unfortunately, that was not to be and I have since discovered that many people were watching the bids as they soared past the £120 I had considered paying! 

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