Historics’ to auction a unique 1969 Wood & Pickett Margrave Mini Cooper S Mk.II, in exceptional condition at No Reserve, and with a fascinating ownership history, on Saturday, June 7th.
Getting attached to a car is all part and parcel of classic car ownership, but a unique Wood & Pickett coach-built Mini, courted by music stars, was bought and sold by one of its owners no less than three times before its journey to Historics auction in Surrey on Saturday, June 7th.
In December 1969 Stewart & Arden, West London Morris distributors, took delivery from the factory of the freshly-built 1,275cc Cooper S Mk.II. Having then been despatched to coachbuilders, Wood & Pickett, the car was first registered in September 1970, leaving behind its rudimentary underpinnings to take to the road as a luxurious, coach-built W&P Margrave Mini.
The car then started out on its fascinating and unusual ownership journey, including a trip through the rock and pop scene of the day.
Owners of this superbly-presented and rare car – the only Wood & Pickett Mini Cooper S Mk.II converted in this manner – include Denny Laine of the Moody Blues and for ten years a member of Sir Paul McCartney’s band Wings, and John Hammel, McCartney’s guitar technician.
Hammel’s ownership goes back to 1973, when one of his famous passengers of the day, Steve Marriott of the Small Faces, eloquently described the car as “a 100mph pair of shades”. Five years later, Hammel sold the car to Denny Laine but regretted the sale and purchased back the Cooper S eight months later.
In 1997, Hammel once again sold the car but told the buyer that if he ever wanted to sell it, to get in touch. A few years later he did so, triggering Hammel’s third period of ownership of the car.
Two years ago, the car passed to the current vendor, who is offering it in superb condition and as a fine tribute both to the ubiquitous Mini’s designer, Sir Alec Issigonis, and the craftsmanship of Wood & Pickett.
This Wood & Pickett Margrave Cooper S differs from others in that it does not carry the usual quad headlamps or the American-style fake soft top to the rear. Instead, the coach-building of this Wood & Pickett Mini is more subtle, including a delicate swage line running across the top of the front wings, finishing with peaked chromed headlamp rims from a Riley 1.5.
The specification continues to impress, with the original 1969 Mk.II Cooper S bodyshell fitted twin fuel tanks, a Benelite grille inset with twin Lucas LR9 spotlights, and a Webasto full length sunroof. The Pacific Blue coachwork is finished to a high standard and complimented by a set of Minilite alloy wheels shod with Dunlop 165/70.10 radial tyres.
The interior detail includes Aston Martin DB6 leather seats, electric windows with Aston Martin window switches, Rolls Royce chrome handles, dark blue leather-trimmed carpets, Britax seat belts, a full width dashboard housing MGB rev counter and odometer and Jaguar auxiliary instruments, a Moto-Lita wood rim steering wheel and even a Rolls Royce cigarette lighter. A further notable period feature is the eight-track cassette player in working order, allowing you to sing along to the original tapes of the era that come with the car!
Major work has been carried out recently by the well-respected Mini specialists, Mini Speed of Byfleet, Surrey. These works included the rebuild of the 1,275cc engine, gearbox and carburettors. A photo record of the engine is within the history file, as does a copy of the ‘Mini World’ magazine article that details the car when in John Hammel’s ownership. It is offered complete with a jack, tools, Hydrolastic suspension pump, an MoT test certificate, valid until October 2014, and ‘Historic’ road fund licence valid to the end of September 2014.
Offered in exceptional condition at No Reserve, with a superb specification and fascinating ownership history, this 1969 Wood & Pickett Margrave 1,275cc Mini Cooper S Mk.II represents a rare opportunity for the true enthusiast and dedicated collector alike… perhaps John Hammel once again?
It joins 150+ other prime classic cars, plus 100 fine classic motorcycles, at Historics’ largest auction to date at Brooklands Museum, near Weybridge, on Saturday June 7th, with viewing the previous day