1966 Leyland-Morris Mini Pick-Up Background and history The story of the British Motor Corporation’s presence in South Africa is a fascinating one. Quite apart from the political posturing back in the UK, which ultimately led to the formation of British Leyland, in SA there was the small matter of import tariffs, which were increasingly punitive depending on the percentage of non-local content in the car. For Leyland-Morris South Africa, the best-selling model was the Mini, which was as much of a cult car in SA as it was in the UK. It was also popular enough to spawn locally built examples of the van and pick-up variants, which were assembled in the Blackheath factory near Cape Town using 50% locally made parts, giving the models some strange anomalies over UK models. The example we have here is a fully restored and lightly modified Mini Pick-Up, which was a popular vehicle in South Africa from the 1960s to the 1980s thanks to a large demand for small pick-ups, especially from the farming community. It was sympathetically restored by its previous owner a few years ago and is offered for sale needing nothing. What makes it special The Mini pick-up is a rare beast at the best of times but to find a South African spec vehicle in the UK is even more unusual. This is a largely original vehicle that has come from a dry climate, so is free from corrosion and has been restored to a high standard with some subtle but appealing modifications. Outside The quality of the Mini Pick-Up’s restoration is superb, with an excellent bright red paint finish complemented by a white roof and 13-inch Minilite wheels. There are no notable marks, dents or scratches to the bodywork and the paint has a deep and glossy shine. That quality continues underneath, where the subframes and floorpans of the Mini are almost as new. Brand-new tyres and a full stainless steel exhaust system complete the look and will ensure minimal expenditure for the Mini’s future owner. Inside When it was new in 1966, this Mini would have been very basic inside, but during its restoration the previous owner has upgraded it somewhat. It now has a rich dark red carpet while the seats are retrimmed in black leather style material with red piping. Because it was completely stripped and rebuilt, it's no surprise to find that the cabin is truly immaculate. Furthermore, the rear load bay is also faultless having been finished in a protective load liner material during the truck's recent rebuild. Engine and running gear Under the bonnet, you’ll find the familiar BMC A-Series engine. The 998cc unit is little different from that offered in UK versions of the Mini and has been rebuilt in the past year by the pick-up’s previous owner. The chattery idle and characteristic gearbox whine will be familiar to anyone who's ever owned a Mini, or indeed any front-wheel-drive car with the A-Series gearbox in sump arrangement. Mechanically, the truck is in rude health, doesn't burn oil and wants for nothing. The appeal The pick-up is one of the more unusual Mini derivatives and is highly prized by collectors. That makes this one an especially desirable machine. Not only is it a mini pick-up, but it is also completely rot-free, fresh from a high quality restoration, mechanically perfect and with the added fascination of being a South African built CKD model. The Mini is - and remains - one of the world's most iconic classic cars and this is a truly unusual and highly desirable example that's both brimming with appeal and future investment potential.