A rusty Mini sold for 40,250 pounds ($65,382) at auction by Bonhams on Monday, April 30, — beating the price of a shiny Pontiac convertible once owned by Keith Richards.
The corroded 1959 Mini was described by Bonhams as the oldest surviving unrestored car of its type. It beat the 37,950 pounds paid for a dark-blue 1950 Chieftain Silver Streak used by guitarist Richards at a time when the Rolling Stones recorded “Exile on Main Street” at his south of France home in the early 1970s.
Both cars were bought by private U.S. buyers at an auction at the RAF Museum in Hendon, England. Classic cars often get a premium if they have interesting stories attached to them, such as famous owners, years spent in storage before being discovered in original condition.
The Austin Mini Se7en De Luxe Saloon, registration number XLL 27, was the eighth car of its type to come off the production line at Longbridge in May 1959, three months before the official debut of the Mini on Aug. 26 of that year, according to correspondence from the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust. It had a presale estimate of 12,000 pounds to 15,000 pounds.