I have a few old copies of Mini world magazine from 1996/97 lying around, and whenever I want to frustrate myself, I have a flick through to classified ads section and look at all of the cheap minis I’ve missed out on. Today, I decided to run every single car in some of the magazines through a number plate checker to see what happened to them. Here are the results
Note - as unlikely as this is to happen, if you’ve somehow found this article by googling the number plate of your car, I’d love to hear more and possibly even see photos of how the car looks now or more about it.
Now, one more thing before I start - most of the cars I checked came up with no results. This probably is because they’ve been off the road for so long that the DVLA has pretty much wiped them from their database, so sadly, they were probably scrapped long ago and aren’t even worth mentioning - this applied to virtually all of the older and cheaper cars.
all of these cars still have valid Tax and MOT, so survived and are still in a roadworthy state
One of the very last Mokes made, and probably one of a lot fewer that were registered in the UK and have survived this long. It was taxed less than a week ago, so it’ll probably be around for a while.
You occasionally do see Italian Job edition minis, but most are red Cooper replicas at this point. Definitely nice to see one that’s survived
Not a bad looking car, which I don’t think was very old when that advert was published, not much of a surprise that it’s survived though, since it was waxoyled from new, slowing down rust and giving the car a better chance to survive
Nice to see that a somewhat older car survived, especially considering that there was much interest in clubmans until pretty recently. Interestingly, this car is now black, so it’s either been restored or resprayed since it was sold.
Still beige, and still on the road, but now with 1380cc engine, so it’s probably making a lot of power, again, nice to see a car that was pretty undesirable in the 90's has survived and stayed on the road this long. £2000 is a very good deal for an original car with such low milage, and if one like that came up for sale today, it’d take a lot to stop me getting it.
if you own a car in the UK and don’t want use it on the roads, but also aren’t scrapping it, you can declare it as SORN. this essentially means that you can’t use it on the road, but the DVLA are aware it still exists so keep it on their database. In the case of Minis, This usually means that the cars been sat under a tarp in someone’s garden, or is being restored
No MOT history on this one, so it’s probably been off the road for some time, but it still exists somewhere, and considering the rarity and astronomical prices people ask for pickups, even those well beyond saving says that this one might see its way back onto the road at some point (hopefully). Also seems to have been resprayed at some point, since the photo shows a blue car, but history check says it’s white.
The MOT on this one only expired recently, so the chances are it’s still stands a fair chance of making it back onto the road at some point. Surprising to see the car is marked as having a 1000cc engine, since that option was discontinued in 1992. So at some point, this car had the engine swapped for a largely inferior unit (though an argument could be made for mechanical simplicity or fuel economy)
No details on the MOT for this one, so it’s safe to assume it’s been some time since it was last being used. However, it is on SORN, so something is left. The Cooper 35 was made in pretty small numbers, and most were sent to Japan, so there’s a chance it might be saved, but seeing as it’s likely been sat for a long time, there’s a good chance that it won’t be worth rescuing, or it’ll just be left to rot forever.
Off the road for more than 6 years, but still around somewhere. Other than the tacky chrome arches, this car is very well specced - even having the Cooper Si stuff fitted, which is pretty rare, even more so installed from new, so I hope there’s a chance for this car to be saved at some point, though it’s unlikely.
Don’t think I’ve ever seen a silver Cooper before, so this ones interesting. It’s been untaxed and off the road for over 10 years, so there isn’t a lot of hope, but it still exists, so there’s a chance it’ll turn up on eBay or something as a completly rotten mess at some point, but after that amount of time, especially for a reasonably common newer model, it’s unlikely to make it back onto the road any time soon.
Going off the fact this car still has a Valid MOT, I’m guessing hasn’t been off the road for long at all. It’s also nice to see that a convertible conversion has survived up until now - the only way to make a mini leak more, these conversions were somewhat popular in the 90's, all but a few have disappeared, so sort of surprised this is still out there somewhere.
No details on the MOT, but it still has SORN. looks to have been off the road for a while though - a shame, since the Monte Carlo was pretty nice in terms of special edition Minis, and they only seems to turn up for sale occasionally
Scorned but off the road for a while. There’s a lot of late 80's City’s and City E’s left, and they aren’t worth much, so unless this car is in pretty great shape it doesn’t stand much chance of being used for much beyond spare parts.interestingly, this car has probably gone through at least 3 engines - it originally came with a 998cc 1.0 unit, which according to the ad was swapped at some point for a 1400, but the history check says it had a 1275cc engine instead.
Another car converted to a Convertible, which also seems to have not been off the road for too long. Probably not changed much from when it was sold either, other than condition.
These cars came up with something on the plate checker I used, but rather than being declared SORN, have instead been marked as untaxed. This usually means that a car’s been scrapped, broken for parts or written off in a accident and wasn’t worth repairing afterwards. So the chances any of these cars are still around is pretty low.
Off the road for a few years now. Even in great condition, automatic Minis aren’t in high demand as virtually everyone would rather have a manual. At some point, it was painted blue by the looks of things
Another one that got repainted Blue at some point. The photo makes this car look pretty nice. I wonder what happened to it between then and now that meant it was presumably bad enough to scrap it.
Untaxed and without MOT for a few years now. Coopers generally seem to have decent survival rates, so it’s a shame there’s probably nothing left of this one, especially since it looks in pretty great shape in the photo.
Another Cooper which has likely met it’s maker. Seems like this one was resprayed green at some point. Out of MOT and tax for a few years now.
Untaxed since the start of 2011 and no MOT details spell bad news for this car. Which is sort of a shame, since less Carb’d Coopers seem to have survived than injection models, and they were pretty nice cars too.
Very odd that this car survived for so long, then has been without an MOT and tax quite recently. Looks like a very nice car in the advert too, so it’s a pity. I’d love to know what happened to this one.
No MOT and untaxed for a few years now - no clue what happened, but there isn’t much chance that this car is still around.
i didn’t really know where to put this one, so it gets it’s own special category
At some point, this plate made its way onto a 2010 Golf TDI. I wish I could find out what happened to the mini, since it looks incredibly nice in the photo. Feel free to come up with some sort of relevant Dieselgate joke in the comments about this one.