It feels a bit strange to be writing this. Dr O is our resident BL guru, a man who has been known to stroke strangers Maxis in supermarket carparks, but when I spotted this absolutely perfect Mini Cooper recently I realised I really, really want one. And then, the problem. Nostalgia.

I remember when even the best late built Coopers were £1500 or so, and you could pick up perfectly good older models for much less. I was broke back then, admittedly, and am not much better off now but, like fellow MotorPunks, am not averse to throwing a few quid at a great car like this. But nostalgia is the killer: I can’t get my head around the fact that a good Cooper like this is now nearly £10k. Why is it so much? Because it has that rare mix of motorsport pedigree, interesting heritage, cheap running costs, cute styling and they are uniquely entertaining to drive. And, above all, it’s £10k simply because people will pay £10k. You can justify it, I suppose, by knowing that prices are on the rise.  Your £10k Mini will be a £15k Mini soon enough, but you still have to find that £10k in the first place in order to invest. And to buy for investment purposes, to us, sort of misses the point.

Yes, Minis rot. We know that. But when you’ve paid £10k you won’t want to devalue it. So it lives in the garage, under a sheet, and the thought of that subframe getting even slightly moist gives you sleepless nights. You get precious: Is that a rust blister under the windscreen? Please, don’t lean on that wing. And then the true enjoyment of ownership, that of carefree boinging along like Paddy Hopkirk, is gone. There are cheaper ones, but they so easily becomes lumps of ferrous oxide on the driveway (see Dr O’s own front-lawn mausoleum to British Leyland, for example) but the Cooper is the one to have. It’s the icon. The Mini Cooper, like this beauty, would be a great car to invest in, but it would not be a great car to own. So, on that basis, we’re off to find a Metro GTi.

Mini Cooper as an investment (7)

With thanks to whoever owns this car, snapped in the street. We love it. 

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