Mini Cooper: Exclusive limited edition model sells for £50k in aid of Sussex charity

An exclusive limited edition model of the Mini Cooper has been sold for a 'staggering' £50,000, to help raise funds for children impacted by the pandemic.

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Mini Cooper, Charlie Cooper, 41, grandson of the iconic car's creator — the late John Cooper CBE from Clapham in West Sussexdonated the vehicle.

Barons Classic Car Auctions partnered with Charlie and Sussex charity, The Italian Job, to auction the 'rare and unique' example of the limited-edition Mini.

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Described as a 'staggering' amount, the John Cooper Anniversary Edition JCW MINI sold over the bank holiday weekend for £50,000.

Buttle UK CEO Joseph Howes, The Italian Job's Freddie St George and Mike Cooper, John Cooper's son

This means the Italian Job Charity Rally has now raised well more than £3million for children’s charities since it started back in 1990.

Freddie St George. from Steyning, co-founded the Mini trip — known as The Italian Job — with his 86-year-old Italian mother Guilia. He became an MBE in 2021.

He said: "We of course all hoped it would sell well at auction, but none of us dared dream it would sell for such an incredible amount.

"But sell it did for £50,000 and in so doing, will make a huge difference to the incredible work that Buttle UK does helping families in crisis across the UK.

The Cooper family, including John Cooper himself, has supported The Italian Job's charity fundraising for more than 30 years.

"The Italian Job is now on its way to raising its fourth million and we hope MINI owners will join us in Italy in October as the event returns to Italy for the first time in three years.

"I can’t thank Charlie Cooper and his family for their incredible generosity in donating this special car."

The Cooper family, including John Cooper himself, has supported The Italian Job's charity fundraising for more than 30 years.

This Limited Edition MINI — one of only 740 models worldwide and only 60 in the UK — was donated to the Italian Job by Charlie Cooper to mark the 60th anniversary of the Mini Cooper, which his grandfather created.

CEO of Buttle UK, Joseph Howes, who addressed the crowd before the auction, said: “This could not have come at a more critical time."

Charlie said: “Through Freddie and Giulia’s incredible hard work the Italian Job charity has achieved so much.

"My grandfather loved the work of the Italian Job, so what better way to celebrate 60 years of the Mini Cooper than auctioning off our car with the number plate W9 RKS for the charity."

Have you read?: History of the Mini Cooper and its founder from Sussex - a 'motoring giant' who worked with Jackie Stewart and Jack BrabhamProceeds from the sale will be distributed by the grant giving charity Buttle UK to give struggling families and their children a chance in live.

CEO of Buttle UK, Joseph Howes, who addressed the crowd before the auction, said: “This could not have come at a more critical time.

"After two years of the pandemic, the most vulnerable families in the UK are now struggling with huge price rises.

"We know that demand for our Chances for Children grants will continue to grow, and so these funds will make such a difference.

"We are hugely grateful to Charlie and Mike Cooper for donating the MINI, and to Freddie and the Italian Job for bringing all this together."

The MINI auction has been described as 'particularly poignant' as it was the last one that Barons Classic Car Auction will hold at Sandown Racecourse.

The Italian Job motoring experience is returning to Italy this October and organisers have announced that the new dates for the 2022 event are: start in Imola on October 11 and finish in Turin on October 20.

A spokesperson said: "This year things will be slightly different with a more leisurely drive across Italy and less ‘time keeping’ pressures; it will still be a unique driving experience on some of Italy’s most scenic roads, visiting places that are not usually found on sightseeing itineraries and with more of an emphasis on the Italian gastronomic delights.

"Registration for the unforgettable driving adventure through some of Europe’s most stunning scenery is now open and anyone wanting to learn more should go to: www.italianjob.com."