Recently, an old friend was lamenting his thrift. He owns a Mini Cooper S, which he bought in 2006, and was beating himself up over not splurging for the GP Kit model, which was available that year in limited numbers.
“It was $31,000 or something like that,” he said (actually, it was $31,150). “The S that I got was around $23,000. Now people are selling the GP for around $41,000.”
Everything is limited edition these days, including the Uniqlo T-shirt I wore the other day. When carmakers label something as limited edition, it typically means they’ve added leather and slapped on some chrome badging to spark sales in the middle of a model cycle. For example, you don’t see Ford Mustang Bullitt editions going for anywhere near the $31,075 sticker on eBay (and this is a brand new car).
Could the Mini Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit (its official name) be different? It was a purpose-built racer that came with a better suspension and brakes. Engine modifications bumped power to 218 horsepower. There were no rear seats (for weight reduction). Production was limited to 2,000, and 415 were allotted to the United States.
In two years, the GP Kit, according to my friend, had become a collector’s item. “People bought them and stored them in their garage,” he said.
Really? An instant collectible? I brought this up to Vincent Kung, a Mini product spokesman, who wrote back, “The GP, yes, has been selling for more than sticker. I saw a used former press car for sale at a local dealer at $36,000.”
Press cars, for the uninitiated, are new models that carmakers loan to journalists, typically a week at a time, for review purposes, at which time they’re used and abused. A former press car selling for $3,000 over original sticker is either optimistic or highway robbery.
Or could it be fair value for a GP Kit? I had to see for myself. After spending too long on eBay, Craigslist and AutoTrader, I didn’t find any cars in the $40,000 range, but I did find three for around $30,000:
• This one had 13,852 miles and was going for $30,900.
• This one had 8,754 miles and was going for $29,950.
• This one had 24,167 miles and was going for $28,995.
If those sell at those prices, that’s a pretty sweet resale value.
Any Mini fans know more about this?
April 29, 2008, 1:24 pm