MINI, a British automotive marque, was founded in 1969. Since then, many people fell in love with these small cars. Now MINI belongs to a German automotive company BMW, which produces high quality, luxury cars, and motorcycles.
It is the most popular British car ever made since its launch in 1959. Five hundred thousand of them have been sold in 1962. The millionth car was sold in 1965. After that, the brand MINI became the first British automotive marque that has reached that much of success.
For many years now, the MINI car brand is being recognized as not only extra stylish but also extremely fast and high-quality cars on the market. No matter the fact that the car was designed decades ago, it still remains popular among various people around the world. This car brand is incredibly successful mainly among those who love small cars with powerful engines.
When the Suez crisis happened in 1956, the head of a British Motor Corporation decided that people need a solution. As a result, he asked Alec Issigonis to design a small car that would be cost-effective, would not require a lot of gas but would remain stylish. Also, he wanted to make that car available to everyone. The fuel was especially expensive but people still wanted to have the ability to drive cars.
After some time, Alec Issigonis completed the task successfully and created a miniature cost-effective car. The first MINI was called the Mark 1 MINI. The official launch year was 1959. Though, it still took ten years for the MINI to become an official brand name. As soon as the car was introduced to the public, it became quite popular in various cities across the UK. What is more, even celebrities and people from other countries wanted to purchase it.
It is important to mention that some of the MINI models have participated in the Monte Carlo rally. Many people were quite surprised, but The MINI Cooper and Cooper S have been quite successful there. In 1964, 1965, and in 1967 racers with these MINI models became the winners of the rally.
After some time, BMW purchased the whole Rover group. They have decided to sell almost all the old models but to keep the MINI automotive marque. Now BMW is producing MINI’s with their engines. The cars are still quite popular across the world even though it is not being made in Great Britain anymore. Currently, BMW produces such models as the MINI Hatch, the MINI Paceman, the MINI Roadster, the MINI Convertible, the MINI Clubman, the MINI Coupe, the MINI John Cooper Works, and the MINI Electric Hybrid.
5 Incredible Facts About MINI
1. The original MINI design was drawn on a napkin
When the original idea came up to Alec Issigonis mind, he decided to draw it on a napkin, as he did not have a piece of paper close to him. He was eating at the moment when the idea of a miniature car popped up in his head. Later on, Alec Issigonis added some notes to the napkin and then gave the detailed plan to his colleague. His colleague has helped to turn the idea into reality.
2. The MINI was named as the second most influential car of the century
An organization called the Global Automotive Elections Foundation once upon a time gives the award to some automotive car models of the Car of the Century. Interestingly, MINI was given consideration for this award at the end of the 20th century. The competition was quite tough, as MINI was selected out of seven hundred other car models. It was decided that the Ford Model T would take the first place, and the MINI would take the second.
3. The highest price ever paid for a MINI at auction was 197 thousand dollars
The highest price ever paid for a MINI at auction was 197 thousand dollars, which was the winning bid for the original MINI that won Britain’s rack rally in 1965, and the Scottish rally in 1966. After resting for 30 years, the car was carefully restored to original condition. At the time of its sale, it only had 4825 miles on the odometer.
4. The most expensive MINI is inspired by Goodwood
The MINI inspired by Goodwood is the most expensive MINI model. MINI’s were originally designed to be so affordable that just about anyone could own one. Although their price had gone up over the years, they remained reasonably priced with almost all models having a base price of 30 thousand dollars or below. Even today, MINI is still one of the best value premium segment cars that you can get for a significantly low price.
Though, if you are looking for a more expensive or high-end model, you can check out the one inspired by Goodwood. Only one thousand of these 67 thousand dollar models were made in 2011 with the intent to combine MINI’s rally car heritage with the luxury of the Rolls Royce.
5. The MINI was one of Enzo Ferrari’s favorite cars
Surely, everyone knows who Enzo Ferrari was. His famous car brand Ferrari is recognized as one of the best car brands in the world. Besides, Enzo Ferrari was a really big fan of MINI Cooper car and fancied driving it to work. Alec Issigonis, the designer of the MINI Cooper car, has delivered the Austin MINI Cooper model to Enzo Ferrari personally.
Classic MINI’s– is it still possible to purchase one now?
The last classic MINI was bought by Kevin Spacey. Kevin Spacey loves the MINI so much that he paid 130 thousand dollars with a privilege to own the last classic MINI. He also got in a bidding war with Hugh Grant over another MINI Cooper that was auctioned off to raise money for Elton John’s charity. He ended up paying 125 thousand dollars for that car. The MINI’s are his preferred vehicles to drive around in, and he even named his dog Mini after the car.
Though, if you are truly in love with MINI’s and you wish to have one, your dream can come true. Various reseller websites sometimes have some classic Mini Cooper models. Keep an eye on them, and you will find a classic version of the British most popular car brand ever made for a reasonable price.