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The Mini is a small car that was produced by the British Motor Corporation (BMC) and its successors from 1959 until 2000. The original is considered an icon of the 1960s, and its space-saving front-wheel-drive layout (that allowed 80% of the area of the car’s floor pan to be used for passengers and luggage) influenced a generation of car-makers.

A new dimension in roominess: a combination of ingenious design and clever engineering ensured that the Mini and MINI alike have always possessed an uncanny ability to create space on the inside while saving space on the outside.

The revolutionary new design in the 1950s set the ball rolling, and it’s blazed a trail ever since: The Mini has been meeting and beating new challenges for decades – and will undoubtedly continue to do so for decades to come in the guise of the MINI.

Whether on or off the road, the Mini has always proved to be a veritable bundle of energy. A combination of imitable go-kart feeling and stamina have helped to secure countless rallying successes – and tons of driving fun.

The striking look of the Mini has seen it at the centre of some pretty high profile attention over the years. Top designers, advertisers, media personalities, press photographers, TV programmes, films and even The Beatles have all sought out the Mini as a companion on a number of occasions.

The Mini Cooper S is one of the best examples of a car that respects the Mini Cooper tradition without losing the trademark attitude that drivers are used to having. Rent a Mini Cooper S to see how the Automatic Stability Control and the Traction Control features work together for a seamless driving experience. Ultimately through your Mini Hire London experience, you can be at the helm of one of the most exhilarating driving experiences of your life.

 

 

Over the years, MINI has changed. However, the foundation of this small car, its character traits, has remained unchanged, from its inception in the 1950’s until today. Be it old Mini or the present day MINI, peoples just can’t stop falling for it.

Starting as it meant to go on: an out-of-the-ordinary air surrounded the Mini even before it had hit the streets. The design, the original idea, the lead-up smacked of unconventionality and the automobile public smacked their lips in anticipation.

This called for a revolution in car design. So they put all their vast resources into this project to transform the blueprints of a typical family car. The aim was to turn it into something smaller outside – and bigger inside.
Alec Issigonis, the brilliant designer, faced the task of producing a car with a better ratio of interior space to overall dimensions than had ever been attempted before. He and his team aimed at nothing short of the incredible: parking four passengers roomily in a tough, pacey car.

Just seven months after his boss, Leonard Lord, had given the go ahead, Alec Issigonis had two Mini prototypes up and running. And by July 1958, he was ready to invite Lord for a ride.

After a terrifying and speedy test ride he was so impressed he got out of the car and said ‘Go and make it’.

By June 1959, around a hundred cars a week were rolling off the assembly lines in preparation for an August debut. And the rest, as they say, is history and the MINI is now a firm favourite and much loved classic.

John Cooper
Issigonis' friend John Cooper, owner of the Cooper Car Company and designer and builder of Formula One and rally cars, saw the potential of the Mini for competition. Issigonis was initially reluctant to see the Mini in the role of a performance car, but after John Cooper appealed to BMC management, the two men collaborated to create the Mini Cooper, a nimble, economical and inexpensive car. The Austin Mini Cooper and Morris Mini Cooper debuted in 1961.

The Cooper Car Company was founded in 1946 by Charles Cooper and his son John Cooper. Together with John's boyhood friend, Eric Brandon, they began by building racing cars in Charles' small garage in Surbiton, Surrey, England in 1946. Through the 1950s and early 1960s, they reached auto racing's highest levels as their rear-engined, single-seat cars altered the face of Formula One and the Indianapolis 500, and their Mini Cooper dominated Rally racing. Thanks in part to Cooper's legacy, Britain remains the home of a thriving racing industry, and the Cooper name lives on in the Cooper versions of the Mini  production cars that are still built in England but are now owned and marketed by BMW.

 

 

The Mini has long been a cultural icon and has been featured in many high profile movies.

The Italian Job (1969)
This film features 3 Mark I Austin Mini Cooper S cars which are used in a gold bullion robbery. Featuring Micheal Caine.

Goodbye Pork Pie (1981)
Here a yellow Mini 1000 is used to travel the length of New Zealand. With Tony Barry, Kelly Johnson, Claire Oberman.

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)
Here the Mini is featured as a collectible fashion icon garaged alongside other classic sports cars. With Angelina Jolie, Jon Voight, Iain Glen.

The Bourne Identity (2002)
Here, the car is feautred as a beat-up but surprisingly capable vehicle for a car chase. With Matt Damon, Franka Potente, Chris Cooper.

The Italian Job (2003)
Thieves plan to pull off the heist of their lives by creating Los Angeles' largest ever traffic jam. With Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Donald Sutherland.

It has also featured in television shows such as Mr. Bean and (as the Mini Moke) in The Prisoner and Butterflies, a situation comedy written by Carla Lane broadcast on BBC2 from 1978 to 1983.

 

In the 1960s and 1970s, the Mini became a veritable "fashion statement". Many celebrities of that era drove Minis that had been customised by famous British coachbuilders. Examples include:

Peter Sellers' wicker side-panelled Mini built by Hooper (the Rolls-Royce coachbuilder) which appeared in his movie A Shot in the Dark. Ringo Starr's hatchback designed by Radford, who also built a Mini de Ville for Britt Ekland, Peter Sellers' wife, with a special rear estate wagon door. Radford also built Mini de Villes for John Lennon, Marianne Faithfull and a psychedelic version that appeared in the Beatles movie Magical Mystery Tour owned by George Harrison who maintained it through the years and had it restored, including the art, prior to making an appearance with it at Goodwood as late as June 1998.

Marianne Faithfull drove her duo-tone de Ville to the Law Courts to hear Mick Jagger's appeal of his drug conviction in 1967. The same year John Lennon drove his de Ville hatchback to Apple studios after hearing of Brian Epstein's death. At around the same time, Radford also extensively customised a 1275 Mini-Cooper S for Monkee Michael Nesmith which gave dramatically improved performance combined with luxury and silence. Coachbuilders Wood & Pickett also made special versions called the Margrave and Margrave SE, sold by Mayfair dealerships in mod London and elsewhere. Marc Bolan famously died when the Mini Clubman GT1275 in which he was a passenger hit a Tree in Barnes, London on the 16th September 1977. The site is now Officially Recognised by the English Tourist Board as Bolan's Rock Shrine.

In the 1980s a very exclusive mini was available with only 3 being made. This was the BAC-M30 mini. The BAC-M30 featured a 1380 avonbar modified engine, was fitted with Recaro seats and a custom dashboard, one was most noticeably owned by Bernie Ecclestone and recently auctioned off.

 



 Beatles movie Magical Mystery Tour Mini