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A Brief history of MINI

Few cars can have ever had the same impact as that of the Mini, in fact in a poll of the most influential cars of the twentieth century the Mini was beaten by only one other car, the Model T Ford. With a design brief influenced by necessity no one could have predicted how popular the Mini would go on to become.

1956 was a year that saw petrol rationing being reintroduced to Britain as a consequence of the Suez crisis, sales of larger cars slumped and as a result Alec Issigonis was given a design brief by Leonard Lord (the then head of the British Motor Corporation), to build a radical new car, the main requirements being that the whole car should be able to fit into a box measuring 10 feet x 4 feet x 4feet and that six feet of this box should be devoted to passenger occupation.

Without doubt the greatest innovation on the Mini was the fact that the engine was turned sideways, the gearbox was mounted beneath it in the oil sump and because of this it could be squeezed in to drive the front wheels, using far less space than any rivals at the time. Many hurdles had to be overcome to get this new radical design to work, but within two years Issigonis had a working prototype to show Leonard Lord.

Two years later, in the April of 1959, the Mini was demonstrated to the press and by August of the same year thousands of Mini's had been produced ready to go on sale to the general public. Although sales were modest to begin with, they soon picked up with over one million Mk I mini's being sold throughout the sixties, unbelievably the basic Mini never turned in a profit through this period because it was sold for less than it cost to produce, this may well have been to stay competitive, however it has also been rumoured that this was a mistake that can be traced back to the accounting department.

From those humble beginnings the Mini has had many variations and derivatives over the decades and has become the most popular british car in the world, all this was however to come to an end in 2000 with the collapse of MG Rover. Or was it, BMW now owned MG Rover and after the last Mini was built ownership of the Mini brand reverted back to BMW. Seeing how popular the Mini had been over the past four decades, BMW decided to design and build a brand new Mini. Reaction from the Mini purists is mixed, the public however have no misgivings and the new BMW MINI is proving to be just as popular as the old Mini.

 

 
 

New MINI Clubman  

New MINI Clubman
The latest addition to the MINI brand is the all new MINI Clubman. Everything you need for your next MINI adventure and room for the dog too.

  New MINI Cooper  
New MINI Cooper
Almost fifty years ago saw the launch of a car that would change the face the face of rallying, a car that had never been considered as a performance car
             
New MINI Cooper Convertible  
New MINI Cooper Convertible
All the fun of the MINI Cooper, but with a drop top for when the sun is shining, if everyone had a Cooper Convertible the world would be a better place
  New MINI Cooper S  
New MINI Cooper S
It's always difficult to reinvent the wheel, so how have BMW done with the reinvention of the MINI Cooper S. Well not to bad at all by the looks.
             
New MINI Cooper S Convertible  
New MINI Cooper S Convertible
Why don't they make a four-seater go-kart? Just think of the fun you could have with you and your mates. The good news is they do.
  New MINI One  
New MINI One
Some jobs are more difficult than others and when BMW decided to re launch the Mini they had one of the toughest jobs going and they did it. Fantastically.
             
New MINI One Convertible  
New MINI One Convertible
How much fun is it possible to have with your clothes on? Sit behind the wheel of a MINI One Convertible and the chances are you're about to find out.
  New MINI Countryman  
New MINI Countryman
With four doors and the option of ALL4 Drive, the MINI Countryman will try to tempt Golf drivers and the like into their own MINI adventure.
 

 

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