The Mini Cooper is one of the most recognizable British cars on the road today. It became an iconic British car due to its presence across several markets, including the entertainment and racing industries.
The Mini officially launched in 1959 and perfectly embodied the spirit of its time. “The unique combination of classic British style in a low-cost, small size, fun and nimble package came to symbolize independence and spontaneity. The very essence of the youthful 1960s culture,” writes miniusa.com
Mini was originally manufactured by the British Motor Corporation (BMC); it is now manufactured by BMW. The myriad companies that owned Mini (British Motor Corporation, British Motor Holdings, Leyland Motors, British Leyland, and Rover Group, to name the main ones) produced many different models of cars, including the Morris Mini-Minor, the Austin Seven, the Countryman, Moke, 1275GT, and the Clubman, writes bloomberg.com.
Race car builder John Cooper saw potential in the Mini. Some changes were made in the early 60s and an incredibly efficient racecar was built. The Mini Cooper S won the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964 through 1967. The Mini has also participated in the World Rally Championship since 2011 as part of the Prodrive WRC Team.
In 1969, the Mini was used in the original “Italian Job” film starring Michael Cain, giving the car yet another boost to its popularity. It’s because of this film that it became loved for its kart-like handling, passenger space, and efficiency.
Years later, this version of the Mini Cooper became the perfect car for the senseless but loveable television series and later movies of “Mr. Bean” where he drives his lime green Mini Cooper with the armchair strapped to the car’s roof.
Today, the Mini Cooper is available in three body types: a two-door convertible, a two-door hardtop, and a four-door hardtop. All but the four-door are offered in three models: Cooper, Cooper S, and John Cooper Works, and each of those is offered in three trim levels: Classic, Signature, and Iconic.
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