MINI HERITAGE.

HERE’S OUR STORY.

Our story begins in 1923 in Surrey, England, where a boy named John Cooper was born. John often spent time working at his father’s garage and together they built one-off, single-seat rally racers called “Specials”.

With their limited resources in post-war England, and against the automotive fashion of the time (which tended to favour massive cars), the Coopers commissioned Sir Alec Issigonis to produce a compact vehicle that would be “for the people!” using John Cooper’s rear-engine chassis design to save on space. At the first dinner meeting, Issigonis sketched his ideas on a napkin (That’s right – the first Mini was designed on a napkin, over a dish of Bangers and Mash!). Unbeknownst to them, their new design would become a game changer in the motorsports world. The car drove beautifully; it was fast, agile, compact, and best of all, affordable.

The rest, one could say, is history. But before you dismiss this David and Goliath story, consider this: John Cooper’s Mini would place first in countless prolific races, including the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964, 1965, and 1967, against some of the biggest car manufacturers of the time. And that’s before going on to achieve a revered status around the world – with legions of devoted fans, millions of models on the road, and one European Car of the Century title.

Here’s the short story of how MINI grew from its humble beginnings in Longbridge, England to become one of the most iconic vehicles in the world.

1959

"621 AOK" is the first Mini off the production line to be badged Morris. It was never sold, and is now kept at the Heritage Motor Centre, in Gaydon, UK.

1961

Once a racer, always a racer: Firmly set on the idea of producing a Mini for competition purposes, racing car designer John Cooper made tentative approaches to Issigonis, selling the idea of a high-performance variation of the Mini. However, Sir Alec Issigonis still harboured a dream that his Mini was a car for every man: "These cars are not designed for competition use, they are a people's car." And Cooper was persistent. He chose to undermine Issigonis and opted for the assistance of George Harriman, who commissioned Cooper to make 1,000 Mini vehicles, with a two-pound royalty payment on each one sold. Eventually, 150,000 Mini Coopers were made.

1963

The first Mini Convertible is produced by Crayford Engineering in Westerham, England.

1970

In October of 1969, British Leyland revamped the design of the Mini with the Mini Clubman. Its newly designed radiator grille (with its own Clubman logo) spanned the entire width of the front of the car and was flanked by chrome-surround headlights. The Mini Clubman was designed to project a safer, more "grown-up" look. And it had actually grown: at 3.17 metres, the Mini Clubman was roughly 12 cm longer than its predecessor. Changes had also occurred on the inside. The dashboard of the Mini Clubman saw the centrally positioned speedometer replaced by two round instruments directly behind the steering wheel – and thus directly in front of the driver.

1975

1977

In addition to the saloon version, the Clubman Estate was also produced, replacing...

1999

With over 5 million Classic Minis on the road, a panel of 130 international automotive journalists vote Mini “European Car of the Century”. For the international title, MINI places second, surpassed only by the Ford Model T.

2001

Accompanied by the launch slogan, "Is it love?", the 1st generation MINI Cooper hit the streets. Wide-eyed and peerless, its clamshell bonnet and chrome-surround headlamps imparted a flashback to the original Mini "eyes", only this time with a slanting, raked-back design. Originally stemming from John Cooper's desire to make the Mini Cooper stand out even more on the racetrack, the contrasting roof with matching mirror caps went from Mini to MINI without sacrificing the distinct integrity of the design.

The car that you never grow out of had clearly grown up – and that...

2002

The 1st generation MINI Cooper S sizzled onto the streets to complete the...

"A decade for Life, a decade against AIDS." Life Ball MINI with VIP signatures.

2012

The MINI Baker Street is stylish, bold, and not afraid of a little extravagance...

40,000 MINI vehicles sold in Canada.

MINI HERITAGE.

HERE’S OUR STORY.

Our story begins in 1923 in Surrey, England, where a boy named John Cooper was born. John often spent time working at his father’s garage and together they built one-off, single-seat rally racers called “Specials”.

With their limited resources in post-war England, and against the automotive fashion of the time (which tended to favour massive cars), the Coopers commissioned Sir Alec Issigonis to produce a compact vehicle that would be “for the people!” using John Cooper’s rear-engine chassis design to save on space. At the first dinner meeting, Issigonis sketched his ideas on a napkin (That’s right – the first Mini was designed on a napkin, over a dish of Bangers and Mash!). Unbeknownst to them, their new design would become a game changer in the motorsports world. The car drove beautifully; it was fast, agile, compact, and best of all, affordable.

The rest, one could say, is history. But before you dismiss this David and Goliath story, consider this: John Cooper’s Mini would place first in countless prolific races, including the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964, 1965, and 1967, against some of the biggest car manufacturers of the time. And that’s before going on to achieve a revered status around the world – with legions of devoted fans, millions of models on the road, and one European Car of the Century title.

Here’s the short story of how MINI grew from its humble beginnings in Longbridge, England to become one of the most iconic vehicles in the world.

1959

"621 AOK" is the first Mini off the production line to be badged Morris. It was never sold, and is now kept at the Heritage Motor Centre, in Gaydon, UK.

1959

Mk I (1959-67)

1960

1961

Once a racer, always a racer: Firmly set on the idea of producing a Mini for competition purposes, racing car designer John Cooper made tentative approaches to Issigonis, selling the idea of a high-performance variation of the Mini. However, Sir Alec Issigonis still harboured a dream that his Mini was a car for every man: "These cars are not designed for competition use, they are a people's car." And Cooper was persistent. He chose to undermine Issigonis and opted for the assistance of George Harriman, who commissioned Cooper to make 1,000 Mini vehicles, with a two-pound royalty payment on each one sold. Eventually, 150,000 Mini Coopers were made.

1963

The first Mini Convertible is produced by Crayford Engineering in Westerham, England.

1967

1969

1970

In October of 1969, British Leyland revamped the design of the Mini with the Mini Clubman. Its newly designed radiator grille (with its own Clubman logo) spanned the entire width of the front of the car and was flanked by chrome-surround headlights. The Mini Clubman was designed to project a safer, more "grown-up" look. And it had actually grown: at 3.17 metres, the Mini Clubman was roughly 12 cm longer than its predecessor. Changes had also occurred on the inside. The dashboard of the Mini Clubman saw the centrally positioned speedometer replaced by two round instruments directly behind the steering wheel – and thus directly in front of the driver.

1970

Mini Cooper S – Mk III (1970-71)

1977

1977

Mini 850 – Mk IV

1990

1990

Mini Cooper 1.3 – Mk IV (1990-91)

1991

1991

Mini Cabriolet

1993

1993

Mini Cabriolet – Mk IV

1996

1996

Mini Cooper 1.3L – Mk VII (1996-2000)

1998

DESIGNER EDITIONS.

1998

Designer – Kate Moss

1998

Designer – Paul Smith

1998

Designer – Time Machine

1998

Designer – Natasha Caine

1999

With over 5 million Classic Minis on the road, a panel of 130 international automotive journalists vote Mini “European Car of the Century”. For the international title, MINI places second, surpassed only by the Ford Model T.

1999

European Car of the Century

2001

Accompanied by the launch slogan, "Is it love?", the 1st generation MINI Cooper hit the streets. Wide-eyed and peerless, its clamshell bonnet and chrome-surround headlamps imparted a flashback to the original Mini "eyes", only this time with a slanting, raked-back design. Originally stemming from John Cooper's desire to make the Mini Cooper stand out even more on the racetrack, the contrasting roof with matching mirror caps went from Mini to MINI without sacrificing the distinct integrity of the design.

2001

MINI Cooper

2001

Flokati MINI

2003

2003

MINI One D – 1st generation model

2003

Missoni MINI

2005

2005

MINI Cooper S Cabrio

2005

MINI Cooper Park Lane

2005

MINI Cooper Seven

2005

Versace MINI

2005

MINI Concept Frankfurt

2005

MINI Concept Tokyo

2006

2006

MINI Cooper S with MINI John Cooper Works

2007

2007

MINI Cooper D

2008

2008

MINI John Cooper Works Challenge

2009

2009

MINI One Clubman

2010

2010

MINI Calvin Klein Collection

2010

MINI Countryman

2011

2011

MINI Cooper SD

2011

MINI Coupé and MINI Roadster launch

2013

2013

Bond Street

2013

MINI Paceman

2013

MINI JCW GP 2

2013

MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4

2014

2014

MINI 3 Door

2014

MINI Paceman Adventure

2014

MINI Superleggera Vision

2014

MINI Countryman – Model Refresh

2014

MINI Paceman – Model Refresh

2014

MINI Cooper S James Hunt Special Edition

2015

2015

MINI 5 Door

2015

MINI Countryman Park Lane Edition

2016

2016

The New MINI Clubman

2016

The New MINI Convertible

2016

MINI Seven Edition

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