Mini – generations of sensation
If ever there was a car that has become iconic, it is the quintessentially British Mini. Practical and cute, they have been a welcome presence on UK roads since the prototype was commissioned in 1957 by BMC, based on the 1948 Morris Minor. Within seven months, two prototypes were ready and it went into production in 1958. By June 1959, 100 cars a week were rolling off the production line.
With saloon and baby van body shapes, especially the classic Clubman with the two barn doors at the back, adorable round headlights and the distinctive dashboard with the large speedometer in the middle, it was a car that captured the British public’s imagination and became a popular car in the swinging 60s. Popular culture has also helped with Mini’s cult status with the classic car chase scene in The Italian Job as well as it being the car of choice for comedy’s bumbling nerd, Mr Bean.
In 1997, the revival of the modern Mini began with a prototype that had a few more bells and whistles than the original cars but a design that stayed true to the cute curves that made it such a much-loved car. The new generation of Minis, now owned by the BMW group, are not the same budget-busting babies of the 60s but with such cars as John Cooper editions reflecting on Mini’s motorsport heritage as well as a new Clubman with barn doors intact, the classy Countryman and a hatch and convertible, a new generation of fans is here.