The History of Mini Cooper

The Mini Cooper has gone way beyond its racing roots and is now an icon for an entire generation. This ex-racing car will forever be linked with the 60s and icons like Prince Harry and John Lennon. The vehicle also had a very important part to play in the relaunching of the brand. Many versions of the Cooper brand have followed with success such as the Mini Hatch.


The history of this amazing car couldn’t be told without mentioning the collaboration between two of the key design and development players, BMC (British Motor Company) and Cooper Car Company.

The first Mini was created in the 50s by BMC in collaboration with Sir Alex Issigonis. It was supposed to be the car which answered the problem of fuel shortage. It was also more efficient and meant for city driving. It had two doors, 4 cylinders, and a monocoque shell that supported most of the weight.

Mark 1

The 1st version was Mark I and was linked with all BMC’s other brands like Austin and Morris Minor. The first car was launched in 1959 and its popularity grew to the point where it had a unique fan following. The Mark II saw a new grille being added into the equation.

The car had a cult following throughout the 60s, but suffered setbacks in the 70s and 80s after being picked up by Italian and Spanish companies. Instead of innovating with the design, the new owners reduced simple variations of the iconic design. This moved the car into the novelty market.

The 90s

In the 90s the car moved to BMW, and the car was relaunched in 2000. It has been on the up and up ever since. Some notable changes include using a diesel engine from Toyota and introducing a hatchback and convertible version of the car.

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