A Mini History

The Classic Austin Mini.

Read last weeks blog post here.

Produced by the British Motor Corporation (BMC) from 1959 to 2000, the Mini is a small economy car with huge iconic appeal – not just on the road but on the big screen as well. The Original Mini is certainly considered something of an icon. It had a space saving traverse engine front-wheel drive layout which made it very popular because it allowed for 80% of its floorplan to be used for passengers and luggage, something which influenced many other car manufacturers.

Image of the Austin Mini in white

Image Source Classic Car Mag

In 1999 the Mini was voted the second-most influential car of the twentieth century, ahead of the Citroen DS and the Volkswagen Beetle. The title went to the Ford Model T.

Mini Mark 1
The original Mini, launched in 1959, was marketed as the Austin Seven and the Morris Mini-Minor. It had sliding door glass and a “moustache” grille, and the engine had a range of capacities (initially 848cc, but later others were added).

Mini Mark 2
In 1967 the Mini received some minor modifications.

Mini Mark 3
In 1969 an updated version of the Mark 2 was launched. The Mark 3 had a modified bodyshell, larger doors and concealed hinges, sliding windows were replaced with winding ones. The manufacturers decided to replace the Austin and Morris brand names with just Mini.

Mini Mark 4
The Mark 4, 1976, saw the introduction of a front rubber mounted subframe to the car with tower bolts and larger bushes in the rear frame. The Mark 4 also had larger foot pedals, and from1977 the rear indicators had incorporated reverse lights.

Mini Mark 5
Retaining the same body shape as the Mark 4 this model, launched in 1984 introduced 210mm brake disks and plastic wheel arches.

Mini Mark 6
In 1990 the 998cc power units were discontinued in favour of the 1275cc power units, including an HIF carburettor version. Single point fuel injection was introduced in 1991 and internal bonnet releases in 1992.

Mini Mark 7
The final version of the iconic 2-door Mini was launched in 1996, this model had twin point injection and front-mounted radiators as well as driver’s side airbags.

Since 2001 the MINI has been produced by BMW at their plant in Oxford. Since they began production they have produced a variety of models including; Mini Convertible/Cabrio, Mini Clubman, Mini Convertible, Mini Countryman, Mini Coupe, Mini Roadster, Mini Paceman and their current model the Mini Hatch/Hardtop (3rd generation) launched in 2014.

The Iconic Little Car
Over the years, the Mini has spent some time on the big screen featuring in many films. The car made its screen debut in A Shot in the Dark and Inspector Clouseau movie. It has also appeared, perhaps most famously, in The Italian Job (both the original and the remake), The Bourne Identity, Mr Bean, The Austin Powers Movies and even the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour.

And finally, if you were wondering how many people can fit in a Mini, the answer is 27 in a classic model (18th May 2014) and 29 in a new model (5th September 2014), according to the Guinness Book of Records – although we can’t comment on how comfortable you’d be!

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