Mini was founded in many ways to fill a void. In the late 1950s and early 1960s the UK was subject to stringent fuel rationing standards and rising fuel prices created a need for fuel conscious vehicles. The result was the foundation of the Mini by the British Motor Corporation, despite this, the name Mini didn’t appear until 1961.
The Mini proved to be an elegant urban choice, despite its severe lack of horsepower. Then, in 1961, the famed race car builder John Cooper put his own spin on the mini – the result was a compact fireball of a car with agile handling and raw power. It was called the Mini Cooper S. The vehicle proved to be dependable, quick, and easy to modify – and with some modifications the Mini Cooper S was the winning vehicle in the Monte Carlo Rally from 1964 through 1967.
In 1962 Mini began selling their vehicles on American soil. Several variations of the Mini were made and the car became an iconic symbol of the 1960s, appearing in several films. However, this was short lived as Mini was pulled from the American market in the face of stringent emissions regulations and was removed from US soil in 1968.
Mini remained popular throughout the 70s and 80s, selling millions of vehicles throughout Europe. In 1994 BMW purchased the Mini brand. Then, in 2002, Mini introduced the redesigned Mini Cooper to American buyers. The new Mini featured front wheel drive and BMW’s high standards for performance and construction.
Today Mini offers twelve different models of the Mini – including the ever popular Cooper, a roaster, coupe, hatchback, and even a SUV hybrid called the Countryman. And through it all, Mini remains as fun to dive as ever.