Long before the modern Mini were the Morris Mini-Minor and Austin Seven.
Donuts Media’s latest video highlights the history of the legendary British manufacturer Mini, described as “the most iconic British car of all time” by the YouTube channel. It’s the car the literally revolutionized the segment of affordable cars with its clever packaging and amazing road behavior.
It all started back in 1959, when the car debuted as the Morris Mini-Minor and Austin Seven – it was not only the perfect ride for cities, but it was also fun to drive and offered enough room for up to four grown people and their baggage. Soon, the first motorsport attempt came in the form of a rally Monte Carlo participation, which ended with a crash shortly before the finish.
It was the time when legendary English racer John Cooper saw the potential of the small FWD car. He tuned the Mini to produce 70 horsepower (52 kilowatts) and upgraded the chassis and brakes. The result was the Mini Cooper S, which returned to the Monte Carlo rally in 1964 and recorded a number of triumphs in the next couple of years. This inspired a wave of people to race Minis in different categories against various other sports cars around the world.
Meanwhile, the automaker experimented with some interesting variants based on the Mini, like the Mini Van (not the minivan) – a vehicle like any other panel van the era, but, you know, Mini. The Mini wagon and pickup followed, and even the Mini Moke – an offroad version, developed for military use.
But arguably the coolest Mini version was the ERA – a wide-body, turbocharged pocket-rocket with 100 hp (74 kW) and a top speed of 115 miles per hour (185 kilometers per hour), released in 1989. It was built by English Racing Automobiles, a company focused in creating race cars in the 1930s.
The modern history of the marque started in 1994, when BMW bought it and started designing a brand new car. The last classic Mini was manufactured in 2000, when it was replaced by its unmistakable successor. The Bavarian company also revived the Cooper S versions, which received a supercharged 1.6-liter engine in its first new generation.
Source: Donut Media on YouTube