The Mini Car is and was a small vehicle that was manufactured by the BMC from 1959 until the acquisition of the BMC Company in 200, and has spawned two successors, one being the BMW Mini and the other being the Austin Metro. The vehicle saw many variations during its tenure of being manufactured, including a jeep-like vehicle called the Moke, a pickup truck, a van, and an estate car.

Mini car logo

The early Mini cars were rolled out in late 59 for press demonstrations and were named the Austin Nevens, however soon the names changed to the Morris and Austin 850’s in North America and France, followed by the Austin Partner and then Morris Maxot. Finally the name Mini was used, and from then on the car stuck with that name. Many of the first designs suffered from a less than desirable suspension, but those were soon changed for a new hydro-lastic system that brought a better right – however it bumped up production costs and weight.

During the 60s over a million were manufactured, and their popularity soared, along with a lot of great advertisements such as films using them, and many movie stars that added to their prestige. The Mini II soon followed, called the Mk II Mini from 67 to 69, however during those development years it never actually was released due to infighting. The final version of the mini lasted from 69 to 2000, and was their longest lived model called the Mini Cooper. Two people, John Cooper of Cooper Car, along with Issigonis designed a performance based Mini, which became the Mini Cooper, and was found to be very popular – and it even won races. Later they would be continuously upgraded until they reached fuel injection, and the company’s demise. Another of their models only lasted to the 80’s, well, 1980 to be exact, it was called the Clubman, and it was a performance mini as well, able to go from 0-60 in a very amazing 12.9 seconds.

Mini Car

These vehicles were also the first to use a circuit board behind the dash that used flexi print, and they were also the first to have run-flat tires. The final mainstay of the Mini was the very popular Mk III that lasted thirty years. It was the designated successor to the Mk I, however the Mk II might have taken a totally different path. The Mk III sold very well, and many special editions were made, and it became an English cultural icon – to which BMW took a liking. When Rover finally failed, BMQ took charge of the company and sold everything except the mini. Now the BMW Mini is being manufactured and produced in place of the originals.

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