With fuel prices soaring, the owner of the Morris Company, Sir Leonard, requested that his top engineer, Mr. Alec Issigonis, to design a small car capable of carrying four adults, that would be fuel-efficient and priced for the masses. Issigonis designed the Mini with the engine sideways, and engineered the wheels into the far edges of the car, offering more passenger space in the cockpit. In 1959 the first Mini had its public debut. Its queer design had people a bit puzzled, yet soon, they realized that this new Mini was agile and quick, fuel-efficient, fun, fast, and inexpensive to operate. The new Mini symbolized freedom and blurred status lines between the rich, rockstars to hipsters, and race car drivers.
The improvements in modern automotive engineering Issigonis provided within the Mini delivers outstanding performance, handling corners like a dream with improved balance and traction to the road. Racing legend John Cooper got his hands on the Mini, improving the car by installing a bigger engine and brakes. This new little race car called the Classic Mini Cooper 997 became a serious contender right off the showroom floor-shaking up the wild world of racing. By 1969 over 2 million Mini's had been sold, and other body designs rolled off the factory showroom floor as trucks and station wagons. These Mini's tend to make people smile.
The Mini was voted "European Car of the Century" by a panel of 130 automotive journalists. By 1999 over 5 million Classic Mini's had been produced. The new Mini was just about to roll onto the market, and the last days of the Classic Mini were on their final countdown. This new Mini showed up much beefier yet still holding up to the public's standards, winning North American Car of the Year in 2003.
These new Minis offer the same excellent quality and features of their classic cousins, however, are updated with modern features and performance, keeping the Mini a contender in the racing world. Still offering excellent fuel economy, the Mini revolution proved to be still going strong, and the Mini family expanded into AWD, ALL4 models with extra seating, 4-door versions, and convertibles.
The Mini Cooper phenomenon is still going strong, with new models rolling out of production, including the Hardtop 2 Door, and the MINI Clubman. Mini is actively involved with beta programs for zero emissions and electric vehicle testing. We are excited to see what comes next in the Mini revolution.
Do you drive a Mini? Let us help you with preventive maintenance so you can get the most out of your new vehicle for as long as possible. We love partnering with our clients to maximize longevity and performance and to help keep you safe and off the side of the road. Stop by Brown Motor Works for all your auto maintenance and repair needs. Schedule an appointment today!