The History of Mini

MINI is a British brand that produces small cars. It belongs to BMW AG concern. The history of the brand begins in the mid-50s, when the head of the Austin Motor Company, Leonard Lord completed its merger with Morris Motors. As a result, the British Motor Corporation was formed. The chief designer of the new car manufacturer was Alec Issigonis who was given the task of creating a new range of models to meet the different needs of the population. The first three models were to be named Maxi, Midi and Mini.

In the midst of work on the project, the Suez crisis occurred, leading to a shortage of gasoline in Britain. Fuel was sold by card, and, predictably, customers were looking for fuel-efficient cars. The market was flooded with ugly German sidecars, which irritated the Lord terribly. He vowed to rid the country's streets of this invasion by replacing them with 'the correct miniature automobile'.

The period of the '70s and '80s passed relatively quietly for the brand. Success for small cars did not fall, but on the contrary, the fuel crisis intensified. In 1986, the company released its five-millionth Mini. True, in the 1980s, the brand said goodbye to such models as Estate, Clubman, Van, Pick-Up and GT. In 1986, British Leyland was renamed the Rover Group. In 1990, the Cooper returns, now equipped with a 1.3-liter power unit. In 1991, the last classic Mini appears, the only representative of the brand produced in Germany. It was the Mini Convertible, produced for three years. A total of 1,000 copies of the model were made.

In 1994, control of Rover Group goes to BMW. This meant the end of production of the classic Mini and the transition to a new name (MINI) and an updated version of the lineup. Frank Stephenson was at the origin of the formation of the modern cars of the brand, who did a glorious job of redesigning MINI cars while retaining their recognizable style. When he presented one of the car prototypes to a special commission, he saw at the last moment that the full-size car model, made of clay, was not equipped with an exhaust pipe. So Stephenson took a beer can, peeled off the paint, cut off the top and placed it where the exhaust system spigot should be. The car was approved, and it went into production with an exhaust pipe that was exactly the same shape as a beer can. In 1997, at the Frankfurt Motor Show, BMW presented the Cooper concept. It was oversized, but did not change its winning style in appearance and handling.

In November 2000, the production version of the MINI Cooper debuted with a 115-horsepower four-cylinder engine, front-wheel drive and short body overhangs. In addition, the base model One with a 90-horsepower engine was presented.

Until 2004, the model lineup already included a forced version of the Cooper S and the diesel One D. In 2004, the MINI Convertible came out. In 2006, the second generation MINI, with more powerful and economical engines, began to appear on the market. The Cooper came with a 120-horsepower engine, and its S-modification received a 175-horsepower engine. Then came the Clubman. The Countryman is larger than the Clubman. It is equipped with 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with 121 hp. The turbocharged version produces 184 hp.

John Cooper Works versions cause unequivocal delight of the public. The lineup includes three modifications, including a convertible top. Under the hood is located 211-horsepower engine, which allows the car to accelerate up to 238 km/h.

In Russia, the cars of the brand appeared as soon as they started selling mass versions of modern models. As elsewhere in the world, new models in our country were very warmly received. In 1999 Mini has been recognized as the second most influential car of XX century after Ford Model T and before Citro├źn DS and Volkswagen Beetle.

In 2009, the brand celebrated its 50th anniversary in a big way. On May 17, 1,450 of the brand's cars gathered in the Crystal Palace. In addition, a week later, an anniversary party was organized with 25,000 people in attendance, where 10,000 examples of the brand's different production years were assembled. Do not forget to use Mini VIN decoder in order to avoid potential problems when buying a used car.

VIN Examples