An article covering the history and specifications of the Mini Cooper.
The Mini Cooper was designed in the 1960s by Mini’s founder, Sir Alec Issigonis, a friend of John Cooper. Cooper owned his own car manufacturing firm under the name ‘Cooper Car Company’ that focused on the production of Formula One and rally cars. At first Issigonis was unsure of the potential of the Mini Cooper as a performance vehicle. However, Cooper continued to argue his case with the BMC management and Issigonis was swayed. The first model was released onto the commercial market in 1961 and has since become one of the motoring world’s biggest cult icons. Famous Mini Cooper owners include John Lennon, George Best, Prince Harry and Kate Moss.
The original Mini Cooper featured a Morris Mini-Minor 997 cc racing tuned engine, front disc brakes, twin SU carburettors and a closer-ratio gearbox. These versions were originally intended to meet the regulations of Group 2 rally racing. In 1963 a more powerful variation of the Mini Cooper was released under the name Mini Cooper S. This featured a 1071 cc engine and a nitrided steel crankshaft. Two of these models were created specifically for circuit racing in the under 1300 cc class rating. The Mini Cooper S went on to gain Mini critical acclaim and success at the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964, 1965 and 1967.
The Mini Cooper is still a favourite amongst customers with variations such as a hatchback, estate and even a convertible version available on the market. Recently, Mini released the Mini Cooper Countryman to critical and commercial success.