50 Facts About Mini


Mini is a small, two-door, four-seat car, developed as ADO15, and produced by the British Motor Corporation and its successors, from 1959 through 2000.

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Original Mini is considered an icon of 1960s British popular culture.

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In 1999, the Mini was voted the second-most influential car of the 20th century, behind the Ford Model T, and ahead of the Citroen DS and Volkswagen Beetle.

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The front-wheel-drive, transverse-engine layout of the Mini was copied for other "supermini" designs including the Honda N360, Nissan Cherry, and Fiat 127 .

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Italian version of the Mini which was sold under the Innocenti marque was produced in Lambrate, a district of Milan.

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In 1966, the first-placed Mini was disqualified after the finish, under a controversial decision that the car's headlights were against the rules.

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On its introduction in August 1959, the Mini was marketed under the Austin and Morris names, as the Austin Seven and Morris Mini-Minor.

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Retrospectively, the car is known as the "Classic Mini" to distinguish it from the modern, BMW influenced MINI family of vehicles produced since 2000.

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Mini came about because of a fuel shortage caused by the 1956 Suez Crisis.

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The system intended for the Mini was further developed and the hydrolastic system was first used on the Morris 1100, launched in 1962; the Mini gained the system later in 1964.

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Mini was designed as a monocoque shell with welded seams visible on the outside of the car running down the A and C pillars, and between the body and the floor pan.

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Production version of the Mini was demonstrated to the press in April 1959, and by August, several thousand cars had been produced ready for the first sales.

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The Mini was officially announced to the public on 26 August 1959.

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Mini was marketed under BMC's two main brand names, Austin and Morris, until 1969, when it became a marque in its own right.

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Ford purchased a Mini and dismantled it to see if they could offer an alternative.

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Mini entered into popular culture in the 1960s with well-publicised purchases by film and music stars.

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Mark II Mini was launched at the 1967 British Motor Show, and featured a redesigned grille, a larger rear window and numerous cosmetic changes.

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Variety of Mini types were made in Pamplona, Spain, by the Authi company from 1968 onwards, mostly under the Morris name.

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Mark III Mini had a modified bodyshell with enough alterations to see the factory code change from ADO15 to ADO20 .

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In 1969, the simple name Mini completely replaced the separate Austin and Morris brands.

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Mini was still popular in the UK, but appeared increasingly outdated in the face of newer and more practical rivals.

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Since the late 1960s, plans had been in place for a newer and more practical supermini to replace it, though the Mini was still the only car of this size built by British Leyland for the home market.

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In 1978, the Mini was one of the key cars made available to disabled motorists under the new Motability scheme.

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The Metro was therefore in essence, the Mini mechanicals repackaged into a larger hatchback bodyshell.

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The Mini was becoming prized as a characterful and nostalgic car in its own right, and the London Collection of limited-edition models was more upmarket and luxurious and named after affluent or fashionable parts of London.

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Fibreglass Mini built in Chile from 1970 until 1974 was not the only fibreglass version; in the summer of 1991, a fibreglass bodied Mini again entered production, this time in Venezuela.

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Popularity of the original Mini spawned many models that targeted different markets.

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Estate versions of the Mini were then produced in both Austin Countryman and Morris Traveller variants, both available with or without the wooden framing.

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Mini Van was a commercial panel van rated at ¼-ton load capacity.

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The Mini Van was renamed as the Mini 95 in 1978, the number representing the gross vehicle weight of 0.

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The Pickup was basic, although the factory brochure described a "fully equipped Mini Pick-up is available which includes a recirculatory heater".

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The Mini K had a 1098 cc engine and was the last round-nosed model to be produced in Australia, originally priced at A$1780.

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The Mini K was offered in 2-door saloon and 2-door van body styles.

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The first Mini Coopers assembled in Milan from imported knock-down kits with sales of the Innocenti Mini Cooper 1300 began in March 1966.

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In 1969, under the ownership of British Leyland, the Mini was given a facelift by stylist Roy Haynes, who had previously worked for Ford.

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The Mini Clubman was intended to replace the upmarket Riley and Wolseley versions.

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The original "round-front" design Mini remained in production alongside the Clubman and 1275 GT in 850 and 1000 forms as lower-priced models in the new Mini range.

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The official name was always just the "Mini 1275 GT", and it was a separate, distinct model from the Clubman .

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The ERA Mini Turbo was particularly popular with Japanese buyers.

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In 1994, under Bernd Pischetsrieder, a first cousin once removed of Issigonis, BMW took control of the Rover Group, which included the Mini, fitting an airbag to comply with European legislation.

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The last Mini was built on 4 October 2000 and presented to the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust in December of that year.

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In rallycross, the Mini finished on the podium in the first ever race, at Lydden Hill Race Circuit in February 1967, winning races in the FIA European Rallycross Championship in 1974 and 1975.

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Mini has won many awards over the years, including second place in 1999's "Global" Car of the Century award, behind only the Model T Ford.

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The Mini received awards for "Car of the Century" and "Number One Classic Car of All Time" .

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At its peak, the Mini was a strong seller in most of the countries where it was sold, with the United Kingdom inevitably receiving the highest volumes.

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Competition arrived with the more modern and practical Vauxhall Chevette of 1975, but the Mini continued to sell well until its "replacement"—the Metro—arrived in 1980.

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Mini sales fell in the 1967 calendar year and the US importer was expecting the forthcoming Austin America to find a larger market.

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Mini was withdrawn from the American market because it could not meet the 1968 U S safety regulations and emission standards, and although often updated, not sufficiently to comply with U S regulations.

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Mini was modified during its production to improve its safety.

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The Mini, challenged by increasingly demanding European safety and pollution standards, was planned by British Aerospace to be taken out of production in 1996, but BMW chose to invest to keep the Mini legal until the launch of a new model.

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