The attraction of car lovers for mini cooper

I am not crazy about mini coopers. But mini comes to my mind from time to time like a pet we love and miss the most. I look back when a mini passes by, but I can’t explain the reason for it. I have seen may other people who love different car models also stop to see when a mini cooper passes by, but they don’t know why. Even the designer of Mini Cooper, Mr. Alec Issigonis, didn’t know the reason behind this attraction.

The History of mini cooper

The reason for the birth of mini

The history of mini is a long story. Mini has gone under so many changes after it was introduced to the market. The British Motor Corporation (BMC), which produced mini, had to undergo many challenges as well.
During the introductory period, the mini was not as popular as today. The reason for that is mini first came out as a simple, low-cost car instead of an ‘I am different’ appeal. For many years BMC sold mini coopers under loss. Ford motor company once disassembled a mini into parts and calculated the loss for BMC for a mini is 30 Sterling pounds. Mini came to its journey through such hardships.
The story of mini starts from Morris Motors. Morris motor company established in 1919. At that time, the British motor industry was beginning to rise. Morris motor company was able to produce fabulous cars like Morris Minor, Morris Mini, Morris Oxford, etc. The name Morris was no longer used after 1984. As of today, Morris’s brand name is owned by SAIC motors China. MG brand name is also now owned by the same company.

Morris Logo
Morris Logo

The creators of mini

In the time which we are talking about, the head was Leonard Lord. In 1951 when Morris Motor company and Austin merged as BMC, he became the head of BMC. He paved the way into the birth of Mini.

The other person who has to be credited for the birth of mini is Sir Alexander (Alec), Issigonis. He was behind the design of Morris Minor also.

Alexander (Alec) Issigonis
Alexander (Alec) Issigonis

World war affects fuel availability in Europe

In the 1950s, the second world war was over, but Britain was not fully recovered. The import of tires and fuel was limited. The cars which were under normal prices were Austin A30, Ford Popular, etc. In 1953 when Ford Popular was introduced, it was the car which was under the lowest price tag in Britain.
The problem of the Suez canal also arose afterward. Suez canal was the best way to transport fuel from the Middle East to Western countries. If not, ships have to go along a longer route around the world, which would increase the cost in a very high amount. This problem led to stop transporting fuel to Western countries along the Suez canal which led to limiting fuel availability in England.

Popularity of small cars

This situation led to the popularity of Bubble cars. We are also very fond of bubble cars because they are rare to find. One of the most popular bubble cars was the BMW Isetta. Most of the bubble cars had three wheels, could carry only two people, powered by a small motorcycle engine. Most of them didn’t have a reverse gear. These were not cars, just a mode of transport.


Mr. Leonard Lord, who was the head of BMC, was annoyed by the popularity of bubble cars, and the words he used to name these cars were ‘God damn bloody awful Bubble cars.’ This gave him the idea of making a great small car and wipe bubble cars out of the roads.


This task was assigned to Alec Issigonis, who designed the Morris Minor. Minor was a great creation for the time it was produced, and it gave a good reputation for Issigonis. He was able to achieve the target given to him in a short period of time. Mr. Alec Issigonis didn’t want to make mini a beautiful design. All the parts of mini was designed as low cost, which could carry four people, practical, family vehicle. It is a complete surprise that mini became such an attractive creation. In the 1950s, the second world war was over, but Britain was not fully recovered. The import of tires and fuel was limited. The cars which were under normal prices were Austin A30, Ford Popular, etc. In 1953 when Ford Popular was introduced, it was the car that was under the lowest price tag in Britain.


The problem of the Suez canal also arose afterward. Suez canal was the best way to transport fuel from the Middle East to Western countries. If not, ships have to go along a longer route around the world, which would increase the cost in a very high amount. This problem led to stop transporting fuel to Western countries along the Suez canal which led to limiting fuel availability in England.

The reason why mini became small but practical

Even though Mini is such a small vehicle, there are several reasons for mini having such space.

  1. The engine is fixed transversely
  2. The gearbox is located under the engine
  3. Front-wheel drive

Release of mini

Alec Issigonis and the team were able to go from basic designs to approved blueprints under four months. The prototype and production car were very similar. The only downside was using an 848cc(34bhp) engine instead of originally planned 948cc(37bhp) engine. Even though the difference was only three bhp, it is a considerable amount for a car with such low power. However, the team might have thought that the customers who bought mini might be more considered in fuel consumption than power. Mini was officially released on 26th August 1959. Today 26th August is celebrated as ‘Mini Day.’ Mini came in both Austin and Morris badges. Morris vehicles were manufactured in the factory in Cowley, and Austin mini was produced in the factory in Longbridge.
The version named Mini Cooper was released in 1961. John Cooper was an engineer famous for racing, and he was a friend of Alec Issigonis. These two developed mini to be able to be used in car racing.

Several versions of mini

  1. Wolsley Hornet and Riley Elf
  2. Wagon versions (Morris mini traveller, Austin mini countryman)
  3. Mini van
  4. Mini pickup
  5. Mini moke
  6. Anniversary Editions : Mini 20, mini 30, mini 35, mini 40
  7. London Collection : Mini Mayfair, mini ritz, mini Chelsea, mini Piccadilly, mini park lane, mini Advantage

Mini Hatch detail in wiki

How mini has come a long way for more than 60 years of first release

In the 1950s, when Britain was going under a tremendously hard situation, the mini was designed with the aim of arising Britain back. Alec Issigonis or any other design team might not have thought that mini might come such a long way. The original mini was manufactured until the year 2000. At the end of production, the total number of minis produced was 5.3 million. Mini is the most manufactured British car until today. Even the founder of Ferrari, Enzo Ferrari, was crazy about minis and bought a mini. Other than mini experts, a normal person cannot identify the difference of a 1959 mini from 2000 mini due to no major changes.
Even after 60 years of the first release, all the young, middle-aged, and older people all around the world are still crazy about this mini cooper. This craziness for the minis around the world might even drive Alec Issigonis crazy.

Mini cooper is neither a luxury car, nor an extraordinarily performing sports car. But it is a legendary icon in the motor car world which was able to take space in every car enthusiast’s heart without them even knowing the reason for that love. Mini was always a legend and will always be. 

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