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Section: Classic Mini

Official: MINI Celebrating 50th Anniversary of Monte Carlo Rally Win

MotoringFile Sections: Classic Mini, Motorsports, Official News Jan 24th, 2014 2 Comments

Monty Carlo 50th

The Mini Monty Carlo Rally three-peat is a staple of MINI enthusiast culture to this day. While familiar to most, it’s not an accomplishment to be taken lightly. Severely out-classed, the Mini team showed what small can really do. Today MINI’s motorsports presence has evolved, but is no less accomplished. Racing in MINI-only leagues, GRAND-AM (now part of AMLS), WRC and now three time Dakar champions, the MINI brand keeps having fun going fast. While the racing landscape has changed tremendously, MINI has kept racing a priority and that is a remarkable thing. From the nearly stock in Class B GRAND-AM, to the highly specialized BMW Group monsters of Dakar, we’re just excited that there are MINIs out there being driven in anger. Even better when they win!

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MINI’s Decade of Concepts & Turmoil (w/Gallery)

MotoringFile Sections: City Car, Classic Mini, Design, R50 (Coupe), R53 (Coupe) Dec 9th, 2013 4 Comments

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Given the launch of the new MINI and the recent pre-production shell that popped up on eBay, we’ve been digging into our archives a bit and thinking about how the modern MINI came about. Over the past ten years MotoringFile has written much about Mini, Rover and BMW in the 1990s but it’s such a good story it’s always worth a revisit. So with that in mind we wanted to go back and take look at the concepts from that time period that help guide us to the R50 which set the tone for all modern MINI’s to come.

The idea of a modern MINI had been floating around since the late 60’s. But the Mini’s appeal and subsequent sales success kept it in production for two decades longer than originally anticipated. However the various government backed companies that manufactured the Mini through the years were less than successful on the business side of things. In fact British Leyland, Rover, etc tried to kill the Mini more than once (first to avoid converting the engine to run on unleaded, then to avoid increasing safety requirements) but English public opinion was too negative. So when BMW bought Rover and the Mini there was quite a bit of hope for the future. continued →

Pre-production Rover R50 Prototype Shell Shows up on eBay

MotoringFile Sections: Best of the Web, Classic Mini, Design, R50 (Coupe), R53 (Coupe) Dec 3rd, 2013 27 Comments

Pre-production Rover MINI Prototype

Want an early look at MINI development? This prototype shell found on eBay gives us an interesting window into that time period where Rover still had some control over engineering and BMW was guiding the ship from afar.

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Restored Dutch-built Classic Mini On the Road Again

MotoringFile Sections: Classic Mini, Official News Nov 11th, 2013 7 Comments

Dutch-built Classic Mini

Car number 983 is back on the road, heralding a revival of MINI production in the Netherlands in the near future. A 54-year-old classic Mini has been fully restored at the VDL Nedcar car manufacturing plant in the town of Born, the precision work lasting around six months. The historic Austin Seven with production number 983 dates back to 1959 and was one of the first examples of the classic Mini to be assembled in the Netherlands. The car was unearthed last year in an old barn in Groningen, ravaged by the passage of time and as such an ideal candidate for the “reBorn” mission. The classic machine has since been imbued with a fresh injection of sparkle, making it the perfect scene-setter for a new chapter in Dutch-British car making relations. Next year VDL Nedcar will begin production of MINI models under contract; MINI will be the only manufacturer having vehicles series-produced in the Netherlands.

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The Moke Lives: Australian Company to Remake Mini Mokes in China

MotoringFile Sections: Best of the Web, Classic Mini Oct 20th, 2013 2 Comments

The chaps at Jalopnik shared a story this week so improbable and wonderful that we just had to share it here. Apparently an Australian company (read family of Australian Mini Moke fans) have gotten the ball rolling to produce reproduction Mini Mokes in China. continued →

Mr. Bean’s Mini to Feature at ‘Creme 21 Youngtimer Rally’

MotoringFile Sections: Classic Mini, Events Sep 26th, 2013 2 Comments

Official Release: Automotive legends from the 1970s and 1980s will line up for the start of the twelfth ‘Creme 21 Youngtimer Rally’ in Spa, Belgium on 25 September 2013. Taking central stage will be BMW Group Classic’s classic Mini Mark III, conspicuous not just because of its vibrant ‘Citron’ yellow paintwork but also because of its colourful TV history. It is one of the classic Minis driven by actor and car enthusiast Rowan Atkinson in his role as Mr. Bean in the British comedy series of the same name. continued →


Classic Mini Road Trip Through the Heart of Germany

MotoringFile Sections: Classic Mini, Official News Sep 24th, 2013 1 Comment

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We can’t imagine something more fun… three of the most ecentric Mini variants ever produced traveling through Germany in the late summer. If you just click through for the photos it’s worth it.

Official Release: Joining the sixth “Hamburg-Berlin Classic” 2013 rally for vintage and classic cars organised by “Auto Bild Klassik” magazine, will be three of BMW Group Classic’s more unusual representatives from the small British car collection: a 1981 Mini Clubman Estate, a Riley Elf, first registered in 1969, and a Mini Wildgoose “Brent” Super V. E. B., one of the few surviving Mini-based campers, developed in the 1960’s. continued →

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MINI Model Cheat Sheet

1st Gen MINI
R50: One & MC Hatch
R52: All 1st Gen MINI Convt.
R53: MCS Hatch
2nd Gen MINI
R55: Clubman
R56: Hatch
R57: Convertible
R58: Coupe
R59: Roadster
R60: MINI Crossover
R61: MINI Crossover Coupe
3rd Gen MINI
F54: Clubman
F55: Five Door Hatch
F56: Hatch
F57: Convertible
F60: MINI Crossover
F58: Traveller

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