Story by In this article walks us through a few fun facts that you might not know about the classic Mini.

The MINI is among those special vehicles that have long defined class and excellence. Originally manufactured by the British Motor Corporation (BMC), the car was released in 1959 and sold over two million in the first decade. It actually became the most popular British car of all time after selling over five million two-door versions before the turn of the century. In the 60s, MINI was an iconic small car; not that it isn’t any longer, but that era was when the MINI brand actually entered the spotlight (and clearly never left). The space-saving and ingenious car features and parts by MINI were impressive enough to influence all manufacturers around the globe at that time.

classic mini

The smaller vehicle is perfect for city life but is just as popular in the suburbs, proving once again that Mini appeals to a wide variety of people in vastly different places and eras. Combine that with the vast creative variations of OEM, performance and custom aftermarket Mini Cooper parts available on the market, and it’s no wonder the brand has developed quite a large fan club worldwide. Let’s have a closer look at more interesting facts and details about the MINI.

classic mini

MINI’s revolutionary design was all thanks to Sir Alec Issigonis’ efforts. The man holds his place in the transportation industry as a well-renowned visionary. The two most important innovations Issigonis came up with were to the Mini steering system and the configuration of its engine parts. That also created more room in the cockpit for more passenger space on the inside by pushing the wheels all the way out to the corners and turning the engine sideways. Wheels at the corners meant a wide, go-kart stance and nimble handling. The transverse engine kept weight over the front tires, helping provide great balance and grip, and giving the car more stability in tight-turns. This was actually the first of its kind to feature a front-wheel-drive drivetrain.

His concept was intended to be an affordable car in light of the Suez oil crisis (1956). Through its phase of production, the MINI vehicle and car parts were manufactured in the United Kingdom at the Cowley plants. After this, production expanded across the globe in countries such as Italy, Australia, Uruguay, Chile, amongst many others. As of today, MINI is mainly manufactured at the company’s plant situated near Oxford, England.

The very first MINI was termed the Mk I. Going forward this vehicle featured three very essential updates: the Mk II, the Mk III, and the MINI Clubman. It also had sportier editions such as the MINI Cooper and the MINI Cooper Special (i.e. S), which came stock equipped with upgraded OEM Mini Cooper performance parts. These two models enjoyed quite the success as rally cars. In fact, MINI even managed to win the Monte Carlo Rally an astounding three times.

Arguably atop its list of awards and achievements, what really makes the MINI automobile stand out is the fact that it was awarded the “European Car of the Century” title in 1999. That really makes you think about how much popularity and attention this vehicle has enjoyed. And technically, it’s still the reigning champ.

Classic Mini

Last but not the least, the MINI was initially supposed to be known as the “New Market”. This was solely because of the fact that the manufacturer was directly aiming at crafting a niche of its own in the transportation industry with the introduction of this vehicle. However, this title was soon dropped and altered to be the MINI, a name which reflects its many compact integrations of other Mini Cooper parts, accessories and features.