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Mini Brief History
The Suez Crisis in England following WWII resulted in ever increasing prices for fuel around 1957. Many economists began wondering if the large fuel inefficient automobiles made any sense.
The leading engineer of the Morris Company, named, Alec Issigonis, was assigned by Sir Leonard to design and construct a fuel-efficient small automobile that had the ability to transport four adults that was also within the economic reach of nearly everybody. As it turns out, there were a couple of historic innovations that resulted from the challenge of providing such as large amount of function into such a small packaged automobile.
Mr. Issigonis came up with the two most important innovations, which were more cockpit room, which pushed the wheels out to the corners and the engine being turned sideways, which provided the automobile more passenger room on the inside and additional stability in tight turns. The public hadn’t ever seen an automobile such as this. The world was somewhat baffled, in 1959, when the Mini was first introduced.
However, it wasn’t long before people started recognizing that the Mini wasn’t simply an automobile. The unique combination of a nimble, and fun, inexpensive, and small size with the classic British style came to represent spontaneity and independence. This was the essence of the 1960’s youth culture. One of the most amazing characteristics of the popularity of the Classic Mini was the way that its infectious spirit overcame conventional class barriers. This included everybody from rally racers, to royalty, to rock stars, to milkmen, to mods, the hipsters. By traveling around in a Mini, everybody could enjoy the freedom, fun and efficiency of this classic automobile.
It wasn’t long before it became evident that the many different layout innovations created by Mr. Issigonis, although they were designed in order to create additional passenger room, also helped make the Mini a standout performance automobile. Nimble handling, and a wide go-cart like stance were the result of the wheels being located at the corners. Great grip and balance was achieved by the transverse engine keeping the weight of the vehicle over the front tires.
A British Racing legend named John Cooper began driving this small automobile in 1961. The Classic Mini Cooper 997 was introduced after some tuning tweaks, larger brakes, and a more powerful engine. This was the birth of a rally demon. It wasn’t long before the small and nimble Classic Mini was outlasting and outracing the more powerful and larger, albeit clumsier sedans of the period. There were regular visits to the winner’s circle as the Mini won numerous international events. Between 1964 and 1967, this included three wins at the prestigious Monte Carlo rally.
Mini owners enjoyed the way that the automobile became an extension of themselves, in addition to being a very exhilarating automobile to drive. These owners had a sidekick that was packed with an aspect of their personality that was a dynamic expression of their individuality.
All around the world, more than two million Mini automobiles had been sold by 1969. Pickup and station wagon models that have been launched, have all proven to be amazingly durable. This is true regardless if running daily errands or rallying. Owners relied on the fact that their Mini would get the job done. A smile was usually inspired.
With more than four million Classic Mini automobiles sold all over the world by 1977, the popularity of the vehicle had skyrocketed. Unfortunately, as the result of the 1960’s emissions regulations, many Americans never had the opportunity to purchase the Classic Mini automobile because these new emissions regulations resulted in the Mini giving up its U.S. green card.
Auto enthusiasts as well as the general public found the Classic Mini automobile difficult to resist in 2003, when it won the North American Car of the Year Award. New owners quickly discovered how enjoyable a new Mini can be with curiosity and smile being invoked everywhere they went. Owners formed motoring clubs all around the nation and personalized their Mini vehicles to their hearts content.
The new models of the Mini automobiles share the same great performance factors, much the same as their notorious predecessors. The Mini Motorsports teams are once again taking the many different types of racing tracks by storm, as they are updated with modern performance features. The latest to represent this racing heritage is the John Cooper, Mini Works Team, who race two of the most powerful models of Mini racer built, which are the John Cooper Works Hardtop Two-Door.
Ever since 2002, when the Hardtop was introduced onto US, the appetite of the public for the Ming automobile has increased along with the Mini model lineup. These ever- expanding models include the all-wheel drive, three models with four doors and more seating, convertibles, spirited two-seaters, and a new era of high0end interiors and sophisticated technology.
The phenomenon of the Mini automobile has been reborn all over the world. These vehicles have truly timeless qualities, such as a spunky personality, incredibly tight handling characteristics, a nearly endless range of customizing possibilities, as well as great fuel efficiency. With beta partnerships and programs, such as the 100% electric, zero-emissions Mini Model E, there is practically no limit for what is in store for the next half century.