Mini turns 55
Published on September 1, 2014
As the original in the premium segment of small cars completed its 55th year, fans said it’s still young! Yes, the classic Mini first went on roads five-and-a-half decades ago, but the new MINI still continues the success story in 2014.
Rewind to Circa 1959. Date: August 18. Place: Munich. Made in Birmingham, when the first classic Mini was launched, none of those involved at the time imagined that the concept of a revolutionary small car would turn into one of the automotive industry’s most impressive success stories stretching over a period of five and half decades.
Fifty-five years ago, two models were presented to the public which differed solely in their radiator grille, hub caps and paint finishes: The Morris Mini Minor and the Austin Seven.
Designer Alec Issigonis’ concept was both simple and ingenious: Lots of interior space combined with minimum exterior dimensions, four seats, perfect driving properties, low fuel consumption and a reasonable price. These brilliant ideas had an impact that was to extend into the 21st century.
The brand’s underlying principle was confirmed when it was restarted with the market launch of the MINI in 2001: Since then MINI has combined the classic values of the early generations with the demands of a modern automobile.
Today the range comprises a large number of models: Starting with the classic body variant of the MINI, it includes the MINI Clubman, the MINI Convertible, the MINI Coupé and the MINI Roadster, going right through to the MINI Countryman and the MINI Paceman.
In spring this year, the new MINI went on the market. An entirely new variant in the model programme followed in autumn 2014 — the MINI 5 door.
All models share unsurpassed elegance, highly stable value retention, unbeatable handling, outstanding safety, unrivalled sporty flair, an expressive and instantly recognisable design and uncompromising quality at premium level.
On the first weekend last month, members of the classic Mini and the new MINI community met in Kent to celebrate the most successful small car on its 55th anniversary.
Vehicles on show ranged from one of the very first cars of the brand dating back to 1960 to a classic Mini Clubman Estate and a classic 25 Special Edition Mini from 1984 through to one of the last classic Minis ever built in the year 2000.