10 Things You Didn’t Know About the MINI Cooper
10. It Was Originally Owned By Rover Group Until BMW Bought It
The one thing any fan would understand is that it was not always called the MINI Cooper. Rover Group, a British car manufacturer, was the original owner of the design until they went bankrupt and were forced to sell, what they called the Mini, to the German manufacturer BMW.
They updated the design and made it into its own independent division within the company. BMW sold off the rest of Rover Group, but they kept MINI and revamped its image into something modern.
9. The Original Mini Had Sliding Windows
Alec Issigonis, the designer of the Mini, decided to put sliding windows into the vehicle to maximize the amount of space. He wanted to create something compact and affordable for buyers after Britain crippled beneath the oil crisis in 1956.
These windows allowed the driver to let air into the vehicle without sacrificing space as normal descending crank windows would. It might not seem like much today with our electronic cars, but back then it was part of an ingenious design.
8. It Didn’t Change For 41 Years
The designer and the public loved what he had created so much so that the overall design of the Mini made no major changes for forty-one years. This is unheard of in the realm of cars, but Alec Issigonis insisted that this was the right move for them to make.
They did make minor cosmetic changes and gave it more power as the years went by but the base did not receive a single update. This changed of course after BMW gained access to the designs, but it was quite a feat for this iconic car.
7. David Bowie Created A Mirror Plated MINI
1999 brought around the fortieth anniversary of the original Mini and the Design Museum in London decided to celebrate this event with a celebrity design contest. David Bowie was a participant and decided to have his Mini covered in reflective mirrors.
His thinking with this amazing design was that cars are a part of their surroundings. Anyone who laid eyes on the masterpiece would become a part of the vehicle itself as their own faces were reflected back at them in the mirrors.
6. It Inspired The Mini Skirt
They associated the skirt with the well-loved and established vehicle, which led to a boom in her brand. Quant may not have come up with the original idea, but she took it and ran with it which made her the fashion icon she is today.
5. The 2008 MINI Cooper Life Ball Is One-Of-A-Kind
It was the only MINI Cooper of its kind produced and it was created for a charity event. A company called Agent Provocateur assisted in the design before it was auctioned off online through eBay. The proceeds were used to help combat AIDs and HIV and everyone would notice this car speeding down the roadway.
The pink stripes make it stand out and the fishnet rooftop is undeniably noticeable, but they were both a huge selling point which is why it was eventually auctioned off at €45,000.
4. The Largest Official Convoy Ever Formed Involved 269 Car
The largest official convoy ever formed by MINI Cooper vehicles occurred back in 2007. This is not to say there were no other convoys formed with MINIs that may have been larger, but this was the largest one recorded by the Guinness Book of World Records. The event was created by Vancouver MINI Club and they had a turnout of 269 cars.
The creators were ecstatic over the turnout they received and it previously beat out the record of 195 gathered MINIs.
3. The First Generation Had No Radio, But An Ashtray
Issigonis was not only looking to make an affordable vehicle but a practical one as well. He was a big smoker and as a result, he had a large ashtray installed in the original Mini in place of a radio system. He found music to be unnecessary, but his extreme smoking habits deemed the ashtray a major necessity.
There were probably those ho disagreed with this idea, which is why a radio was eventually added in later models so people could listen to their favorite tunes and talk shows.
2. The Storage In The Doors Was Designed To Hold A Bottle Of Gordon’s Gin
The designer was not only a smoker but also a big drinker. The extra space that the unique sliding windows provided were created with Gordon’s Gin in mind. Issigonis wanted the doors to be able to hold a bottle of this particular gin, which we can only assume was his all-time favorite.
We doubt most people used the extra space to hold this brand of liquor, but it was a nice personal touch that he added to this amazing vehicle.
1. The World Record For How Many People Can Fit Inside Of It Is 28