When it comes to iconic British vehicles there is one car that many believe comes out on top as the automotive king: MINI.
Everyone has a story to tell about the Mini – their first car, first time they purchased a set of wheels for their mini or the first time they went out for a drive – we are talking about a real British car – the original of which was manufactured in good ‘ol blighty.
The Mini is a small economy car made by the British Motor Corporation (BMC) and its successors from 1959 until 2000.
The original is considered a British icon of the 1960s. Its space-saving front-wheel drive layout – allowing 80 per cent of the area of the car’s floorplan to be used for passengers and luggage – influenced a generation of car makers.
The vehicle is in some ways considered the British equivalent of its German contemporary the Volkswagen Beetle, which enjoyed similar popularity in North America. In 1999 the Mini was voted the second most influential car of the 20th century, behind the Ford Model T.
And although the brand is now owned by BMW, it would be prudent to assume it is in safe hands.
The Mini is ample proof that your automotive pride and joy need not be an orthodox caricature. It is possible to transform a classic vehicle into a modern icon complete with a engine with a number of contemporary reverberations, tempered by an aura of power that personifies a unique way of life.