American car enthusiasts know the Mini for its 21st-century modern iteration by BMW after the German brand bought Rover in the 90’s. But the story of the Mini dates to 1959. Many car fans and historian consider the original Mini, which they introduced in 1959 and sold until 2000 as the most important British car. It is also one of the most important cars of the 20th century.
Although the British car industry is full of expensive and limited production models, the Mini proved to be their most influential, timeless car. The reason for such praise lies in fact that the Mini is a technological marvel and immensely capable little car. It has motorized Great Britain and influenced every car maker since.
When they first introduced the Mini in the late 50’s, it featured the unusual concept of a transversely mounted engine with front-wheel drive. This was something nobody had in those days. Fast forward 60 years and all front-wheel-drive compact cars in the world have the same layout as the Mini. The Mini was also the champion of usability since it looked tiny from the outside but could sit five people on the inside.
Even though it had delivered 34 HP from the factory, this little car won some of the world’s most prestigious races like the Rally Monte Carlo. This was due to its small weight, front wheel drive agility and precise handling.