American car enthusiasts know the Mini for its 21st-century modern iteration sponsored by BMW after the German brand bought Rover in the 1990s. However, the interesting story of the Mini dates back to 1959. To be clear, they introduced the original Mini in 1959 and sold it until 2000. It is one of the most important British cars of the 20th century.
Although the British car industry is full of expensive, limited production models, the Mini has proven to be the most influential and timeless car. The reason for such praise is that the Mini is a technological marvel. Also, it is an immensely capable little car that motorized Great Britain and influenced every car maker since. When it debuted in the late ’50s, the Mini featured a transversely-mounted engine with front-wheel drive, which nobody else 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 the champion of usability since it was tiny from the outside, but could sit five people on the inside. Even though it had just 34 HP from the factory, this little car managed to win some of the world’s most prestigious races like the Rally Monte Carlo thanks to its low weight, front-wheel drive agility and precise handling.