The Story Behind The Classic Mini Cooper

By Kanyi M

Mr. Bean’s Mini Cooper is a famous car on British television, but how did such a vehicle become a classic, like the Beetle? It turns out, in the 1960s when the car was invented in Germany, they weren’t thinking about soccer moms or environmentalists or what it would mean to be “green.” The original Mini Cooper is a small, four-door automobile that can zip through traffic with ease. It offers better fuel economy than most cars of its size due to its compact size, which takes up less space on the road when compared with larger vehicles. The British TV show helped popularize this car which has been seen in movies and books worldwide!

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Sir Alec Issigonis’ idea behind the Mini Cooper was to create a compact and economical car. He started his career at the famous British car company BMC, where he helped develop the Morris Minor from 1959 to 1965. Issigonis had already been working with tiny cars for a while. In the 1950s, he had been instrumental in designing Studebaker’s compact Avanti and worked on the Jaguar XK-E – a smaller car than most other sports cars of its day.

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By the early 1960s, Issigonis had completed the design stages of the BMW Mini, which was launched in 1959. The car had a simple, boxy design with coupe-like proportions. They chose the name ‘Mini Cooper’ because it fits this car’s size and image. With less room inside than most cars of similar size, there was no need for an extensive range of model names or numbers that would confuse customers with an array of different options for each vehicle.