Filed under: ClassicsA luxurious treatment of the Mini.Permalink | Email this | Comments
It sold over five million units. It was voted the second most influential car of the last century, bested only by the pioneering Ford Model T. It counted among its owners Steve McQueen, Enzo Ferrari and Peter Sellers. It is the classic Mini.
The tiny, two-box, four-seat hatch is an automotive icon of the first order and it's high time it featured in an episode of Petrolicious. Of course, the video gurus did it right, filming this handsome 1971 Mini, which has been modified to accommodate the 1,275-cc four-cylinder from the Mini Cooper S of the time.
Its owner, Sumner Norman, describes life with his right-hand-drive, UK-spec Mini. Naturally, he points out some of the idiosyncrasies inherent with a car built under the guise of British Leyland, including some of well known reliability woes, which he says is the car "going British." Mostly, though, he just seems to have a good time with the little hatch.
Take a look at the latest from Petrolicious and this plucky British import.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Lego isn't just for kids anymore. A while back, the company cleverly realized that adults liked its connecting blocks as much as kids but wanted a more sophisticated project to take on. It offers a whole set of Expert models, including a wickedly cool Volkswagen Bus from a few years ago. Now, it's taking aim at automotive enthusiasts again with the recently announced classic Mini Cooper set due to go on sale on August 1 for $99.99.
This is a seriously cool Lego model. At nine inches long, five inches wide and four inches tall, the car is certainly compact (as a Mini should be), but it contains 1,077 pieces. It's finished in the classic Mini look with a British Racing Green body with white roof, hood stripes and mirror caps. The doors, hood and trunk all open up, and there's even a little, simulated engine. The interior includes features like a turning steering wheel and movable gearshift and handbrake. In the boot, there is a cute picnic set, and even a spare tire hidden under the floor. If you want to show off your handiwork after it's built, the roof is removable to peer inside.
Expect dads around the world to be unwrapping these when the holidays roll around. Scroll down to watch one of Lego's designers detailing its latest set and read the full release about it, below. The gallery shows the Mini off from all of its blocky angles, as well.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The late Sir Alexander Arnold Constantine Issigonis, Alec Issignonis to his Internet friends, designed a car that was sold as the Morris Mini-Minor, the Austin Seven and later the Austin Mini. Go to the Mini USA website and check out the models, though, and every one of them is called a Cooper of some sort, e.g., Mini Cooper Paceman or Mini Cooper S Roadster. So who is Cooper?
It's probably obvious that it's the same Cooper we get in "John Cooper Works," those JCW Minis that always make up the top of the line. But many probably don't know that that John Cooper, founder of John Cooper Cars, is the same man who accidentally got the motorsports world to switch to rear-engined race cars and the same Formula One constructor who won two titles in 1959 and 1960 and who fielded drivers like Bruce McLaren and Stirling Moss.
On its way to driving the Mini John Cooper Works GP II, XCAR goes back to the beginning to find out when Alec met John, and how the first Mini Cooper came out in 1961, two years after the first Mini. You can watch the story and the car review in the video below.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Mini will be kicking off production in the Netherlands, a country that hasn't built a Mini-badged machine since 1966. In honor of this event, BMW Group Classic, the team responsible for all the cars in the BMW Museum, as well as being a spare parts and restoration company in its own right, revived a classic 1959 Austin Seven. That particular car, number 983, was one of the first Minis to be built in the Netherlands.
The Netherlands' JJ Molenaar's Car Companies built 4,000 Austin Sevens and Morris Mini-Minors between 1959 and 1966, although we imagine Dutch Mini production will be much bigger when it starts up again in summer 2014. A five-person team from VDL Nedcar, the group handling production of new Minis, took to the job of restoring the diminutive British car from nose to tail.
The 34-horsepower engine and the transmission were both completely rebuilt, while the door panels were redone by hand. Help from the Mini community aided the VDL Nedcar team in finding authentic replicas or original parts where possible. All told, the new classic Mini is a striking example of what a good restoration can do to a car. The Seven was repainted in its original Farina Gray, adding to the car's sense of authenticity.
Take a look at the extensive gallery up top, and see just how sharp this 1959 Mini is. We also have a press release from BMW below that details the rebuild, as well.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Ask anyone that's driven a classic Mini, and they'll probably tell you that their first reaction to driving it was a lot like the start of this video - whooping, shouting, laughing and a whole lot of smiling. This video, from Jon Quirk, editor-in-chief at Auto Trader UK, highlights the connection between him and his Rover Mini Paul Smith. He really nails the man-machine interface that makes owning a great car so much fun. Besides that, Quirk does a good job of enumerating what is so enjoyable about driving a fun car on a twisting road.
For our British readers, this video is also meant to test the waters for a new format from Auto Trader UK, called "I Bought One." With Quirk's Mini, the car-buying site is looking at telling the story of people and their interesting cars. We think this video is a great start, with high production value and solid content. Head on over to the YouTube channel, and let them know what you think. But first, scroll on down for the entire video on this awesome Rover Mini.Permalink | Email this | Comments
What do Austin, Morris, British Motor Corporation, British Motor Holdings, British Leyland, Rover Group, and BMW all have in common? Each company has had a hand in bringing the world a sprightly, fuel-efficient, front-wheel-drive fun box on wheels - the Mini.
The Sir Alec Issigonis-designed car has been sold under more brand names and with more model designations than most of us would guess. For seven generations of the classic Mini, from 1959 to 2000, the car carried a bewildering number of model names as well. (Note that's even before BMW took over the nameplate, and starting building cars styled as "MINI" rather than "Mini" in 2001.)
As is its wont, Hemmings Daily has taken the time to break down the complex lineage of the car, with a kind of model etymology that makes for a pretty entertaining read. Click over to the site to give it a go; but check out our gallery of classic Mini pictures before you jump.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Filed under: Classics
Hagerty Insurance, which specializes in covering cars already deemed classics, is out with its annual Hot List predicting this year's ten cars that will be future collectibles. Even though it stays under $100,000, it spans almost $74,000 in MSRPs starting with the $23,700 Ford Focus ST on the affordable end and peaking with the $97,395 SRT Viper.
Other notables include the Chevrolet Corvette Convertible 427, what with 2013 being both the 60th anniversary of the brand and the last year of the C6, the 505-horsepower 427 special edition being a send-off to the sports car that always does well in the last model year of a particular generation. The Tesla Model S collects yet another award for delivering a welcome and overdue shock to the electric-car game and is the only sedan to make the list, and the Subaru BRZ also adds to its trophy chest, the lightweight coupe doing so much with so little that it might be worth a packet after Father Time has waved his staff a few times.
You can check out the rest of Hagerty's picks in the press release below.Permalink | Email this | Comments