MINI History: The year was 1957, in post-World War II England, the Suez Crisis had sent fuel prices soaring, leading many to start wondering if the large, gas-guzzling vehicles of the day made much sense. So Sir Leonard Lord of the Morris Company issued his top engineer, Alec Issigonis, a challenge: design and build a small, fuel-efficient car capable of carrying four adults, within economic reach of just about everyone. As fate would have it, the challenge of fitting so much function into such a small package inspired a couple of historic innovations.
The two most important innovations Issigonis came up with were to create more room in the cockpit: pushing the wheels all the way out to the corners and turning the engine sideways giving the car more stability in tight turn and more passenger space on the inside. The world had never seen a car quite like it. And when the first Mini launched in 1959, the public was a bit baffled. Soon enough, people began to recognize that the Mini was not merely a car. The unique combination of classic British style in a low-cost, small size, fun and nimble package came to symbolize independence and spontaneity, which was the very essence of the youthful 1960s culture. One of the most remarkable elements of the Classic Mini’s popularity was how its infectious spirit transcended traditional class barriers. From hipsters and mods to milkmen, rock stars and royalty to rally racers. Everyone could have efficiency, fun and freedom, motoring in a Mini.
It soon became apparent that, while intended to create more passenger room, Issigonis’s numerous layout innovations also helped make the Mini a standout performance car. Wheels at the corners meant a wide, go-kart stance and nimble handling. And the transverse engine kept weight over the front tires, helping provide great balance and grip.
It was 1961 when the humble little people-mover fell into the hands of British racing legend John Cooper. A more powerful engine, bigger brakes and a few tuning tweaks later, the Classic Mini Cooper 997 was introduced and a rally demon was born. Before long, the nimble little Classic Mini was outracing and outlasting the larger, more powerful, but clumsier sedans of the day. Visits to the winner’s circle became a regular event as Mini chalked up numerous international race wins – including 3 at the prestigious Monte Carlo rally from 1964 to 1967.
By 1969, over 2 million Mini’s had been sold around the world. Pickup and station wagon versions were introduced and all were incredibly durable – whether rallying or doing the daily errands. Owners knew they could depend on their Mini to get the job done. By 1977, the Classic Mini’s popularity had truly taken off around the world with over 4 million cars sold in each corner of the globe. Sadly, Americans never quite got the chance to catch the fever since new emissions regulations in the late 1960s forced Mini to give up its U.S. green card.
The car being offered is a left hand drive 1991 Rover Mini Cooper 1.3, which is ideal for driving on the right side of the road in America. It has a 1.3L straight-4 which produces 61 horsepower and a curb weight of around 1,500 lbs. The power to weight ratio of this car is phenomenal which makes the acceleration fun and the handling great.
The exterior is finished in historical British racing green with black interior and patterned cloth seats. The odometer reads 105,276 km (65,415 miles) and has been maintained very well throughout the years. There are absolutely no oil leaks as it was recently serviced and safety inspected. Exterior panels of the car are in excellent condition with no dents. The interior is also in excellent condition with no rips, tears, or cracks. This car has current United States title, license, and registration.
The value of classic Mini’s have been going up steadily in recent years with collectors looking to get their hands on a rust free and engine running example. Recently, a non-restored all original 1967 Austin Cooper S with a seized engine sold for $55,000 on Bringatrailer. With this car you are getting a great value because there is no restoration work required. The car is ready for you to drive off and zip around town.
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