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PressClub Ireland · Article.

Classic Mini Timeline: 1959 - 2000

A brief history of Classic Mini milestones between 1959 - 2000.

Vintage, Heritage Events
·
Heritage
·
Milestones
·
MINI Brand Heritage
 

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BMW Group

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1913

William Morris built his first car – the Bullnose Morris - at Cowley, Oxford

1959

BMC launched the Mini designed by Alec Issigonis – 2 versions, Austin Seven built at Longbridge and Morris Mini Minor at Cowley

1961

Launch of Mini Cooper with 997cc engine, 55bhp, front disc brakes, two-tone paintwork, distinctive grille & bumpers at a price of £680

1962

BMC produced over 200,000 cars for the year – the rate continued for 15 years

1963-64

Mini Cooper S with 1071cc is launched with 7.5inch front disc brakes and other improvements such as more open oilways, larger oil pump, strengthened gearbox and increased top speed of 100mph.  0-60 took 13.5 seconds making is 10 seconds faster that the 948cc Austin-Healey sprite MkII

1964

January saw Paddy Hopkirk win the Monte Carlo Rally in the 1,071cc Cooper S

1964

Mini Cooper S fitted with the new 1275cc version of A-series engine

1964

Dunlop created the new Mini SP41 tyre which was introduced to the 988 Cooper and improved both grip and handling.  However, 6 months later, the interconnected Hydrolastic gas/fluid suspension system was introduced which only lasted until 1971 since it neither improved grip or handling

1965

Mini wins the Monte Carlo Rally for the 2nd time with Timo Makinen as driver

1965

First millionth Mini was produced, now being made in several overseas locations including Australia and Italy

1965

Mini Cooper received a 998cc engine

1965

Mini Moke was introduced

1965

Option of an automatic gearbox offered

1966

Monte Carlo Rally result sees Makinen, Aaltonen and Hopkirk in 1st, 2nd & 3rd place however, the French were not happy with this and argued the Mini had not won since its lighting system contravened regulations

1967

Mini is ‘official’ Monte Carlo Winner for 3rd time – however, many people still argue that it was the forth time having also won in 1966.

1967

Mark II Mini range with new radiator grilles, bigger rear windows & other cosmetic changes introduced at the Motor Show

1967

Standard models now available with 998cc engine as alternative to 848cc

1969

Cumulative sales of Mini passed two million.

1971

The Mini Cooper 1275cc S Mark III - the last model to be produced was discontinued

1972

Three million Minis in total had been produced

1973-74

Winter of discontent from December1973 to March 1974.   Between January 1974 and January 1975 petrol prices doubled and inflation pushed the price of a Mini above £1,000 for the first time.

1975

Inflation hit 25% and unemployment was at its highest since 1940.

1976

Production of Mini reached four million

1978

Production slipped from 320,000 (1971) to below 200,000 for the first time in 17 years

1981

Production had crashed to less than70,000 units

1984

Introduction of 12 inch wheels and front disc brakes for the first time on the standard model

1985

Sales figures rose from 1,000 cars to 12,000 in Japan helping Mini to achieve a production of 46,000 cars that year

1986

The five millionth Mini came off the Longbridge production line

1988

October 2nd, Sir Alec Issigonis died

1989

Mini 30 Limited edition in Cherry red or black with birthday alloys

1990

Rover bring back Mini Cooper, first as limited edition, later as standard production model featuring many 1960’s design additions such as two tone colour schemes & Minilite-style cast alloy wheels

1991

Original carburettor engine model replaced by fuel injection version

1991

First mini to be fitted with a catalytic converter

1991

1275cc engine from Mini Cooper fitted to standard Mini Saloon

1991

Successful recreation of the Cooper S

1992

Rover produced Mini convertible at £12,000 it was the most expensive Mini

1992-96

Limited edition (John Cooper) Mini Cooper 1.3Si with added performance kit

1995

Limited edition Mini Cooper S produced

1997

Modified models of Mini and Mini Cooper both with 1275cc A series with multi-point fuel injection and 63bhp costing £8995

1999

40th Anniversary Mini, 40 limited edition model in white, red or blue

1999

Latest addition to the Cooper S family – the 1999 Mini Cooper S Works with 90bhp, 102mph and 0-60mph in 8.9 seconds

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