PressClub Ireland · Article.
Classic Mini Timeline: 1959 - 2000
21.04.2021 Press Release
A brief history of Classic Mini milestones between 1959 - 2000.
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William Morris built his first car – the Bullnose Morris - at Cowley, Oxford
BMC launched the Mini designed by Alec Issigonis – 2 versions, Austin Seven built at Longbridge and Morris Mini Minor at Cowley
Launch of Mini Cooper with 997cc engine, 55bhp, front disc brakes, two-tone paintwork, distinctive grille & bumpers at a price of £680
BMC produced over 200,000 cars for the year – the rate continued for 15 years
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
January saw Paddy Hopkirk win the Monte Carlo Rally in the 1,071cc Cooper S
Mini Cooper S fitted with the new 1275cc version of A-series engine
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
Mini wins the Monte Carlo Rally for the 2nd time with Timo Makinen as driver
First millionth Mini was produced, now being made in several overseas locations including Australia and Italy
Mini Cooper received a 998cc engine
Mini Moke was introduced
Option of an automatic gearbox offered
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
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.
Mark II Mini range with new radiator grilles, bigger rear windows & other cosmetic changes introduced at the Motor Show
Standard models now available with 998cc engine as alternative to 848cc
Cumulative sales of Mini passed two million.
The Mini Cooper 1275cc S Mark III - the last model to be produced was discontinued
Three million Minis in total had been produced
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.
Inflation hit 25% and unemployment was at its highest since 1940.
Production of Mini reached four million
Production slipped from 320,000 (1971) to below 200,000 for the first time in 17 years
Production had crashed to less than70,000 units
Introduction of 12 inch wheels and front disc brakes for the first time on the standard model
Sales figures rose from 1,000 cars to 12,000 in Japan helping Mini to achieve a production of 46,000 cars that year
The five millionth Mini came off the Longbridge production line
October 2nd, Sir Alec Issigonis died
Mini 30 Limited edition in Cherry red or black with birthday alloys
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
Original carburettor engine model replaced by fuel injection version
First mini to be fitted with a catalytic converter
1275cc engine from Mini Cooper fitted to standard Mini Saloon
Successful recreation of the Cooper S
Rover produced Mini convertible at £12,000 it was the most expensive Mini
Limited edition (John Cooper) Mini Cooper 1.3Si with added performance kit
Limited edition Mini Cooper S produced
Modified models of Mini and Mini Cooper both with 1275cc A series with multi-point fuel injection and 63bhp costing £8995
40th Anniversary Mini, 40 limited edition model in white, red or blue
Latest addition to the Cooper S family – the 1999 Mini Cooper S Works with 90bhp, 102mph and 0-60mph in 8.9 seconds