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60 years of the MINI Countryman and other variants of the classic Mini.

In 1960, a year after the debut of the Classic Mini, BMC introduced a Mini Van, followed by an estate car with all-round glazing, marketed as the Morris Mini Traveler and the Austin Seven Countryman.

MINI Countryman
MINI Brand Heritage

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Edgar Tellez
BMW Group

Munich. A wealth of different versions is a constituent element of the tradition of the MINI brand. 60 years have now elapsed since it was launched. Even then, it was obvious that the revolutionary concept of the classic Mini was good for more than one model. The inventive genius of the engineers and the brand diversity of the British Motor Corporation (BMC) paved the way for this. As early as 1960, BMC presented a Mini Van alongside the classic Mini.  The closed delivery van was the ideal company vehicle for workmen and tradespeople.  An estate car with all-round glazing followed and this was marketed as the Morris Mini Traveller and the Austin Seven Countryman. A Mini Pick-up completed the line-up of small commercial vehicles in the following year. And the desire for more finesse was soon satisfied. The Wolseley Hornet and the Riley Elf provided an individual profile with distinctively upmarket radiator grilles, an extended luggage compartment and swallow-tail wings at the rear.

In addition, a version was created in 1961 that would contribute to the legendary status of the classic Mini like no other. The Mini Cooper met the desire for enhanced driving fun with output increased from 34 to 55 hp and appropriate chassis modifications. The sports-car designer John Cooper had identified the sporting talent of the classic Mini at an early stage. Ultimately, power was further enhanced with the Mini Cooper S packing 70 hp. It formed the platform for those racing vehicles that enabled the classic Mini to take three victoriesat the Monte Carlo Rally – and delivered the inspiration for Nicholas Upton’s unique version of the Morris Mini Traveller.

The classic Mini has always been a source of inspiration for Nicholas Upton from the US. He has restored a wide range of examples of the British original small car. And Upton has been dreaming of a Morris Mini Traveller for a very long time. A very special type of restoration project has been coming to fruition at his workshop in California. Upton has combined the engineering of a classic Mini Cooper S with the body of a Morris Mini Traveller and created an estate car that never even existed. The little runabout from the West Coast of the US is not going to win any prizes for authentic restoration, but it will be a genuine eyecatcher at any meeting of classic cars. Upton’s custom special is one of  the topics in the video-clip series “Work in Progress” in which BMW Group Classic presents unusual classic fans and their vehicles – you can watch it onthe YouTube channel of BMW Group Classic:

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Part Three:

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