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During June, we ran a competition to find Britain’s most iconic car of the last 60 years. We had over 1000 responses by email and one car that was persistently mentioned was the Mini Cooper S. Here are some of the best comments we received (and if you’re looking to buy one of the modern equivalents, head over here!)
Jerry H spoke for many about the car’s everyman appeal
“A classic and innovative design when first released and has stood the test of time. It is still instantly recognisable and fun to drive. It is up there with the Beetle and 2CV, all small cars designed for the ordinary person. “
Ellen S lamented the relative rarity of the original Mini on the roads:
“Everything about the original mini is British. Just makes me think of Britain whenever I see one (not that I do see the old ones as often anymore..shame) “
Martin G also noted the Mini’s influence in culture:
“The Mini is beloved all over the world. It is an icon of Gt. Britain and is often the symbol of our country emblazoned in the Union Jack livery. Even moviemakers immortalised it. Instantly recognised , never forgotten.”
Simon W noted that the new Mini doesn’t quite live up to the name with a cheeky dig at the brand’s new owners, BMW:
“It’s just the ultimate in Britishness – small, quirky and fun. Shame it’s turning into a bit of a porker now the Germans build it!”
For Cate G, the Mini sums up long-lost summers of youth – one of several wistful recollections about the car’s role in their own life:
“It has to be the Mini Cooper. It screams Britain to me and makes me think of my childhood, of sitting in the back with a picnic blanket and basket on my knee, heading to the beach. The world would be a prettier place if all cars were the Mini Cooper.”
Her comments were echoed by Stephanie L, who looks forward to owning a Mini rather than looking backwards:
“I so love the Mini, it is quintessentially British. Every time I see one waves of nostalgia and pride wash over me. When I retire I am determined to buy one and travel round the beautiful British Coast in it and I bet everyone that sees it will look and smile.”
Kate L also pointed out the eccentricities of the Mini’s genesis and design and reminded us that the Mini was by no means perfect:
“Despite being designed by a Greek, the Mini perfectly encapsulates Britishness. Conceived and adopted by eccentrics, it was a remarkable innovation albeit with a few foibles. “
Of course, the Cooper’s role in the Italian Job was picked out by many, but Chris B captured the coolness factor best (even if he seems a little bit attracted to criminality!)
“The Italian Job, enough said. Stealing gold is cool. Making Italian police look stupid whilst stealing their gold is very cool. But stealing gold from Italians in a Mini Cooper is sub-zero!!”
Or Garry C had it:
“It’s recognisable all over the world and was used in the the best car chase in movie history, The Italian Job.”
Margaret B also wrote to remind us that the Mini didn’t just come in one flavour (and also joined in the gripes about the current incarnation of the car). In the office we’d forgotten about the beloved Moke!
“Basic 1959 model was a perfect small car, the Mini-Cooper was exciting and the Mini Cooper S exhilarating, the Mini Marcos and Mini Moke were fun and the Traveller was a perfect miniature estate car. The Clubman was more luxurious but t0day’s BMW variants are a pale shadow of the original.”
A final word then to Ashley D who waxed lyrical about many of the Mini’s features:
“Whether it is the go-kart experience, classic gutsy drive with the joy of the open air, the various models vary from sports styling making it open to any adventure to the MINI with four doors that has an all-wheel drive and a hunger for the grass. A model that has changed with the times.”