The Mini cars are very popular nowadays, but few people know their history. At first they were produced by a company located in the United Kingdom. However, nowadays the brand is under the ownership of BMW. Despite their German ownership, Minis are still considered British cars. They were an important symbol of the nation in the 60s. They also wrote history in the car industry because their small, but highly functional interior was often copied by other producers. Minis were seen as direct competitors of the Beetle produced by Volkswagen. The first model ever put on the market was instantly very popular and it was update several times. The Mini Cooper is actually a version of this first model which was meant to be used in rallies.
At first, Issigonis (the one who developed the first Mini model) was reluctant in developing a Mini for rallying. However, he eventually agreed and the car was named after the one who had the idea of transforming it: John Cooper. The Mini Cooper enjoyed great success up until the year 2000. The first Mini Copper was especially designed for racing, but in 1963 its two developers came up with a version that was even stronger. They named it Mini Cooper S.
The most important episode in the history of the Mini Cooper took place in the 60s. The car participated in the Monte Carlo Rally and won for three times. It would have also won for the fourth time, but that year was marked by a controversy. It was 1966 and the Minis occupied the podium entirely, but all three of them were disqualified. It was believed that their headlamps were not meeting the regulations of the rally. However, the decision was not welcomed by fans and company officials and it was believed to be abusive. Either way, the Mini Coppers enjoyed a lot of publicity back then.
The Mini Copper name was produced under license in Spain and Italy in the early 70s. Eventually, it was taken off production completely and it only made a comeback in the early 90s. The current Mini Cooper is even stronger than the version in the 60s and it also a lot safer.