The Austin Mini is a two-door compact city car manufactured and marketed by the British Motor Corporation (BMC) between 1959 and 2000. The first 1959 Mini was an immediate hit and remained one of the most recognizable automobiles ever made. Its front-wheel-drive, transverse engine configuration inspired an era of automakers and is now one of Europe's best-selling vehicles. Subcompacts from the UK have evolved into various vehicles, notably the Mini Cooper.
History of Austin Mini
The original motivation for the Mini's creation was a desire for a better fuel-efficient vehicle in the United Kingdom. To lead a group of engineers, Sir Leonard Lord of the Morris Company assigned Alec Issigonis in 1957. In the beginning, they used a transverse engine and transmission that enabled front-wheel drive. In 1931, the German DKW F1 was the first automobile to use this space-saving construction.
Austin Mini Mark I (1959 - 1967)
The Austin Seven was called the Austin Mini in January 1962. The Hydrolastic system, a revolutionary suspension technology, appeared on 1964 vehicles. However, executives questioned this since it altered the car's performance and increased the cost. The four-speed manual transmission has been standard on all models until this time. The regular Austin/Morris Mini and Morris Mini SDL were available with an automatic gearbox in 1965. The company introduced the one-millionth Mini in this generation. About 10,000 left-hand drive BMC Minis were introduced in the United States by BMC from 1960 to 1967.
Austin Mini Mark II (1967 - 1970)
In the late 1960s, Issigonis began developing a successor to the original Mini. There were plans for a shorter and more capable MK II, but the BMC company decided against it. They issued MK II's new front grille and wider rear window, among other aesthetic improvements, instead of the Mk I, which was discontinued. A total of 429,000 Mk II Minis were built.
Austin Mini Mark IV (1976 - 1984)
The Mark IV debuted in 1976, but British Leyland was already planning a new small car that was supposed to replace the Mini in the not-too-distant future. It featured a front rubber mounted subframe with single tower bolts and bigger bushings in the back frame, both of which were designed to increase mechanical smoothness and lower sound levels.
Austin Mini Mark V (1984 - 1990)
Changes in this period include the 8.4-inch (210 mm) brake discs and Mini Special plastic wheel arches, and a 1275-cc engine.
Austin Mini Mark VI (1990 - 1996)
The Mini became the lone receiver of the iconic A-Series engine with transmission-in-sump architecture when the bigger Metro was modified in 1990 to accommodate the new K-Series engine. The manufacturer shifted the engine mounting positions forward to accommodate 1275-cc engines. The car also featured the newer Horizontal Integral Float variant of the SU carburetor and the single-point fuel-injected automobile that debuted in 1991. From 1992 forward, the carmaker installed an internal bonnet release. Mark VII replaced it in August 1996, and production stopped in August 1996.
Austin Mini Mark VII (1996 - 2000)
Mini MK VII production ended in October 2000, with the last of 5.3 million automobiles built and sold worldwide.
Austin Mini and Rover Mini (1976 - 2000)
When they produced new versions in the late 1970 and early 1980s, they based them on the original Cooper and Cooper S versions. It was renamed the Austin Mini in 1980. Due to increased competition from newer, sleeker mini vehicles, sales declined. The original Mini's final year in the top 10 best-selling automobiles in the United Kingdom was 1981. The Austin Mini was renamed the Rover Mini in 1988. After a four-decade existence, the last original Mini, a red Cooper Sport, went off the assembly line at Longbridge in October 2000. After a four-decade existence, the last original Mini, a red Cooper Sport, went off the assembly line at Longbridge in October 2000. Over 5 million classic Minis were sold throughout its 41-year career, making it the top British automobile ever. In 1999, the Mini was named the second most influential automobile of the 20th century, after Henry Ford's Model T.
Of the non-Cooper cars, early Mk1 Minis are the most difficult to come by and the most expensive. Cars from the original batch of 1959 may sell for more than £20,000 in perfect shape, while later Mk1 models can sell for over £10,000 in excellent state. Online auction websites offer their Austin Mini with prices ranging from $30,000 to $60,000.
Interior Features of Austin Mini
The interior features of the Austin Mini are rich in components, with front bucket seats and rear bench seats finished in two-tone vinyl trim. Austin sold the model with different carpet color combinations, including the powder blue/silver brocade gray, powder blue/gold brocade gray, dove gray/dark gray, dove gray/porcelain Green, tartan red/gold brocade gray, and gray/gold brocade gray. The instrument panel contains a 120 mph speedometer, including the fuel gauge, temperature gauge, and oil pressure gauge. More standard interior features include three-point seatbelts, indicator light, vinyl-covered dash rails, ashtray, solid chrome top, two-spoke steering wheel, carpeted boot board, and a hardcover vinyl type lining featuring upholstery washers and small chrome screws.
Exterior Features of Austin Mini
Austin Mini Mark I interior features include Austin Cooper S cursive badging on the rear central boot lid and an "Austin Cooper" badge with a small letter S above the front center of the engine hood. The car also features small windows, small taillights, exterior door hinges, and a big grille with thin cross slats. Chrome corner nerf bars and over-riders are standard at the front and rear sides of the vehicle. The U.S. market received the models with (some) all-red taillights, and some are made of amber turn signals.
The Austin Mini Mark I engine delivers 78 hp (57 kW) at 5,800 rpm and 80 lb-ft (108 Nm) at 3,000 rpm of torque. Austin Mini Mark I accelerates from 0 to 60 mph (97 kph) in 12.4 seconds with a top speed of 100 mph (161 kph) and a curb weight of 1,400 lbs (635 kgs). Austin sold the Austin Mini Mark I as a rear-wheel-drive (RWD) model with a 4-speed manual transmission powered by a 1.3L inline 4 engine.
British Motor Corporation released and manufactured the vehicle from 1959 to 1968, British Leyland between 1958 and 1986, and Rover Group from 1986 to 2000.