Beginning. The first Mini was manufactured in 1959 by the British Motor Corporation (BMC). Work on this car started after the fuel crisis in 1956. Sales of large cars had gone down and the UK authorities were even considering fuel rationing. A decision was made to create a car with a small engine which would not have to be designed from scratch. Alec Issigonic headed the project. In 1957, a prototype was presented, which was called "the orange box" because of its colour. The car was equipped with a four-cylinder liquid-cooled engine with a capacity of 848 cc and 34 HP. The drive was transmitted through the front axle and the passenger compartment was quite spacious. The Mini was equipped with nine-inch wheels. Completely new tyres were designed specifically for this car. This task was undertaken by the Dunlop company.
Development. In subsequent years, the car was manufactured in Italy, Australia, Chile, Spain, South Africa and other countries. The BMC company did not modernise the car for a long time. It is interesting to note that for almost a decade from the production launch, it was not possible to wind down the windows in Mini cars. In 1967, a new version of the Mini was presented, marked with the symbol MkII. Despite the relatively unmodern construction, the car sold very well. Several other constructions were based on the Mini; however, they were given different names.
Present. In 2000, Mini was taken over by the Bavarian BMW company. The company made the car a bit larger but this did not deprive it of its soul. In 2007, a revamp was carried out, and there were also plans to launch an off-road version. Since the beginning of the production, nearly 5.5 million Mini cars have been manufactured.
Contribution to the motor industry. The Mini is considered a British icon of the 1960s. Some people compare its contribution to the automotive industry with the German Volkswagen Beetle. In 1999, Mini was selected as the second most influential car of the 20th century (after the Ford T).
Trivia. The first Mini, despite its obvious advantages and nice style, did not attract great interest. Rock musicians including Queen and The Beatles became involved in promoting the car. This made the British people very interested in it. Mini also owes its popularity to its successes in car rallies. John Cooper created the racing version of the car — his name was used for the sports versions of the Mini (the Cooper and Cooper S). These models won the Monte Carlo rally three times — in 1964, 1965 and 1967.
Popular models: Mini Clubman, Mini Cooper, Mini One, Mini Works.
Tyres. There are many Mini Cooper models. They differ not only in their appearance and equipment but also in their performance. This also determines the size of tyres which can be used in them. The Mini Cooper can be equipped with tyres ranging from 15 to 18 inches in size. Sample sizes: 175/65 R15, 175/60 R16, 195/55 R16, 205/45 R17, 205/40 R18, 235/35 R19. Many tyre manufacturers provide original equipment tyres for Mini Cooper cars. A few examples: The Mini Cooper S Works uses Dunlop SP Sport 01* DSST tyres. The Mini Cooper S Convertible, on the other hand, uses Dunlop SP Sport 200*E. Goodyear tyres can also be found in various MINI models, e.g.: Goodyear UltraGrip Performance 2, Excellence and UltraGrip 7+.