The Mini Cooper is arguably one of the most easily recognizable automobiles ever produced. The original Mini started production in the late 50s and quickly became one of the best-selling cars in Europe, with many attributing the transverse engine front-wheel drive layout as a main factor of this success.
Like many inventions throughout history, the Mini was invented to meet a demand. During the 1950s, Great Britain had great need of a vehicle with high fuel-efficiency. As such, in 57 Sir Leonard Lord (of the Morris Company) asked his top engineer, a man called Alex Issigonis to lead a team of designers with the goal of providing a solution to this demand. The vehicle created as a result was a compact vehicle with a transverse engine and a gearbox (allowing for front wheel drive) and all four wheels being pushed out to the far corners of the vehicle, maximizing both interior space and handling of the vehicle.
Many features that enthusiasts love about the classic Minis were originally included to keep costs to a minimum. This includes external door and boot hinges, and of course the sliding windows which were used instead of the more expensive roll-up style side widows. However, shortly after this vehicle reached the market, John Cooper (the race car builder) saw the potential in this vehicle, the engine s displacement was increased from 848cc to 997cc, SU carburetors increased the power from 34 to 55 horsepower, and front disk brakes and a close-ratio gearbox were added to complete the performance boost.
The Origins of the Mini Cooper S
In the early 1960s, a more powerful Mini Cooper vehicle was released. Dubbed the Model S, this Mini came with a superb 1071cc engine and large servo-assisted brakes. This superior and more powerful version of the Mini Cooper was sold for a year, and sold a total of 4,030 models. However, this was not the only S model produced, two other S models were also produced specifically for circuit racing, one of which the 1275cc Cooper S model for Under 1300cc classes was produced until 71.
The Mini Cooper in Motorsport
The Cooper S is a very successful vehicle in the world of motorsport. In fact, the Monte Carlo Rally has had numerous victors in Mini Coopers, including the 1964, 65, and 67 winners.
Here at Mini Sport, we proudly and passionately race our Minis in some of the most exciting events throughout the country. For example, last year, Team Mini Sport took part in the Mull Rally, an annual event which is attended by many motorsport VIPs, in which Daniel Harper & Chris Campbell from Team Mini sport finished 2nd. As passionate Mini Cooper enthusiasts, we re always happy to demonstrate that whilst the Mini is indeed an automotive icon of British culture, it is also a superb racing machine.
Simply put, Mini Coopers are our passion, ever since the halcyon days of the Mini; we have been there, providing parts and spares to fellow enthusiasts from all over the world. As a result, we have established a world-leading service in the supply of everything Mini; it s still going strong over 50 years later. In fact, last year we were approached by Mike Cooper, son of the legendary John Cooper with the prospect of re-launching the Cooper Car Company in association with Mini Sport. Our exclusive Cooper Car Company collections are internationally recognized for reliability and power; taking direct inspiration from the original parts designed by John Cooper and Charles Cooper when the company was founded in 1946, with classic styling and high-grade quality.