Richtext: The Mark IV was introduced in 1976 it had a front rubber-mounted subframe with single tower bolts and the rear subframe had some larger bushings introduced. Twin column stalks for indicators and wipers were introduced, as were larger foot pedals. From 1977 onwards, the rear light clusters included reversing lights. In 1980, the engine was upgraded to the improved A-Plus unit from the new Metro.
Faced with competition from a new wave of modern superminis like the Ford Fiesta, Renault 5, and Volkswagen Polo, the Mini was beginning to fall out of favour in many export markets, with the South African, Australian, and New Zealand markets all stopping production around this time. Buyers of small cars now wanted modern and practical designs, usually with a hatchback.
Richtext: The production version of the Mini was shown to the press in April 1959.
The Mini was officially announced to the public on 26 August 1959.
The first example was a Morris Mini-Minor with the registration 621 AOK.
Richtext: The engine mounting points were moved forward to take 1275-cc power units, and includes the later Horizontal Integral Float version of the Skinners Union carb, plus the single-point fuel-injected car, which came out in 1991. The 998-cc power units were discontinued. An internal bonnet release was fitted from 1992.
Richtext: The Mini was marketed under BMC's two main brand names, Austin and Morris. In 1969, it became a marque in its own right.
Slow at the outset, Mark I sales strengthened across most of the model lines in the 1960s, and production totalled 1,190,000.
Richtext: The original Mini's last year in the top ten of Britain's top selling cars was 1981, as it came ninth and the Metro was fifth. In 1982, BL made 56,297 Minis. During the early 1980s, the Mini received many mechanical upgrades which were shared with the Metro, such as the A-Plus engine, 12-inch wheels with front disc brakes, improved soundproofing and quieter, stronger transmissions. This not only modernised the Mini but, because many of its major subassemblies were now shared with the Metro, made it very cost-effective to produce despite falling sales volumes. The Mini's 25th anniversary fell in 1984 and British Leyland produced a 'Mini 25' limited-edition model, both to mark the occasion and to publicise the recent upgrades to the model. This marked the start of a turnaround in the Mini's fortunes. Basic models such as the City and the City E (using the economy-tuned drivetrain from the Metro HLE) filled in the bottom of the Austin-Rover range and still found buyers who wanted a compact city car that was easy to park and cheap to run. Low purchase and running costs also made the Mini continually popular as a first car for younger drivers, and Austin-Rover introduced a steady stream of limited editions with bright paint colours, body graphics, and trim to appeal to this market. The Mini was also becoming prized as a characterful and nostalgic car in its own right, and the London Collection of limited-edition models was more upmarket and luxurious and named after affluent or fashionable parts of London. These marketing strategies proved very successful; Mini production actually had modest increases through the mid-1980s, from 34,974 in 1985 to 35,280 in 1985 and 39,800 in 1986. By 1990, with the reintroduction of the very popular Cooper model, Mini production passed 40,000. In 1988, Austin Rover decided to keep the Mini in production for as long as it was viable to do so, putting an end to reports that it would be discontinued by 1991, by which time the original Metro would also be replaced.
Richtext: Issigonis' friend John Cooper, owner of the Cooper Car Company and designer and builder of Formula One and rally cars, saw the potential of the Mini for competition. The two men collaborated to create the Mini Cooper. The Austin Mini Cooper and Morris Mini Cooper debuted in September 1961.
The car featured a race-tuned engine, twin SU carburettors, a closer-ratio gearbox and front disc brakes, uncommon at the time in a small car. One thousand units of this version were commissioned by management, intended for and designed to meet the homologation rules of Group 2 rally racing.
A more powerful Mini Cooper, dubbed the "S", was developed in tandem and released in 1963. Featuring a 1071 cc engine and larger servo-assisted disc brakes. 4,030 Cooper S cars were produced and sold until the model was updated in August 1964. Cooper also produced two S models specifically for circuit racing in the under 1,000 cc and under 1,300 cc classes respectively.
Richtext: This was the final version, twin point injection with front-mounted radiator. Full-width dashboard replaces the original shelf, internal bonnet release. Introduction of airbag on driver's side. The basic Mini was the 1.3i, the other model in the range being the Mini Cooper. The end of production in October 2000 signalled the end of original Mini production after 41 years.
Richtext: The Mark II Mini was launched at the 1967 British Motor Show. It featured a redesigned grille, a larger rear window and numerous cosmetic changes. A total of 429,000 Mk II Minis were produced.
Richtext: In 1969, under the ownership of British Leyland, the Mini was given a facelift by stylist Roy Haynes, who had previously worked for Ford. The restyled version was called the Mini Clubman, and has a squarer frontal look. A new model, dubbed the 1275 GT, was slated as the replacement for the 998 cc Mini Cooper.The Clubman Estate replaced the Countryman and Traveller. The 1275 GT is often incorrectly described as the "Mini Clubman 1275 GT". The official name was always just the "Mini 1275 GT", and it was a separate, distinct model from the Clubman.
The long-nose Clubman and 1275 GT offered better crash safety, were better equipped, and had better under-bonnet access, but they were more expensive and aerodynamically inferior to the original 1959 design.
At the end of Clubman and 1275 GT production, 275,583 Clubman saloons, 197,606 Clubman Estates and 110,673 1275 GTs had been made.
Richtext: The Mini Van was a commercial panel van rated at ¼-ton load capacity. Built on the longer Traveller chassis but without side windows, 521,494 were built.
Richtext: The mini pick-up, 11 ft (3.4 m) in total length, was built on the longer Mini Van platform, with an open-top rear cargo area and a tailgate. A total of 58,179 Mini Pick-up models were built.
Richtext: All cars had 8.4-inch (210 mm) brake discs and plastic wheel arches (Mini Special arches), but retained the same Mark IV body shell shape. The Mini Cooper was relaunched in 1989, 20 years after the demise of the original model. Once again, it featured the long-running 1275-cc engine which had featured on the original Mini Cooper, as well as on numerous other BMC/BL/ARG models.
Richtext: The Mark III Mini had a modified bodyshell with enough alterations to see the factory code change from ADO15 to ADO20.
The most obvious changes were larger doors with concealed hinges. Customer demand led to the sliding windows being replaced with winding windows. The suspension reverted from hydrolastic to rubber cones as a cost-saving measure.
The simple name Mini completely replaced the separate Austin and Morris brands.
The Mini was still popular in Britain, but appeared increasingly outdated in the face of newer and more practical rivals.
Richtext: These models were two-door estate cars with double "barn"-style rear doors. Both were built on a slightly longer chassis of 84 inches (2.1 m).
From the start of production both models had a decorative, non-structural, ash wood trim on the rear body.
Approximately 108,000 Austin Mini Countrymans and 99,000 Morris Mini Travellers were built.
Richtext: A utility vehicle intended for the British Army was built with a twin-engined 4-wheel-drive. Although the 4WD Moke could climb a 1:2 gradient, it lacked enough ground clearance for military use. The single-engined front-wheel-drive Moke enjoyed some popularity in civilian production. About 50,000 were made in total.
Richtext: The Mini designer is a Limited Edition Mini that was only built in 1988. It was designed by English fashion designer and icon Mary Quant. There were 2000 made, 1000 in white and 1000 in black, it is thought there are less than 400 on the road currently.
The Designer is based on a Mini City, but with tinted windows, black and white striped seats, leather steering wheel (with Mary Quant Daisy), Nimbus grey trim and 'Designer' decals with coach lines.
I bought this 1988 Mini Designer in November 2018. I didn't see it prior to purchase (always view before buying!)
As you can see, it requires a lot of work. Many say just scrap it, but its a mini in need!
It will live again.