We know and love the Classic Mini and of course in our eyes it is the greatest car ever built anyway. However the readers of highly respected magazine AutoCar now agree as well and have voted the Mini the Best British Car Of All Time!!
Beating cars like the Ford Cortina, original Austin 7 and even Aston Martin, The Range Rover and Rolls Royce, cars from mass producers Ford, Vauxhall and Rover do not appear in the top ten.
The vote by AutoCar readers was in honour of by 2015 UK car production is set to go above 2 million cars for the first time ever. Even beating the 1970 figures of 1.8million.
Autocar editor-in-chief Steve Cropley said: ‘The Mini had many faults and was never profitable, but it rewrote the rules and had the biggest impact on Britain’s car industry that any car has had.
‘It was one of the most remarkable cars ever built, what with its seating for four plus a decent boot in its mere 10-foot length.The Mini’s influence is highly visible in every VW Golf or Ford Focus today, and the legend will live forever.’
The iconic transverse engine and gear box in the sump was such a massive success it was copied by virtually every single car manufacturer in the world and is still copied today. Such was the impact of the Classic Mini. Oddly enough it never turned a profit for the various owners of the company. Without the Mini Austin, Leyland, Rover and the various other companies would have died many years earlier if the Mini had not continued production and achieved massive Worldwide sales.
In fact the Classic Mini could have died in the mid 1980's if it had not been for the American chairman, Graham Day, of the Rover Group, Mr Day decided as it was the only car in the range that was actually making any money the Mini should continue in production as long as possible. Then in 1994 Bernd Pischetsrieder, a first cousin once removed of Mini designer Issigonis, became chairman on behalf of new owners BMW, and fitted airbags and side bars to meet tough new European Regulations, and carrying on in production until 2000 an incredible 41 years.
After the attempted replacement, the Mini Metro, was a major failure, the all new MINI we now know was already on the Rover drawing board before BMW took over the company in 1994. They completed the design process and released the MINI in 2001.
A rich sporting heritage saw the Classic Mini win the Monte Carlo Rally 3 times and many track events, and is still raced today. Thank you to John Cooper for convincing the British Motor Corporation that the car could be a massive hit in Motorsport. We all know and love the Mini Cooper.
Whou would have thought that in the very early days the Mini was nearly a failure!!! Designed because of the Suez fuel crisis in the late 1950's. The Mini, designed by Issigonis on a napkin, often flooded inside the passenger compartment in heavy rain because they fitted the sills the wrong way round!! Such a simple error could have been disaster until the BMC realised the mistake, sorted the problem and it went onto sell millions of cars worldwide.
The Autocar top ten reads like this:
- 1 Original Mini
- 2 Range Rover
- 3 Jaguar E-Type
- 4 Land Rover
- 5 McLaren F1
- 6 Range Rover Evoque
- 7 Caterham 7
- 8 Morris Minor
- 9 McLaren MP4-12c
- 10 London Taxi Cab
We might not agree with some of the cars. The Cortina and Escort should perhaps be in the list as they sold millions, and no place for any of the Aston Martins!! Very strange
Many comments have appeared on Autocar in response, a few saying basically although it is an iconic car, the Mini had reliabilty issues, rust appeared everywhere and the subframes often fell off. But it became a legend and we all love it even now, and it influenced so many cars on the road today..
In the last century it was also voted The Greatest Car Of The Century. Well done Mini and long may you continue to win awards.
Read the AutoCar article http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/motoring/original-mini-voted-best-british-car
and also a follow up in the Daily Mail http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2194949/Original-Mini-named-greatest-car-built-Britain-E-type-Jaguar-McLaren-F1.html
Let us know what you think by using the comments boxes below