Over to my mate Keith Adams’ AROnline site, for my daily fix. And, lo, what should sit at the top, but an UPDATED Mini history!
I won’t spoil it for you, not least because it’s an absolute fact-packed epic. Who needs a bedtime book, when you’ve got treasures like this.
But charging on through did open my eyes to a few reality checks. Such as, how the Mini nearly died in the mid-1980s… my era of Mini! The production folk wanted to get shot of it and hand over the space to more modern designs, that were easier and more efficient to produce. Such as the Metro.
At the same time, though, market research was underway at Austin Rover which revealed that most people thought the Mini was, well, already dead. They didn’t realise it was still in production.
Yet the research also revealed how fondly they still thought of it. Ker-ching, went the marketeers, never ones to miss the chance of making a buck. Result? The famous special edition plethora, which marked out the Mini’s final decade-and-a-half in existence.
These are the Minis I know, love, and collected brochures of as a kid. Designer, Park Lane, Sky Blue, Advantage (now THAT would be a buy), Check Mate… lord knows where the brochures are now, but I had the lot back in my yoof.
Wouldn’t have been the case if it wasn’t for the marketeers and researchers, though. Engineering would have got its way, and more Maestros made at the Mini’s expense. Shudder. For this reason, I’m going to have a cup of tea. In recognition of marketeers everywhere. Cheers.
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.