On this day : Goodbye to a little wonder (2000)

Back in 2000, The Independent’s Antony Hopker marked the end of production of the classic Mini at Longbridge. 

Last Mini off the line, 4 October 2000

Mini production ends after 41 years

More than 40 years of classic motoring history have ended today with the last Rover-built Mini coming off the production line.

The car, loved by fans all over the world, will be replaced by a new model to be displayed by BMW at the Motor Show at the NEC later this year.

Over five million cars have been sold since the first £496 cars was sold in 1959, and there have been more than 130 different models.

An amazing legacy

One of the car’s steps to international fame was in The Italian Job, some of which was filmed in Coventry.

Since then, hundreds of Mini drivers’ clubs have sprung up all over the world. Singer Lulu was one of a host of celebrities at the Longbridge plant in Birmingham on hand to witness the last of the cars coming off the line.

Production at Longbridge is to switch to the Rover 75 following a £400m transformation of the site.

Minis throughout the ages

The technology has been moved from the Cowley plant in Oxford, which will now produce the new Mini.

An estate version of the Rover 75 will be introduced next summer, and the MG will also be produced at Longbridge, to increase the plant’s efficiency since the turbulence surrounding the company’s future in the spring.

Mini 2001

Keith Adams
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