The Demise of the Mini

I saw a very rare sight the other day, an original Mini on the road. Not one of these dreadful BMW oversized and getting bigger by the day monsters but a green Austin Mini.

Back in the sixties they, along with Anglias, Escorts and Vauxhall Vivas ruled our roads. They were everywhere. There was an old saying…. ”you’re always less than a mile from a Mini”, how true.

Every celeb, pop star and those in the know had one. I expect there was at least one person in your family who had one.

Sadly, Issigonis and British Leyland knew little about anti corrosion and rust traps and by the eighties, the scrapyards were full of them. By the nineties, most had been crushed and re-appeared as Heinz Baked Beans tins.

Ask yourself…. when did YOU last see one on the move on Britain’s roads?

An endangered species now for sure but luckily there are thriving Owners Clubs keeping these little beauties alive. The rarest of them all, the Cooper S is now fetching upwards of £60,000 for a pristine example. I had an S ,myself once, sold it for £400 in 1972. Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

Next year, 2019 is the 60th Anniversary of the first ever Mini to roll off the production lines sporting the lively little 850cc engine. Very basic but oh so cool. Huge numbers were made and they went all over the world winning huge acclaim.

Just a passing memory now of the days when petrol was five bob a gallon, have we really advanced that much? I don’t think so.

James Pulleine