Mini is a British brand and besides with quite a rich past. But today Mini and its rather popular model Cooper are produced under the auspices of BMW.
The history of the company began in the late 40s, when John Cooper, registered a company «Cooper Car Company», where he began producing compact racing cars. One of his development designs - Cooper 500 - opened the way to racing for many people. One of his first clients was Stirling Moss himself. The first Cooper car of “Formula-II” which had a front engine in those days was driven by the five times world champion Juan Manuel Fangio. In the late 50s, when one could find amateur racers amongst the winners of competitions the first rear-engine Cooper participated as equal to such giants as Ferrari and Maserati, which at that time relied upon a front-mounted engine.
Mini car has been created by the son of a British racer John Cooper - Mike Cooper who, at the same time, was the owner of the car tuning workshop named after his father. The first model of Mini caused a furor back in 1959. At this time, the emergence of a small and economy car could meet demands of mass consumers. As time passed, there appeared expensive and prestigious brands, but these cars have not lost their popularity due to the exceptional low price. “Austin Rover” concern made use of the situation and manufactured cars in small but sufficient quantity. However profits were a problematic matter.
Then the BMW group came to the aid. They decided that the brand of “Mini” is the name that had brought and is still capable to bring a handsome profit and they took up the project.
The revival of the legendary began with a broad discussion in the British press. Alex Moulton and John Cooper still living founders of the first Mini took part in the project.
They were busy considering the main problem --how to maintain selfdom of Mini and make it meeting modern requirements for passenger capacity and safety.
In 1997, one by one, there were shown avant-garde concept cars Spiritual and Spiritual Too, as well as ACV 30 - a kind of remembrance of the victory of the Mini Cooper in Monte Carlo Rally in 1967. However, they have not received the approval of top management of BMW. The chief designer, Frank Stephenson, an American, said: "This machine - a piece of history and our task is to transfer its emotional charge to the technological level of the future." Despite some reminiscences it can not be called the new Mini car in retro style - said the designer.
At the moment things are going uphill for the Mini brand: new modifications of cars are designed and new generation of Mini car is developed.