Out now: the Autocade Yearbook 2024
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Out now: Autocade Yearbook 2024

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The Mini was the creation of Alec Issigonis, launching in 1959 as Austin and Morris models, with Riley and Wolseley booted variants following soon after. By 1969, British Leyland promoted Mini to a marque in its own right, which it remained for years, though when the company became the Rover Group, there were references to Rover Mini. Certainly the company was inconsistent with marketing, and a badge resembling the Rover Viking longship did appear on models in the late 1980s and 1990s. When BMW took control of Rover, it made it a point of reaffirming Mini as a marque on its own, débuting a new logo. When the original Mini finished production in 2000—looking not that different from the 1959 model—the car was a cult favourite in Japan and somehow, BMW had made it fashionable again. That simply paved the way to its own Mini in 2001, a much larger car with the looks of the old, and when the German company sold Rover, it kept what it saw as its crown jewel for itself. The Mini brand lives on today, and BMW is on to its third-generation model, expanding it into a large range of cars.

q.v. Austin Seven, Austin Mini, Morris Mini-Minor, Morris Mini, Morris Mini Moke, Leyland Mini Moke, Innocenti Mini, Leyland Mini, Riley Elf, Wolseley Hornet, Cagiva Moke


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Out now: Autocade Yearbook 2024