Mini

Ocean Park Auto services and repairs all models of MINI

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Our story begins in 1923 in Surrey, England, where a boy named John Cooper was born. John often spent time working at his father’s garage and together they built one-off, single-seat rally racers called “Specials”. With their limited resources in post-war England, and against the automotive fashion of the time (which tended to favor massive cars), the Coopers commissioned Sir Alex Issigonis to produce a compact vehicle that would be “for the people!” using John Cooper’s rear-engine chassis design to save on space. At the first dinner meeting, Issigonis sketched his ideas on a napkin (That’s right – the first Mini was designed on a napkin, over a dish of Bangers and Mash!) Unbeknownst to them, their new design would be considered a game changer in the auto racing world. The car drove beautifully; it was fast, agile, compact, and best of all, affordable. The rest, one could say, is history. But before you dismiss this David and Goliath story with a “Big Whoop” consider this: John Cooper’s Mini won countless rallies, including the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964, 1965, and 1967, against some of the biggest car manufacturers of the time—companies that had been competing before Mini was but a dream in the mind of a small boy, working in a garage and bonding with his father.

BMW headquarters in Munich, Germany

  • 1949 The Coopers commissioned Sir Alex Issigonis to produce a compact vehicle that would be “for the people!”
  • 1959 -60 The British Motor Corporation launches a small car originally known as the Morris Mini-Minor and the Austin Seven 116,667 cars built in the first full year of production.
  • 1962: All former Austin Seven models now officially called Austin Mini.
  • John Cooper’s Mini won countless rallies, including the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964, 1965, and 1967
  • The original two-door Mini continued in production until 2000
  • 1966 The Mini a product of the British Motor Corporation became part of British Motor Holdings
  • 1968 British Motor Holdings merged with Leyland Motors
  • 1969 Mini became a marque in its own right
  • 1980: The Mini becomes the Austin Mini.
  • 1988 Rover Group, including Mini, was acquired by British Aerospace
  • 1988: The Austin Mini becomes the Rover Mini.
  • 1994, Rover Group was acquired by BMW
  • 2000, Rover Group was broken up by BMW, with BMW retaining the Mini brand.
  • 2001 The BMW Group introduced the MINI as a premium brand when it brought the MINI One and MINI Cooper onto the European market. In 2002, the sporty MINI Cooper S joined the family, as did the MINI One D with diesel engine in 2003. The plant now produces 5 derivative of MINI – Hatch, Clubman, Cabrio, Coupé and Roadster
  • 2011, some 3,800 employees manufactured over 191,000 customized MINI automobiles at one of the most modern BMW Group production sites. 80% of MINIs are exported to 99 countries worldwide

 

2014 model Mini photo by Jay Ramy