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The Austin Mini in Need is an Icon Indeed

By JulesK on 24 Mar 2010

Attached Image The Austin Mini Cooper 998cc is without a doubt an iconic car since the 1960’s. With the vehicle being considered, in some ways, the British equivalent to its German contemporary, Classic Beetle by Volkswagen, this British ride with a ‘vintage feel’ interior and speed will have every person turning their heads to take a second glance at even the scruffiest example.

But wait, there’s more to come.

With a basic engine kit, the mini can be extremely nippy. That’s of course if you are driving alone. However, with three additionaly passengers in the car, the petrol consumption is awful. Having to mash the throttle due to the much slower pick-up could just be the reason. But heading down a slope with the wind behind you can prove to be a lesser pain. Although this English beauty can reach speeds up to 90-110km/h, she drives more comfortably at around 70-80km/h.

Attached Image When asked about the safety of the mini, designer Issigonis confidently stated:

“I make my cars with such good brakes, such good steering, that if people get into a crash it´s their own fault. I don’t design my cars to have accidents."

Despite the belated introduction of the airbags and side impact bars in vehicles, it is generally acknowledged that the mini was designed with excellent handling characteristics.

Attached Image: 1963_Austin_Mini_Cooper_S_Front_1.jpg
Although there are certain problems that can be fixed yourself, there is one painful problem. For the reason that the Austin Mini is not an all-terrain vehicle in any sense imaginable, a journey can easily become agonizing if the road is bumpy and the weather is wet. Having the carburetor placed behind the engine reduces carburetor icing, but that leaves the distributor located right behind the grill exposed to water coming in. Thus, when it’s raining cats and dogs, the engine will stall.

It may be a small and unreliable at times. But bear in mind – you’re driving an icon. Driving in a Murano may be more reliable, faster and bigger but in an Austin Mini, you will make heads turn. You will see people smiling from ear to ear. You will be noticed. The word ‘bored’ will no longer exist in your dictionary because every drive will be a mini adventure. As a matter of fact, you will never feel diminutive when you’re beside another automotive, but instead, superior. It’s not just the car. It’s the feeling.

austin mini, classic beetle and 3 more...

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Written by Julesk
Although Julian is satisfied driving an Austin Mini now, he hopes to own a Ford Mustang some day. Problem is he has to make it big from ToTo first.

  • 1
Rigval Mar 23 2010 01:02 AM
Hello, at the risk of sounding a little harsh, Even the mini 850 can reach 120km/h. I should know as my dad used to own one.The Cooper is much faster. I have driven and been in minis that are not even Coopers that can go faster than the speeds you mentioned. The 1275gt of the 1970s had the same power as the 1960s Cooper, which isn't much, but more than enough to get it to 130+km/h albeit noisily. The reason I know so is that i used to hang out with a group of mini loving kids in the 1990s. We had a real blast.

Furthermore, which vintage year cooper are you referring to? if you were referring to the 1st of the coopers, therefore from the 1960s, of course it had a vintage feeling dashboard as it is a vintage car. it was the dashboard of that era and if its even 1991, it would be almost 30 years old then. 2010? 40yrs old. The red one looks like a ROVER MINI from the late 1980s, these are reliable minis with fuel injection instead of a carb. the one in British Racing Green without the headrests is vintage 60s mini cooper but on modern 12in rims. original coopers come in 10inch rims n tires.

Minis aren't as destructive as you are led to believe. but they do leak oil everywhere. but if it didnt, it wouldnt be british. another good example is the land rover. they love to leak too.

JulesK Mar 23 2010 10:07 AM
Most definitely agree with your kind words. It's true that coopers can reach up to speeds of 130+km/h. However, I do believe the times that you have tried the different coopers and the time I have tried might be the reason for our different opinions.

As this is based on my own experience, the austin mini I was referring to here is, no doubt, from the 1960s. Pardon me for leaving this vital information out. Unlike yourself, I wasn't as lucky. I only started trying out this icon recently and I do have some problems reaching 110km/h. Perhaps there are other factors causing it?

Nevertheless, as mentioned before, I do agree with you on how they aren't as destructive as we are all led to believe.


Rigval Mar 23 2010 11:33 AM

Well, the thing is, not all Austin Minis are Austin Mini Coopers. Mini Coopers are performance versions of the standard austin mini. 1st coopers are unique, 2 fuel caps on each side of the rear as well as twin carbs and a tuned engine. The cooper S had 1071cc engine and even more poke. 120km/h in a mini 850 is easy. A healthy engine, lots of guts, and a very very very long road with a slight downhill gradient.

I once was sitting in a rear seat of a souped up mini 1275gt doing at least 145-150km/h chased by another 3 minis. The experience. Priceless.
JulesK Mar 24 2010 10:37 AM

That feeling must be a wonderful one! Only problem is I reckon the chances of getting a vintage car as such in a relatively good condition can be difficult.

That could be the reason why I find it difficult to to hit 120km/h.. One of the fastest speed I went was a mere 110km/h. That was when I felt the car shaking terribly.. Thus, I decided not to push it.

But it'll be swell if I could hit a speed higher than the current one!
Mecontle Jun 16 2011 05:28 PM
100yrs from now toyota vios is the next austin mini
  • 1
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