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Top 10: Classic Minis

With a career that lasted 41 years and with worldwide sales of more than five million, the Issigonis-designed Mini was a major British success story. And it’s now more popular than ever among classic car enthusiasts, with prices of the best examples at an all-time high.

Countless different versions were offered over the years, so narrowing down our favourites to a mere ten has been tricky. But hey, we’re always up for a challenge. So check out which Minis we reckon are among the greatest of all – and make sure you tell us your fave, too.

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Mini MkI (1959-67)

Back in 1959, the Mini was a revelation. The front-wheel drive, transverse-engined, wheel-at-each-corner creation by Alec Issigonis was so brilliantly packaged that it made bigger, clumsier cars look instantly outdated; indeed, it would take most other European manufacturers a decade to catch up. Early versions were sold as the Austin Seven and Morris Mini-Minor, each one coming with sliding side windows, huge door bins, external hinges and a brilliantly basic charm. The MkII that took over in ’67 was even more capable but somehow lost some of the MkI’s originality – which helps to explain the extraordinary values of early Minis nowadays.

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Comments

Rob McBride    on 18 April 2017

I bought an 11 month old Mini Van in 1962 for £280, they were free of purchase tax when new at only £360, a new Mini was £496 at the time. It was very cold in the winter and the sliding side windows used to frost over and freeze up making visibility at junctions quite difficult. After about 30,000 miles I traded it in against a1963 Hillman Imp, the worst car I have ever owned.
Apart from tyres and exhausts the Mini Van cost me very little.

Rob McBride

geoerge    on 19 April 2017

The minivan purchased new in 1966, unlike the 1960 mini car had badly fitting panels, some bent. Prone to rust. and badly machined parts. poor quality wheel; bearings which disintegrated. Loose steering rack making driving unsafe. poor quality cylinder head casting which allowed water to ingress into the oil. after repairs water was found in the oil.Dealer was unconcerned and did not carry out the service properly. 28 grease points like something out of my first 1928 car which was older than me.
At this point I no longer purchased either Austin or Morris products for the first time in 10 years and switched to Japanese and German cars and vans. I have just purchased a new Mercedes 2017 I am not impressed, no dual clutch auto box no parking sensors etc. My favourite car was a Nissan Micra 1982. Mercedes brand has gone down over the years. Even some of the cheapest cars have more equipment May be it is time to reconsider British and look at Jaguar Rover.

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