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Top 15: Minis through the years

In a few weeks' time you'll be able to buy a brand new MINI, the fourth entirely new generation of car to wear this badge. Here are 15 of the classics to remind you just how far they've come since 26 August 1959. The first Mini was offered as an Austin or Morris, but throughout the years, the Cooper, Riley and Wolseley versions added names, and much appeal to Sir Alec Issigonis' brilliant baby car concept.

We take a look at some of the most basic, sporting and luxurious Minis sold officially by BMC, Leyland and Rover dealers between 1959 and 2000. The shape may have stayed roughly the same over the years, but the marketing, prices, colours and performance, all perfectly reflect the times they were produced. Follow the progress of the Mini between 1959 and 2000 - which is your favourite?

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1984 Mini 25 special edition

Mini development to this point had been largely marketing led. New colours, trim and tweaks to make it quieter and more economical, but no substantial changes. The 25 followed on from the brilliant 20th birthday Mini 1100 Special - although this one stuck to the 998cc A-Plus engine. This model robbed the BL parts bin and saw the return of the 1275GT’s 8.4in front disc brakes and 12in wheels - shortly afterwards, this became standard fitment for mainstream Minis, over a decade after BL had first realised that this was cheaper than fitting 10in wheels.

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