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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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2000 Mini Cooper 

Seeing the Mini out in style were a series of special editions based on the 1.3-litre Cooper, which now boasted a 1275cc catalysed engine, electric cooling fan, luxury interior and 13-inch Sportspack wheels. Longer gearing and these bigger wheels meant they were more than tolerable on the motorway - but these cars were still all about cities and mountain passes. The final edition was the Mini Cooper Sport 500, complete for four spotlights and a certificate signed by John Cooper - now highly sought after.


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