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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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1969 Mini 1275 GT

The 1275GT arrived to replace the 998cc Mini-Cooper, and was a bit of a parts-bin special. It used Cooper S brake discs and a single carburettor 59bhp 1275cc engine, and wore lovely 10in Rostyle wheels manufactured by Rubery Owen. For many years, lambasted for (eventually) replacing all Coopers, but these days thanks to its bold colours, three-pack instruments and roomier engine bay, the 1275GT is attracting quite a following.

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