Top five Minis of all time
This week Autoblog reported on the launch of the fastest ever Mini going into production. The new John Cooper Works GP can reach 150mph and the Mini Plant in Oxford will build only 2,000 of them.
But the new GP isn't the only exceptional Mini. Ignoring the fact the firm has a strange addiction to producing a new special edition named after a London suburb every five minutes, we've delved deeper into the brand's history to pick our five favourite special Minis.
Mini Cooper S, 1963
We had to include the original Cooper S here. Available as an Austin or as a Morris, it was a more powerful version of the Cooper and initially featured a 1,071cc engine. In its first full year of production 4,000 Cooper Ss were sold, and the car became famous for winning the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964, '65 and '67.
George Harrison Mini, 1966
The clue to this car's owner is in the title! This is one of the most famous and much loved – or hated – special editions ever. It's reckoned the car was given to Harrison by Brian Epstein and was originally finished in metallic black. It was later repainted and starred in "The Magical Mystery Tour" in '67.
Mini Moke, 1964
The Moke was originally designed for use by the British Army, but it was turned down due to it not having enough ground clearance - even though BMC pitched the car with four-wheel-drive. But the Moke led another life, this time with the public – thanks, in part to the cult TV series The Prisoner – and was built in the UK, Portugal and Australia. It was two-wheel-drive and was loved by outdoor types all around the world.
Mini Se7en, 2000
The original Mini ended production in 2000 and to mark it, a handful of special editions were produced. Our favourite though was the Se7en with its simple colours, pepper pot alloys and a delightful red and cream interior. These cars are now rapidly becoming collectors' items, and used prices are starting to reflect this.
New Mini, 2001
Disregarded by some as too German, there's no doubt the new Mini was a special car when it launched in 2001. Customers were desperate to get their hands on this fashion icon, and spent thousands on personalising their cars thanks to an options list that seemed never-ending. BMW later said they knew it would be a hit, but 11 years on from launch they say they're surprised at its worldwide popularity.
Have you got a favourite Mini? Let us know what would be in your list by posting your comments below.