You know what's even more awesome than rallying? Rallying in the 1960s, back when it was essentially endurance races on dirt filled with cars like the Mercedes 300, Saab 96, Citroën DS and Ford Falcon. And, it should almost go without saying, the original Mini Cooper.

Sir Alec Issigonis' creation was a giant-slayer in the world of motorsports, a David in a field full of Goliaths. In the 3,000 mile 1964 Monte Carlo Rally, the Mini showed the world just how good small could be.

Our pals at XCAR played tribute to the Mini's win in the most realistic (and budget-minded, probably) way possible: by renting an automatic, non-turbocharged Mini Cooper Convertible and using and using it to retrace Paddy Hopkirk and Henry Liddon's steps nearly 50 years ago.

No, the rented Cooper doesn't lend itself to dirt-flinging heroics. But the story the XCAR guys tell is full of great details about the golden age of rallying, a time when drivers had nicknames like "the Horseman of the Apocalypse." Things were better then.