Do you think Alec Issigonis and the folks at BMC had any idea of the revolution they would start when they created the original Mini Cooper? Probably not, but they certainly set a large portion of the world on fire with a tiny portion of car.
In this latest video from ElectricFederal, Graham Reid of California's Heritage Garage takes us through the history of the first Mini. Originally launched as a fuel-sipping 34-horsepower economy car, tuners quickly realized that even adding small amounts of horsepower to the tiny, 1,300-pound Mini was enough to turn it into a bona-fide Porsche killer on the track, much to the chagrin of Porsche owners.
The Mini also probably doesn't get enough credit for its ingenious packaging and front-wheel drive architecture, which was very much ahead of its time and hugely influential.
Old Coopers are still around today, often with high-powered Honda engines, as we see in this video. Gotta say I'd take that over a lot of the newer ones.
Hat tip to Tod!