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Mini Die Cast Models 1:18
The Mini is a small car that was produced by the British Motor Corporation (BMC) and its successors from 1959 until 2000. The original is considered an icon of the 1960s, and its space-saving front-wheel-drive layout (that allowed 80% of the area of the car's floorplan to be used for passengers and luggage) influenced a generation of car-makers. The vehicle is in some ways considered the British equivalent to its German contemporary, the Volkswagen Beetle, which enjoyed similar popularity in North America. In 1999 the Mini was voted the second most influential car of the 20th Century, behind the Ford Model T.

The Mini was designed as a reaction to mass imports of small German cars with low fuel consumption, a necessity following the 1956 Suez Crisis and subsequent fuel shortage. The design should fit within a 10′ x 4′ x 4′ box (3m x 1.2m x 1.2m) with the passenger space taking up 1.8m of the length and for economy, using an engine design already available. Many space saving innovations were used on the Mini, including transversely mounting the engine, rubber cone suspension instead of springs and using a monocoque shell with welded seems on the outside of the bodywork.

The Mini was sold until 1961 as the Morris Mini-Minor, then becoming the Austin Mini 850 Mark 1. Minis became a brand in its own right in 1969. The Mini Cooper and Cooper S were sportier versions that were successful as rally cars, winning the Monte Carlo Rally four times from 1964 through to 1967.

Sadly the traditional Mini shape ended production in 2000 as the BMW owned Rover group was suffering massive financial losses. The BMW designed and built Mini launched the successor to the original Mini in April 2001. The new Mini is larger and heavier than the classic Mini. The departure from the minimalism of the original is a departure too far from the original for some enthusiasts. However, this didn't impact on sales of the BMW version.

Mini official site
2001 - Cooper
1959 - Mini