There are a few things that bring to mind the British; the Queen, the silent guards of Buckingham Palace, tea and crumpets, and the MINI Cooper. But is the MINI British? Starting off as a British vehicle, the MINI has been built and sold throughout the entire world. Read on to find out a bit more about its history, and if the MINI is in fact British.
The MINI marque, or brand, has exchanged hands many times over the course of its near-60 years on the road. It is currently owned by BMW which, is an excellent fit, considering the attention BMW pays toward premium design and smart engineering. So does that make the MINI British, or German? Well, despite the German engineers working on new design for MINIs, they are still produced at a sole manufacturing plant in the UK, in the town of Cowley, Oxfordshire. I mean I’m not a geographer, but that sounds pretty British to me.
So is the MINI British? Well, it was designed by one Sir Alec Issigonis for the British Motor Company — and while non-British citizens can receive an honorary knighthood, they cannot put a Sir in front of their name. So if it was designed by a Brit, it is safe to say it has at least a bit of British DNA. This is proudly displayed by all of the MINIs wearing Union Jacks, the flag of the United Kingdom. One of the many options available for customizing your MINI, the Union Jack has found itself all over the MINI, from the roof to the side mirrors to the headrests. So just like if a soccer player – excuse me – footballer, is seen wearing an England jersey, chances are they’re pretty British.
I think it is safe to say that by this time, we’ve all seen The Italian Job. Now, whether that is the 1969 version, or the more recent 2003 version, we are well past the cutoff for spoilers. But here’s a spoiler alert for you: The Italian Job isn’t really Italian. Well, there are bits and pieces of it that are set in Italy, or involve Italians, but it is about as British as they come. In fact, the British Film Institute ranked the 1969 film at #36 on the BFI Top 100 British films list, and the original version starred one of the UK’s most known and respected actors, Michael Caine.
So is the MINI British? I’d say so. British genetics, looks, and history, all point toward the MINI being a British vehicle. No matter who owns the marque these days, we can add the MINI to the list of things that bring to mind the British. If you’re interested in learning more about the MINI’s British heritage, come by MINI Edmonton today.