In August 1959 the first mini cars for sale were delivered from the British Motor Corporation's (BMC) factory to a London based outlet. The cost of a new mini then was just £500 including purchase tax. Alec Issigonis the designer, could never have dreamed that the vehicle that he had created would endure into the twenty first century. Nor could he have imagined that a certain Bavarian company would eventually acquire all rights of his vision, and bring out a version of their own, considerably larger than the original, but still plenty of fun to drive and more in line with the shape and efficiency of transport in this modern age.
Issigonis dreamed to provide a British car for the masses, rather like Mr Ford and his Model T. The mini in 1959 was an austere creation with string pulleys to open doors and driver and passengers windows that slid sideways to a half open position. Instrumentation comprised a speedometer and fuel gauge. If you were able to find a top quality example of a used mini today expect to pay anything between £7,000 to £10,000 depending on the model. The most sought after used mini is the Cooper S 1275 c.c. version. This nippy little character could sprint from zero to sixty miles an hour in around eleven seconds, which in the early sixties was an amazingly quick thing for any car to be able to accomplish, let alone one with such a diminutively sized engine.
Loved by the masses the mini quickly became one of the most sought after cars to be seen driving. Everyone wanted one no matter if their budget included a Rolls Royce. The mini had found a niche market and production swelled. Things only got better after a film maker used minis as the ultimate getaway vehicle in the 'Italian Job'. The destiny of the mini was sealed, the movie world had taken the mini into parts that had not yet identified its small car statement. After the film's release the mini was provided a street credibility rating that stood no comparison.
The good thing about a car that has stood the test of time so well is that over the years lots of used cars wearing the mini badge have become available. A used mini today may not however cost you as little as the £500 expected for the original. Though if you're really intent on possessing one of the most desirable cars of the last century you really won't mind paying a little more. After all a used mini is not just a car, it's a symbol of British ingenuity at its best.
Used versions of the latest minis are already appearing on the used cars market, and though there is nothing remotely austere about the newest version by comparison to the original, Issigonis would probably have been delighted and flattered that the German company had gone to so much bother to both keep his creation alive and desirable in the twenty first century. So whatever used mini might attract your heartstrings, it's good to know that there are specialist dealers who do buy and sell used mini cars around the world. So wherever you might reside you'll probably be able to discover a British symbol of ingenuity that the world refuses to forget. Just look out for the sign that says 'mini cars for sale'.