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Is It A Mini Cooper_ Mini_ Cooper Or What-

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					The title of the Mini Cooper causes all kinds of confusion with car enthusiasts. Is the
car a small version of a Cooper or is it just a Mini and Cooper is the model or what?
We address the issue and provide an answer in this article.

The Mini Cooper revival has been a stunning success this decade. Any revival, of
course, presupposes an original episode. In the case of the Mini Cooper, the first was
not built in 2000. It was built in 1959. BMW may own the brand now, but it was
BMC [British Motor Company] that came up with the idea. The BMC was good at
ideas, but not so good at running a car business. This meant the car was passed to
different ownership through the years and much of its popularity waned as it was
never serious updated for the times until BMW purchased it in 1994 and launched the
modern Mini Cooper in 2001.

The name of the Mini Cooper gives rise to a lot of arguments. Is the car a Mini or is it
a Cooper. History gives us the answer. In the late 1950s, the United Kingdom was
going through a gas shortage caused when the Middle East OPEC countries cut off
gas supplies given the UK's involvement in the Suez Canal mess. The English people
were looking for gas friendly cars and there were no British made options. The people
were buying [gasp!] German cars to fill the gap. The BMC decided to come up with
their own small subcompact and you can guess what it was.

The first car launched by the BMC was not called a Mini Cooper. In fact, neither term
was used. It was called an Austin Seven, but was also released as a Morris
Mini-Minor under a second brand owned by BMC. In 1961, the Austin Mini was
released in the UK, the first time the name Mini was used. A year later, the car was
just called the Mini.

In the question of who came first, the Mini or Cooper, the Mini is the clear winner as
applied to this car. So, what is the story with Cooper then? Surely that name played
some role in the process? Indeed it did.

John Cooper designed Formula One and Rally cars. His company was known as the
Cooper Car Company. He was friends with the original designer of the Mini and
thought the car would be a tremendous rally car. In 1961, BMC gave John Cooper
permission to build a Mini rally car. He built a base model known as the Mini Cooper.
He designed a more powerful version known as the Mini Cooper "S". This second
version was entered into the famous Monaco Rally and won it on one occasion.

Minis have always been sold through the years, but Mini Coopers have been produced
off and on. Most Minis were not Cooper versions, but were instead known as Marks
such as Mini Mark IVs and the like. There was even a Mini pickup! Regardless,
BMW has exclusively used the Mini Cooper name for all of its models with a
performance version known as the "S" being created for each.
So, who came first? The answer is Mini. The Cooper was a version of the Mini until
the turn of the century when BMW launched the modern car and used the full name
on all the models.

Dirk Gibson is with DCJ Auto Parts where you can get more Mini Cooper information
and parts at low, low prices.

				
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posted:1/17/2011
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