The Nonchalantdad: the Mini Brings Back Some Memories

Austin Morris Mini Cooper 1963

I remember travelling to England with my mother. We were living near Los Angeles at the time and, of course, were used to moving around in cars that resembled small boats more than they did a car. It was the later 70's. A trip from California to England, with 3 out of 5 of her young children in tow, was not an easy thing for my mother in those days especially. By the time we arrived in London the next day, the kids were beyond tired, and my mother.... well, you can imagine where her mind was at. Anyway, I remember very clearly all 4 of us showing up at the car rental place, with tons of luggage in tow. Somehow, my mother - typically English - decided that it would be 'adorable' to rent a Mini during out stay. So, there we all were, sheepishly staring at this thing that resembled a lawn mower with a roof. To this day, I don't know how she did it. But, within about 20 minutes we piled all that luggage and ourselves in the car and off we went down the motorway. It was obviously memorable. I'm not sure you would think of doing the same thing with the kids now, but it certainly didn't hurt us then!

I think that is the way with many things 'Mini'. It is why, since 1959, the Mini has maintained a unique and surprisingly formidable presence in the auto world. It is a simple car, what many consider a 'classless' car because of its ability to transcend the class system - both rich and poor have loved it, both sporty and practical, both stylish and miserly. It suited everyones needs. So, I was looking at a segment in the Guardian Newspaper and came across a series of photos of this classy little vehicle and just thought it would be nice to share. If you have any stories about your own Mini, or riding in one, that would be great. Moreso, if anyone out there has ever actually used the Camper Van version - I'd certainly love to hear how that worked out?

Classic Custom Designed Mini from 1972h

The Italian Job with Michael Caine, Noel Coward, and Benny Hill

Mini Camper Version 1960's

Mini Moke 1966

For more pictures visit the Guardian here

Mini Pick-Up Van 1961-1982

Mini Enters the Police Service 1968

Twiggy Passes her driving test in 1968 while behind the wheel of a Mini