What Car Company Makes the Mini Cooper?by Alan Donahue
The Mini Cooper has been a British motoring icon for longer than most people on Earth have been alive; practically everyone in England who's owned a car has owned at least one. While Mini as a company may no longer be British, the newest incarnation of the classic car -- styled by an American and built in Oxford, England -- would make John Cooper himself proud.
The Mini company is currently owned by BMW, who took over the Mini Cooper production line in 1999 and did the majority of the mechanical engineering on the resurrected Mini. Along with the Mini Cooper, BMW makes the Mini One, Mini Cooper S and the MK II.
The British Motor Corporation, who originally sold the Mini Cooper, formed in 1952 as a result of a merger between Morris and Austin.
The production of the Minis began in 1959, and they quickly became a worldwide phenomenon in the 1960s due to their slick design, tiny size and excellent fuel efficiency.
The Mini was originally known as ADO15, which stands for the “Austin Drawing Office project number 15”. The Mini Cooper was designed in 1961 by race car driver John Cooper, who wanted a version of the Mini that he could use in races.
Along with the original Cooper, BMW also produces the Cooper S, a faster car, the Cooper Convertible and an all-electric version of the Mini Cooper. The reborn Mini was engineered by BMW, styled by American Frank Stephenson and assembled at Mini's traditional Cowley Plant in Oxford, England.
Irony, thy Name is "Cowley"
Mini's Cowley Plant was formerly owned by Rover and BMC, and during WWII served as a research facility to store and study shot-down German aircraft. So, say what you will, but this isn't the first time a disassembled BMW has been in Oxford.
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