31 July 2007
Cooper than thou
Sir Alec Issigonis' original Mini dates back to 1959; by 1961 it was considered a serious competition vehicle, thanks to some demon tweaks by race-car manufacturer John Cooper. Cars thus enhanced were officially badged "Mini Cooper," and continued to be so up through the death of the original Mini (and, coincidentally, of John Cooper) in 2000.
BMW, having acquired the manufacturer, issued its first new batch of Minis in 2001, all of them wearing a Cooper badge under the previous license, so any recent Mini is in fact a Mini Cooper, some with additional designations.
This matters at the moment because it hadn't really sunk in that our local Mini dealer, spun off from the BMW store, is Jackie Cooper, and suddenly I happened to see on I-44 a Mini with the standard Cooper badge, a different Cooper badge (from the dealership) and a license-plate frame screaming COOPER. This was about the Coopest vehicle I'd ever seen; if only it had been a coupe.Posted at 10:05 AM to Driver's Seat