Corgi 60th - Austin Mini Cooper Mk1, Surf Blue
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When launched in 1959, designer Alec Issigonis' Mini revolutionised the automotive industry by pioneering the mass production of front-wheel-drive transverse-engine cars. Then Formula 1 World Champion team owner John Cooper, a friend of Issigonis, immediately saw its nimble handling as an opportunity to create a powerful competition car and, after building a prototype, persuaded BMC's bosses to produce it. It was launched in 1961, started winning races and rallies immediately, and became the cool must have car of the 1960s, selling in much larger numbers than initially envisaged. The Cooper S added more power and the example modelled here was a BMC press car tested, with enthusiasm, by Autosport magazine in August 1963.
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