When Alec Issigonis designed the Mini he certainly never envisaged its competition or fast road performance as being an important selling point, he intended the Mini to be nothing more than a shopping car for the masses. Luckily for motoring enthusiasts racing car builder John Cooper spotted the Mini's competition potential early on, the Mini Cooper was born in 1961.
Cooper Mini's came in the usual Austin/Morris guises and with the "Super" trim levels, the famous contrasting roof colours also appeared for the first time, something still found on current production Mini Coopers. Cooper's came with twin SU carb engines, servo disc brakes, remote gear changes and close ratio gearboxes. The Mini Cooper (Mk I) was powered by the 997cc A-series and received the more torquey 998cc engine from 1964. As with the Cooper S, the Mini Cooper received the Mk II modifications in 1967.