Why is the classic Mini so iconic?
This Knightsbridge edition makes it even more special.
The Mini brand was born in 1969, the erotic year, in Great Britain. However, the original Mini already existed 10 years before that. Sold under the names Austin Seven and Morris Mini-Minor, the tiny car immediately became a hit and the automotive icon of the '60s. Thanks to some genius engineering, the Mini was more practical than one would think and was the car of choice for many families from back then. Inexpensive, good looking, and practical, the Mini seemed to have it all, and we were really curious to discover one of the last classic versions that were ever created; The Knightsbridge.
Just like the Fiat 500 in Italy, or the Volkswagen Beetle in Germany, the Mini from the United Kingdom is one of the most distinctive cars ever produced. Ask anyone who doesn't know anything about cars, and they will recognise it, and it may be due to the fact that they were popular cars. Indeed, at the peak of its production between 1966 and 1967, 94'889 Minis came out of the Oxford factory. Yet, only 684 Knightsbridge editions found their way to customers.
The Knightsbridge was available in either Gold, Black, or British Racing Green. This particular car was registered in 2001 and was made under the governance of BMW who bought the Mini brand in 2000. Amazingly, this very car only has 16'000 km on the do, which is surprisingly low. Also, this Mini is one of only 150 to be equipped with the optional sunroof. Talking about the equipment, the Knightsbridge is basically a high specced model that comes with a cream leather interior, burled walnut accents, and a stereo!
The Knightsbridge is a very sought-after model and it's hard not to see why. It looks just like the original Mini that came out 40 years before it and that's why we just cannot hate it. The design is unmistakable and details like the 13'' alloy wheels, wheel arch extensions, and fog lights bring some extra spice to the classic design. Wondering if the same applies to the driving? The nippy Mini is in fact a blast to drive. Forget raw power, it's all about the fun factor even though the driving position feels a bit weird. You're sitting so close to the windshield that it feels surreal, just like driving a toy car. I can only imagine how crazy it must have been to race a car like this at the Monte-Carlo rally event (Yes, Mini did some rally racing in the '60s). I am no rally driver, but I can tell you that the Mini is a capable little sports car that is ready to take on the bigger guys. The Mini weighs approximately 700 kg and is equipped with a straight-four 1'275 cc engine that makes 63 horsepower. A four-speed manual gearbox is coupled to it and allows the car to reach a top speed of 148 km/h. Again, it's not about speed, it's about having fun!
For many, the Knightsbridge is the holy grail of the classic Minis and one of the very lasts. It's the perfect representation of what a British car should be with its tasteful interior and exterior design. But not only. The Mini has proved to us that it's not only about the looks. It drives well and it is surprisingly spacious. Moreover, the Mini was a revolution that paved the way for many other city cars. Just think about it, do you really think a brand would produce the same car for 40 years if it wasn't good? That must mean something. These might be the reasons why the classic Mini has become so iconic. It's either because of these or because of Mr. Bean.
I would like to extend my gratitude to my friends from Private Car Collection. They have been nice enough to let us review their car. They have a pretty cool collection of cars that you can see on their Instagram account, or Facebook page. Without them, this article could have never been possible.
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