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StevenA
09-15-2002, 12:17 PM
I hesitate to ask this question as it will offend someone out there who is a pureist. But, how do we classify New Minis...BMW is a German company, the old Minis were British. The same was true when the new MG-F was owned by BMW...later bought by a group who has re-named the company MG Car Company. But the question is...Pure British...which cars are pure british in Design and Manufacture ? That DOES NOT take away from the value, pride, road fun, looks, or anything else ( please mini-guys...I am not starting a war here...just wondering ). I am going to purchase a Mini as soon as the funding is avail...my wife wants one NOW. Minis are just one of the latest to be merged under dual citizenship. There have been other cars with similar pedigrees over the years ie Volkswagen owns Bugatti, Nash Metros were American cars built 100% in England, and so on.
Where and how do we homogenize the system to allow for these mergers within the British or American or Bavarian collector car categories ?

zanzibar
09-15-2002, 12:47 PM
Steven, If you don't allow for foreign ownership, there aren't many british cars left. I think if the car is built in GB, with a British heritage, you could consider it a British car.

On the other hand, The MINI is a lot more like a beemer than it is like a Mini. Very nice car, and I'm glad they kept the name alive. I just wish they would have built it to compete and uphold the Mini's racing heritage.

Just my 2 cents.

Backstay
09-15-2002, 04:16 PM
I like the new MINI! But, some classic mini owners do not, and have given them derogatory monikers like BINI and BEON. Would love to have a new S to trailer my classic to the shows....

zanzibar
09-15-2002, 05:03 PM
Well, well...a familiar face.

Good to "see" you BS. I agree, a new "S" would be perfect for towing the "real" Mini. I love the light blue. One of the nicest car colors I've seen in a long time.

William
09-15-2002, 11:48 PM
I'm still not sure if I consider MINI a British car, despite it's place of build. People still consider the VW New Beetle a German car, and it's built in Mexico City. Part of me wishes they'd just badged it BMW 1-series and gotten it over with, part of me is glad the Mini name is still around. I'll probably look into getting one when they flood the used market in a year and a half when A.)the Miata;s paid for, and B.) the trendoid types who paid too much finally get rid of them, having taken a nice hit on the depreciation front.
-Wm.

aeronca65t
09-16-2002, 07:00 PM
I also like the new Mini and wish I could justify buying one.....but it's impossible for me to see it as a British car. My Miata, with it's "Lotus Elan heritage" is *just* as British as the new Mini.
At the Moss Fallfest (a Britcar only show) there were two Cobra kitcars entered(a friend of mine ownes one of them)....but if I'd come with my old Alfa, I couldn't have entered it in the show (and I'm OK with this)...is a Chevy powered, American kitcar really British?...does this seem right? While we're at it, I can acccept Deloreans, but are (Honda) Stirlings really British?
I guess we'll continue to see this type of thing as vehicles crossover in terms of manufacturing sites. Our old Honda was built in Maryland and I think our Isuzu is built in Illinois. We had a GEO built in Canada and a Renault built in Kenosha, Wis.
I guess the term is "British inspired".

StevenA
09-16-2002, 08:49 PM
Since I posed the question and have received the answers that I too had in my head...I have an idea. How about a Family Tree of each vehicle ? I am one who agrees that the real pleasure is the FUN of driving and the pride of ownership. But, I was wondering if you all felt as confused as I. Apparently you do.
Cobra Kits at an all Brit show...because the heritage/design is a great grandson of an AC Bristol ? That was pushing it beyond my acceptance.
What show would I take a Volkswagen powered MG kit car ? Or Ford Pinto powered Mercedes ? OR ???
Oh well, lets all have fun and drive them to Gallup NM.

Cheers, Steve

Family tree for a 1980 MGB
Mother 1971 MGB
Father 19-- MGA
Grandmother MG TC

StevenA
09-16-2002, 08:58 PM
Since I posed the question and have received the answers that I too had in my head...I have an idea. How about a Family Tree of each vehicle ? I am one who agrees that the real pleasure is the FUN of driving and the pride of ownership. But, I was wondering if you all felt as confused as I. Apparently you do.
Cobra Kits at an all Brit show...because the heritage/design is a great grandson of an AC Bristol ? That was pushing it beyond my acceptance.
What show would I take a Volkswagen powered MG kit car ? Or Ford Pinto powered Mercedes ? OR ???
Oh well, lets all have fun and drive them to Gallup NM.

Cheers, Steve

Family tree for a 1980 MGB
Mother 1974 MGB
Father 19-- MGA
Grandmother MG TC
Grandfather MG TD

Son MG F ?
granddaughter MG TF ?

Ex-wife and her husband
Fiberfab VW MG TC one Purple and one 4WD

Red-neck Brother-in_Law MGA with a Big
block Chevy and
Racing slicks

66 fhc
09-17-2002, 12:02 AM
Do you think the new minis will start a trend toward two tone paint jobs like we saw in the 50s and 60s on new cars?

BuddyJ
09-17-2002, 02:04 AM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by 66 fhc:
Do you think the new minis will start a trend toward two tone paint jobs like we saw in the 50s and 60s on new cars?<hr></blockquote>

I hope so!

David Kimble
09-17-2002, 03:32 AM
I have been into minis for over 31 years and had better than 20 classic minis.I now own a new Cooper and a Cooper S.It,s not a mini but it carries alot of the great things the classic did.Fun to drive,fun to look at and draws a crowd wherever it goes.I have retired from classics.Don't have time and desire to work on them anymore but it is a great thing to see a mini meet with the mix of both cars.
Hotelcalif

Ernst Blofeld
11-23-2002, 01:36 PM
I tend to think of the new Mini as a BMW 116.

BMW told the UK press in 1994 that any replacement would be as radical today as the original was in 1959. Which, plainly, it isn't.

More radical was the Spiritual concept, but that's another story.

Thing is, there are two sides to the original Mini, and it appears that in this day and age you can't reconcile them. The Mini was essentially designed as the minimum envelope needed to carry four people and their luggage. Primarily, it was an exercise in reconfiguring the mechanical components of the car and making them subservient to the needs of the people who were going to use it. That it also happened to outgrip just about anything was a bonus. It did this by virtue of its low centre of gravity, double wishbone IFS, and wide track.

The Mini 2000 design team believed that marrying the sporty side of the original car with its brilliant packaging just could not be done if the car were to meet the requirements of today's safety legislation.

In other words, you can't have it all these days. You can't build a small, light, ten foot long, four seat, crash resistant car. So they didn't try. If you can think of a way of doing it write to: BMW AG, Munich, Germany. I'd love a new Mini that truly reflected the spirit of the original.

And people don't really like minimalism these days. We want airbags, SatNav, aircon, and all the rest of it. And all that takes up space and adds weight.

The BMW car is more in the spirit of an earlier BMC car, the Morris Minor: it uses current technology to the best possible effect but it does not really break new ground.

And another thing. The BMW car was "styled" first and packaged later. In other words some bloke drew a pretty picture of what he felt the car should look like, a mock-up was made, and then the engineers had to figure out a way of getting the people and the oily bits to fit.

The original was schemed around the people who were going to use it and it evolved around this minimal package. In other words, it was developed from the inside out, and styling was never a consideration.

New Mini = style over substance. The original was the reverse of that equation.

Sherlock
11-23-2002, 07:46 PM
Hmmm... Is the New Mini british? Or is the Honda Odyssey Japanese?

In these global days there are parts from all sorts of countries in the average car. That second question above... The only place in the world where the Honda Odyssey mini van is built is Alliston, Ontario, Canada. I have driven several La Grande RHD mini vans (aka Odyssey for Japan) that have been built there, as I used to work at the factory.

Back to the first question, built in Britain makes it British theoretically, although head office is in Germany. Then is the Honda Odyssey Canadian? Try telling that to a Honda owner. Also its likely that most new Civic sedans sold in North America are from that same Ontario factory, as that is their other main product produced there.

OK, so I'm going in circles here, but there is a point there somewhere... I think... The world is changing rapidly, and it is much harder to classify cars now...

64Spitfire
11-24-2002, 12:39 PM
I purchased one of the new minis in March. An impulse buy that I do not regret!

Is it British? I have had it in the shop for a broken clutch cable, glove box latch failure, and some odd electrical problem with the airbag sensors (twice). The maint. record alone lets me know it is a lot closer to a LBC than a BMW.

I also have two Spitfire4's (63 and 64). I am use to little problems poping up....but heck, thats have the fun!

t8nwa
12-02-2002, 05:32 PM
It has already leaked a fluid on my garage floor!

Therefore, it MUST be British! images/icons/grin.gif

Made in Oxford. So when asked where it is from, I answer England! I have got to get a little Union Jack sticker for it.

Alex G
01-01-2003, 11:39 AM
If BMW still owned MG Rover the Mini would be considered far more a British car as it would not be sold through BMW dealers but Rover.

Although I'm not sure how it would have been sold in the States...

Oh and Hi everyone - my first post !

aeronca65t
01-01-2003, 08:27 PM
Hi Alex and welcome! What do you drive?

Alex G
01-01-2003, 08:59 PM
Hi aeronca65t !

Being a poor student I'm driving nothing. But you can be sure my first car will be a Mini !

RHWins
01-23-2003, 04:10 AM
The North America Automobile Show (Detroit) had a MINI with the American flag painted on the roof. Hozit drive? My neighbor has a Jeep CJ5, a Miata and a new MINI, The Miata stays in the garage, and the Jeep stays in the driveway.

I suppose someone could gut a MINI if they wanted a lighter car with fewer amenities, but it would be nice if BMW would sell a "Sport" already stripped. I am sure they make more money loading them up, though, and they appeal to a wider market that way

Gary Pope
01-23-2003, 01:36 PM
For me, it really sucks that the German's designed the new Mini .. there is something askew with the breeding. However, I am glad to see the new Mini and I feel they have done a great job with it, keeping the retro traits of the originals. I wish the govermnent would revitalize the British car industry which was systematicaly destroyed by the unions in the 70's/80's. The reality is, however, the British car industry is lost. graemlins/sad.gif

MarkB
01-24-2003, 05:53 AM
hey all,
I have had mixed emotions about the BMW Mini, especially when they comprised a third of all the Mini's entered in our local British Car Conclave, last year. Then I remembered how the BMW car came to be, in the first place. The german Dixi of the 1920s was an Austin 7, built under liscence. BMW bought out Dixi and applied their own name plate to it. This was the first development of all BMWs since. The Mini, for it's part, was the direct spiritual descendent of the original Austin 7, and in it's earliest incarnation was even named the Austin "Se7en."
Original Austin 7 owners are proud of the fact that the 7 figured prominently in the origin of the BMW, as well as the Jaguar, Lotus, Lola, McClaren, Datsun, and even the Jeep. Mini owners can take it as a matter of pride that BMW has not simply plundered a British tradition, but is rather paying homage to it's original British heritage. With that in mind, and if that much may be acknowledged by new Mini owners, I feel the new Mini ranks among us.

v12_jagman
01-24-2003, 06:03 AM
In answer to your opening question here steve.I was heard a comment that to me answer the question of is the mini a British ....

If you are any were in the world and order a English or Americian Breakfast eg. you still have what you asked for does it realy mater where it is made A English breakfast made in Germany is still an English breakfast not a German Breakfast and the mini is still a British car regardless where it is made

MarkB
01-24-2003, 06:09 AM
me again,

PS. for neat Austin 7 picture site with a picture of an original BMW, 7 special-based, sports car; http://www.geocities.com/courtenay_rumble/BMWswallowSportbrooklands.html

guy
02-03-2003, 04:04 AM
I was brought up on proper Minis and they still have not been rivalled.
As somebody else said the new Mini is form over substance and is the absolute opposite in spirit from the original. It is designed to part people from the maximum amount of money for the minimum risk. The original was a pure (ish) engineering concept designed to carry 4 and their luggage, cheaply and economically - an answer to the bubble car. As the man says it's other virtues were not intended but are a side effect of pure design.
The design values of the new one are all about cutesy looks, with a nod in the direction of driving pleasure.
The old one was a startling rewrite of all the design manuals, and has influenced virtually every European and many other cars since. It was packed with innovations, big and small. The new one is completely conventional and lacks any innovation whatever.
And yes, it does look cute, and it drives quite nicely. It's up with the pack of other cars of its type, but certainly no better.
CHAPTER 2
Pure engineering is great but BMC/BL lost money on every one they made. This was fairly typical. Incompetent, arrogant British management in the 60's, the short termism of British financial institutions, British loathing of British products (cf the French) and Mrs Thatcher's loathing of manufacturing were far bigger factors in killing the British industry than anything the Unions did.
CHAPTER 3
Is it British. Designed by a mixture of Brits and Germans (the MG Rover people say it was a UK design, BMW say it was German - they would, wouldn't they). Built in Britain under German ownership. Is an Opel German, is a BMW X5 American? It's not clear but my own view is that the new Mini is British

silky
02-04-2003, 11:41 PM
Guy, you appear to be rather hard to please. You ding the new MINI for having lots of options which can drive up the price, and yet you heap scorn on the classic Mini because it wasn't profitable.

You say the new MINI is not ground-breaking like the old ones. Well, neither were the Metros, Maxis, 1100s or any of the other cars that were supposed to take the Mini's place, and didn't. Ground-breaking doesn't come along very often, and originality is not the only criterion of a good design.

There are plenty of cars on the market today that were designed to move four people economically, like the original Mini. They do that job fantastically well, and if you want to drive a Civic Hybrid or a Prius, be my guest. The MINI was designed to be sporty. We don't get the econo version (MINI ONE) because BMW didn't think it would sell here.

The MINI was designed with an admittedly retro theme. Why is this so horrible? Personally I think the central speedo is ridiculously retro, but they did a good job with the exterior, keeping lots of original Mini cues and cuteness in a package which is salable today. Even at two feet longer than a classic, the MINI is still the smallest four-seater you can buy in the US. No, it's not the same car as it was 45 years ago, and it shouldn't be.

Gary Pope
02-05-2003, 10:33 AM
I think everyone's points are valid on some sort of level. The same argument may apply to new Beetle and the new Thunderbird. If BL or Austin were still producing cars today, the Mini would look the same more than likely.

The big argument for me is .. can you really call a German car "British". graemlins/england.gif

silky
02-06-2003, 02:40 AM
Good point, Gary. "Retro style" is a goldmine of conversation!

As for the new MINI being German, BMW says it was designed in Great Britain by a British team, and it's built in Oxford. So there's a lot of brit in there, even though the cash came from Germany.

I think it's interesting that the increasingly consolidated and multi-national nature of the auto industry is making these categories less meaningful.

Larry Kronemeyer
04-05-2003, 01:30 AM
I figure if its made in England it's made by Union labor and real English speaking people, therefore as pure British as you can get.

Owner: 1958 3.4 Jag Mark 1
1987 Range Rover
1996 Land Rover Discovery
2003 Cooper S (in May)
Larry

huck6
04-06-2003, 12:15 PM
"Original Austin 7 owners are proud of the fact that the 7 figured prominently in the origin of the BMW, as well as the Jaguar, Lotus, Lola, McClaren, Datsun, and even the Jeep."

Can anyone expand on the above statement (posted earlier). I am particularily interested in any Jeep conection.

BTW - I am glad that the MINI will not be confused with a mini. This ensures that our classics will only increase in thier attention-getting appeal.

Sherlock
04-07-2003, 03:57 AM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr> MarkB first said: "Original Austin 7 owners are proud of the fact that the 7 figured prominently in the origin of the BMW, as well as the Jaguar, Lotus, Lola, McClaren, Datsun, and even the Jeep."<hr></blockquote>

<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr> Huck6 asked: Can anyone expand on the above statement (posted earlier). I am particularily interested in any Jeep conection.<hr></blockquote>

On the Jeep connection...

- The Austin Seven was assembled in the United States as the American Austin starting in about 1930
- In 1935 under new ownership the name American Austin was changed over to the name Bantam
- Production of the Bantam ended in 1940/41
- In the meantime... in the late-1930's - when the United States was looking for design proposals for a "general purpose vehicle" for the US Army Quartermaster Crops - Bantam (yes the same company...) designed a 4x4 truck and won the design contest - Willys & Ford also submitted design proposals; but Bantam production facilities were too small to produce the quantities required, so most of the production was completed by Willys and Ford; and... the Willys truck as we all likely know became known the Willys Jeep [little known fact, many of the Jeeps used in the army, both in Canada and the States, were actually manufactured by Ford... but Willys is the well known brand name]

There's your answer, hope you can follow that...

huck6
04-07-2003, 04:06 PM
Wow, thanks. My Jeep history started with Bantam, so it is nice to see that my two favorite cars are linked! graemlins/thirsty.gif