Mini coopers in a line

Mini Cooper’s Pedigree: Popular Icons Who Have Owned Special Mini Coopers

The Mini is undoubtedly a star piece in motoring history. Unveiled to the public in April 1959, these tiny cars with posh styling and amazing engineering were made by the British Motor Corporation. For over sixty years, the world’s most popular small car has seen its place in the garages of some of the most famous and popular people in the world. With people only thinking that the big boys of racing came from Italian and German carmakers, the British proved people wrong with the Mini. 

In this article, we address some of the most popular owners of the renowned automobile that stole the hearts of many both on the streets and on the racetrack:

Steve McQueen

One of the most popular actors known as “The King Of Cool” was a renowned motoring enthusiast and racer. He owned some of the most unique cars and classic motorcycles from brands like Jaguar, Ferrari, and Porsche. In 1967, it was reported that Mr McQueen purchased a Mini Cooper S from John Cooper after meeting on the set of filming the movie “The War Lover.” 

McQueen was already quite familiar with the brand, having purchased a Cooper Formula Junior Racer in 1961. For his S model, he wanted it unique, so he requested a wooden dashboard with SMITHS instruments, a retractable antenna and a single fog light. The bodywork was then repainted in a metallic brown with a beige top. 


While many of the youth may be unaware of who Twiggy is, she was a British cultural icon and a teenage model who made waves during the swinging sixties. People think of mini skirts, brightly patterned dresses and a short haircut. It so happens that she was a driver of a sixties icon: the Mini Cooper S. Twiggy’s association with the carmaker was reborn in 2007 when Marks & Spencer created an advertisement. The ad featured Twiggy with several other models filmed and photographed alongside a 1960s Morris Mini that was repainted in pink with large flowers. 

The Beatles

In 1965, The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein purchased each member of the band a Mini Cooper S. These were no normal stock Coopers, as they were fitted by Harold Radford with luxurious wooden dashboards with the SMITHS instruments as Steve McQueen had.  

George’s Mini sports a psychedelic red and gold colour scheme, with a full-length sunroof, Volkswagen tail lights and hood-mounted fog lamps. This was then given to his friend Eric Clapton who held onto it for years.

Paul’s Cooper S was finished in a sage metallic green colour with Aston Martin tail lights. They had halogen headlamps and fogs that retracted into the grille. A comfortable black leather interior complemented the luxurious nature of the car and was sold for $236,500 at a 2018 auction.

Ringo’s Mini was converted into a hatchback to be able to fit his drum kit. It was finished in a two-tone Regal Red/silver-grey by Rolls-Royce and sold at an auction to Spice Girl Geri Halliwell in 2017.

John Lennon’s S was completely blacked-out, including the windows and bumpers. The whereabouts of this special car are unknown, but reports say it was exported to America and given to his old butler.

Mr Bean (Rowan Atkinson)

Many people are aware of the comedy genius in Rowan Atkinson because of the way he portrayed Mr Bean’s character. After it first aired on January 1, 1990, the mad antics of the character delighted audiences all over the world. But what really stood out about the show was the 1976 Mini 1000 painted in lime green. Atkinson is a renowned motoring enthusiast and used his excellent driving skills to deliver fantastic humour centred around the car. 


So there you have it. Some of the most popular icons of pop-culture and history who have owned the impressively engineered Mini Cooper. With a rich history and pedigree in motoring and even motorsports, the international brand has definitely cemented its place in the world as one of the most iconic carmakers. 

If you have a dream to one day own a classic Mini Cooper, UK Minis provides you with the opportunity to obtain one for a low price. Through our regular raffle draws, signing up gives you a raffle ticket and the chance to drive out a piece of motoring history. 

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