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Your History Guide to the Quirkiest Minis Ever Designed

You might think that the MINI has always been the quintessential vehicle of choice for unique car owners, but did you know that it had even quirkier editions in the past? That’s right, many British car enthusiasts and coachbuilders have participated in various car competitions to design a brighter and better MINI. And this article is here to guide you through this quirky side of the MINI’s history. 

Today, we will take a look into the quirky MINI milestones that will help you better appreciate the modern set of wheels we know and love in Britain today. May this article also be your motivation to continue being your own quirky self as you continue to reinvent and perfect your own iconic, unique style. 

1. ERA of Turbo

The MINI ERA Turbo started in 1988 when most of the automotive industry’s top players were trying to reinvent different vehicle models. This edition had a maximum speed of 110mph and a matching power output of 64bhp at 6300rpm. This was all thanks to the addition of a strong MG Metro engine made more robust by the Garrett T3 turbo. This resulted in the MINI Era Turbo being known as one of the fastest and most impressive MINI models sold through official car dealerships. It is also why it was a so-called successor to the MINI we all know and love today. 

The pricing for a MINI ERA Turbo was not at all small, with a hefty price tag of £12,000. At the time, this was twice the cost of most standard cars on the market. But the improved speed and suspension were some of the most sellable features of the model, which were enough for more enthusiastic car owners. 

2. The Minor OG

We cannot talk about the quirkiest MINI models without giving an ode to the brainchild of the modern success story we know today. The Original MINI Manor was the inspiration for the stylish line of MINIs. This car model was also an influential figure in the automotive industry in the late 1950s until the 60s. This is all due to one of the most pivotal times in history, the Suez Canal Oil Crisis. 

In 1956, the Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser decided to cut off their supply of oil from the rest of the world, which was an unfortunate sight for Great Britain due to the big Post-World war automotive industry boom. Car enthusiasts were forced to hold off their need for speed by succumbing to the oil rations. 

Thanks to the MINI genius Leonard Lord, the MINI Manor was born to compete against the literal big wheels of the industry that were consuming too much gas. Small cars were the perfect solution since they carried a tinier amount of gas yet satisfied the need for speed. Hence, The MINI Manor, alongside its other tiny car brethren, became a hit. Nowadays, the MINI is still part of many car enthusiasts’ thrills down the road, and it is a reliable, cost-effective gas-saver compared to other vehicles.  


The iconic MINI is one of the quirkiest sets of wheels around the world. However, all the previously mentioned facts reveal that it also took a lot to get where it is today. Admire MINIs up close today by getting your hands behind one! 

Do you want to win a classic mini online? Join us today at UK Minis, your car competition provider for all things MINI and much more! Drive by the site today and discover how you can get yourself your own quirky set of wheels today! 

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