The original Mini isn’t just a car; it’s also a pop culture phenomenon. At the height of its powers in the 1960s, it joined Rolls-Royces, Bentleys and Jaguars in the garages of the rich and famous. Now, as the Mini celebrates its 60th anniversary, we look back at iconic images from the period. Time to meet some of the Mini’s most noted fans.
A Beatle and a Mini
Among the most celebrated Mini-lovers were the Beatles. Ringo Starr is pictured here in 1964 with a Monte Carlo Rally Mini.
Swedish actress Britt Ekland also owned a Mini: bought as a birthday present by her comedian husband, Peter Sellers. After collecting the car from Mini customisers Radford in Hammersmith, the couple look understandably pleased.
A royal endorsement
Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon were both Mini fans. Here they are leaving Great Ormond Street Hospital in London with their son in 1965.
Not to be outdone by the Beatles, the Monkees were Mini fans, too. Here’s guitarist and singer Mike Nesmith enjoying a jaunt with girlfriend Phyllis in a soft-top Mini in 1967.
Getting Twiggy with it
Model and style icon Twiggy is very much associated with the Mini. Here she smiles as she prepares to drive away in 1968. She passed her driving test in this Mini, too.
Posing up a storm
On the left, like James Bond leaning on his Aston Martin DB5, here is American actor Warren Beatty with his red Mini Minor. It’s a promo portrait for the film Kaleidoscope. On the right are The Beach Boys, with a Mini Moke in full band promo mode.
The Italian Job
The Mini was the car of the stars, and also a movie hero in its own right. Of course we’re talking about The Italian Job.
Cool fellas, de Ville
Now, this is pretty cool. George Harrison’s psychedelic Radford Mini de Ville is the stuff of legend. It’s fun to see it at work with John Lennon riding shotgun in 1967, as the band works on Magical Mystery Tour.
Muscle and Moke
On the left, a dramatic shot of American actress Lindsay Wagner using her strength to ‘lift’ a Mini. Wagner was promoting the television series, The Bionic Woman. On the right, French actress Brigitte Bardot takes her dogs for a ride in a Mini Moke in 1980.
Here is Mary Quant in her special edition Mini Designer in 1988. That was 31 years ago, but the Mini was already 29 years old.
Minis in Paris
The year is 1994 and the singer posing with this Mini is Nina Hagen. The cari has come a long way from the original Austin Seven and Morris Mini Minor of 1959.
Caine and able
In 1996, a man who helped make the Mini famous, Michael Caine, poses with a Cooper he has signed. The car was due to be auctioned for charity.
This bright blue Paul Smith Edition Mini is pictured in 1998. A total of 1,800 were made, of which 300 were sold in the UK. The rest went to Japan.
This striped special was part of the 40th birthday celebrations, when celebrities helped design their own Minis. Here is Paul Smith’s take.
There’s a star Mini
Cooler still is David Bowie’s customised Mini. It’s completely covered in chrome.
60 Years Lifestyle Collection
In celebration of this incredible little car’s birthday, BMW prepared a special classic restoration, wearing the stripes of the 60 Years Lifestyle Collection of clothing.
60 Years Edition
The new 60 Years Edition is modern Mini’s birthday present to itself. Many happy returns!