The famous British automobile brand MINI is consider an icon of 1960s British popular culture. We present you some interesting facts from the history of the famous British marque.

* The British Motor Corporation (BMC) came up with the idea of making a compact, cheap and economical car when gasoline price was at its peak in the middle of the 1950s. In 1959 ingineer designer Alec Issigonis brilliantly coped with the task and created the Austin MINI, a modest-looking vehicle, which later became an automobile classic. Ten years later, Alec Issigonis received an ultimate reward for his work; Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II made him into a knight.

* In 1961 the British company released a sports version of this vehicle. It was named MINI Cooper since it was created by John Cooper, the famous designer of Formula 1 cars. During the following years, the British marque achieved something that could seem impossible: the car, which was originally designed for the lower classers, become popular among the elite of English society and famous people like The Beatles, Peter Ustinov, Charles Aznavour and Jean-Paul Belmondo among others.

* The doors on the first MINI models had sliding windows; therefore, they had enough free storage pockets in the hollow doors. Curiously, Alec Issigonis designed storage pockets of MINI to fit a bottle of Gordon's Gin.

* Interestingly, the first generation of MINI had no traditional car radio; instead, it had an impressively sized ashtray. This is due to the fact that its creator was an avid smoker, who considered car radio to be an unnecessary extravagance.

* According to the Guinness World Records, Most People Crammed into MINI Car is 28. This particular record was set by a highly trained team of girls-gymnasts.

* Unlike many other brands, MINI had to change its name quite often. This is due to the fact that in different periods the British automobile brand was owned by different companies. Accordingly, we can talk of Austin MINI, Morris MINI and Rover MINI. Today, MINI is an independent division of BMW and has its own unique model range. The modern lineup consists of models like MINI Countryman, MINI Clubman and MINI Paceman.