Mini Scrapbook: 60 years Of A British Icon Review.
Classic car enthusiast, writer, graphic designer and photographer Martin Port decided it was time to pay homage to BMC’s illustrious and instantly recognisable classic, the Mini.
As the title clearly suggests, the author of the paperback ‘Mini Scrapbook: 60 years of a British icon‘ makes no apology for delivering an accurate, factual and entertaining journey through the incredible and sometimes bizarre 60 years timeline of the most renowned classic car in British history.
The captivating journey begins quite simply with Martin outlining his clear but concise rhyme and reasoning for undergoing such a Herculean task, which clearly engages and utilises all of the skills his background is closely associated, including a rather special foreword by the legendary Paddy Hopkirk MBE.
“My first brush with Alec Issigonis’s masterpiece came courtesy of my wife – she had spotted a 1968 Mini MKII Super Deluxe in the classifieds and decided that it was going to be her next classic”
From the epochal birth of the initial and more primitive Mini built 60 years previously at the infamous Longbridge plant in 1959, to the contemporary and more recently controversial ‘BMW Mini’, the book navigates steadily through the individualities of concept, production, launch, through the years, competition, tuning and variants of the lovable motoring icon.
As with every natural ‘scrapbook’ images are essential if the reader wishes to simply dip his or her inquisitive toe into the classic car world. The 400+ strategically positioned Mini-based images are some of the best witnessed, captivating and almost luring the reader into spending more and more time investigating the references and fascinating content on offer.
Personal highlights included the longest chapter ‘Mini through the years’ which covers everything from Cliff Richard and the Shadows through to the compelling John Cooper story and MkII Minis famously covered in 4,000 pennies to promote Penny Lane by the Beatles.
Moving forward, the ‘Mini in competition’ chapter covers a multitude of interesting factoids including the Mini’s first official rally success in the 1960 Geneva and Alpine rallies and the formidable Mini Marcos dressed in French racing blue at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans Le Mans.
If tinkering is your thing then look no further than page 154 where speed flirts with ‘bling’. Historic coachbuilding from Radford and the famous Wood & Pickett share some interesting page space with the BMC Competitions Department, backed up with even more exquisite images.
Some fabulous nostalgic pictures accompany the accurate dates and personal appearances of the legendary Paddy Hopkirk and late Timo Mäkinen.
The publication is without doubt informative, relaxing and easy to read with an unintrusive feel allowing even the most avid of us to either completely throw ourselves into, or dip in and out of at any given time.
It is worth pointing out although classic Mini devotees will instantly bond with the 176 glossy pages of this paperback, other ‘less Mini’ orientated enthusiasts will also find the book a stimulating read.
Mini Scrapbook – Story highlights
- Setting the scene – Discovering why this charismatic little car is so loved around the world.
- From concept to reality – Revealing how Alec Issigonis and his team turned their thoughts from rough sketches to prototypes to production cars.
- The life of the Mini – Introducing each incarnation of the classic Mini, from 1959 to 2000.
- The Mini in competition – Exploring the car’s place in motorsport and the famous racers who got behind the wheel.
- Popular culture – From celebrity owners to appearances on the silver screen – including Brit cult classic movie The Italian Job.
- Tuning the Mini – Delves into a whole host of upgrades and add-ons that were available, including key tuning modifications as demonstrated by Downton, Cooper and Broadspeed.
- Mini variants – The Mini was the basis for many, many variations – from the Moke to the Midas, from the slightly strange to the downright absurd.
- BMW Mini – Brings us up to date, with a look at 21st century incarnations, including the 60th anniversary model – the latest in a long line of cars to wear the Mini name.
- Lots to look at – Lavishly illustrated with hundreds of never-before-seen photographs, documents and memorabilia that document the car’s past, present and future
- A very different sort of book – Dip in, dip out and discover all the fun of the Mini!
Published by Porter Press International
Softback ● RRP: £20.00
ISBN: 978-1-907085-94-9 ● 176 pages
Format 240mm x 300mm ● Over 400 photos
Anyone wishing to purchase the book can do so by visiting this link.