Back when MINI wasn’t stylized with uppercase letters, a very fine gentleman by the name of John Cooper saw the potential of the Mini for competition. Automotive design legend Alec Issigonis was initially reluctant to a performance-oriented econobox, but as fate would have it, the Austin- and Morris-branded Mini Cooper were revealed in 1961.
The British automaker couldn’t pass the opportunity to celebrate six decades of Cooper magic, which brings us to the limited-run Anniversary Edition. Available in the three-door MINI Cooper, Cooper S, and John Cooper Works, the special edition will number 740 units worldwide.
Anniversary models are offered in green as standard, which pays tribute to John Cooper’s racing cars. Beautified by retro white accents, these pocket rockets are also available in black or Rebel Green. The red accent line on the front grille needs to be highlighted as well, along with 74 decals. According to the BMW-owned company, “the classic Mini Cooper once wore the starting number 74 when it won its first class on the racetrack.”
A set of 18-inch John Cooper Works light-alloy wheels featuring a two-tone finish and a lot of Cooper badges round off the list of exterior goodies. Hopping inside the Anniversary Edition, the first element that captures one’s attention is the Nappa leather-wrapped steering wheel with a Cooper logo.
On closer inspection, the driver’s side of the cabin further reveals the signatures of John, Michael, and Charlie Cooper. The latter continues his father’s and grandfather’s legacies as a racing driver and brand ambassador.
Anniversary models are rounded off by John Cooper’s signature on the driver’s door frame, a handwritten note that reads “1 of 740,” and the evocative words “60 years of Mini Cooper – The Unexpected Underdog.”
In related news, the Mini wouldn’t be too impressed by MINI because of the sales slump that continues to affect the automaker’s financial situation. The BMW-owned company sold 28,047 units in the United States last year, and the European market isn’t exactly receptive either. In 2020, the MINI lineup moved 172,798 units, representing a 19.69 decline compared to 2019.