New Mini, by Graham Robson

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The Independent Culture

Those of us who have owned and loved the original Mini know that the model that is now sold under the name, usually pointlessly capitalised by its latest owners, BMW, is a bit of a pastiche.

Those of us who have owned and loved the original Mini know that the model that is now sold under the name, usually pointlessly capitalised by its latest owners, BMW, is a bit of a pastiche. It looks like a scaled-up, melted-down version of the masterpiece designed by Alec Issigonis in 1959, and its innovation, ingenuity and space efficiency doesn't begin to compare.

Us old Mini fans also know that the 'classic' Mini was fragile, didn't like the rain and was rusty, rusty, rusty. Mine lasted 15 years before it was nicked and burned-out, but it was no stranger to the welder's torch. The new Mini is, on the whole, a much better built, durable and reliable affair. Made in Britain, too. It will never inspire the same kind of worship as the old one, but this book demonstates its modern appeal as a cute, front-wheel-drive BMW. As Graham Robson shows, taken on those terms, there's still nothing to beat a Mini.

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