The Definitive List of MINI Special Editions.
MINI has a long and storied history of special editions. Starting from 1976 there has been rarely a year where we didn’t present a special version of a MINI. These cars sometimes introduced features that would become a mainstay in regular production cars soon after, and always made our fans’ hearts beat a little faster. Check out our extensive list – featuring the cars that were available worldwide and were built by MINI – below.
''The first Editions.''
The very first special edition MINI was the Mini Limited Edition 1000, also known as „Stripey”. At the time, special editions were not common, but that would quickly change, with 16 further special editions produced in the next thirteen years.The Mini Limited Edition 1000 wasn’t just a special car because it got the ball rolling, but also because it served an important function: most of its unique features – it was the first round-nosed Mini with eye-ball air vents, twin chrome door mirrors and reclining front seats – were quickly adopted for standard car production.
Many special edition cars would follow – usually in unique and head-turning paint jobs – such as the successful Mini 25, celebrating the brands 25th anniversary, the beautiful sparkling silver Mini Ritz, or the golden Mini Piccadilly. The latter two, along with the Mini Chelsea, were named after areas of London and became affectionately known as “Posh Minis”.
As we approached the brand’s 30th anniversary we released the Mini Sky, Flame, Racing and Rose, which were the first production Minis with contrast roofs since the 1960s. This helped influence car design for Mini in the 1990s, as well as the new MINIs at the turn of the millenium.
''Everything old is new again.''
In the 1990s, the special editions breathed new life into Mini, keeping it fresh and relevant throughout the decade. One of the first important exclusive cars of this era was the Mini Cooper RSP (Rover Special Products) from 1990. It was the first Cooper in 21 years, and when it sold out before even hitting show rooms it was a clear message that there was demand for a new Mini Cooper.
But at this time there were also more Minis inspired by the world outside of car manufacturing, such as the golf-inspired Mini British Open Classic, or the Mini Italian Job, which of course celebrated the classic 1965 caper movie. But there were also cars honouring important elements of Mini’s car history, such as the Mini Cooper Monte Carlo from 1994, which celebrated Paddy Hopkirk returning to the Monte Carlo Rally, 30 years after his original win, famously achieved in a Mini Cooper.
Similarly, The Mini Cooper Sports LE commemorated the 30th anniversary of the Mini Cooper’s victory in four Saloon Car Championship races in 1968, while the Mini John Cooper LE reminded fans of the 40th anniversary of the 1959 Brabham/Cooper Formula One World Championship win.
This decade also marked multiple collaborations with British designer Paul Smith, with the One-Off Designer Paul Smith as well as the Mini Paul Smith in 1998.