The basic design came from Sir Alec Issigonis, a British subject from Greece, in 1959. To that John Cooper, of racing fame souped up the engine and it was so well received by the B.M.C. (British Motor Company) that they produced it in quantity, giving it the name of Morris Mini Cooper, and therein lies the saga of the Monte Mini. Initially, the Morris Mini was a comfortable, compact, about the town, automobile, that was easy to drive and park. It could carry four large English gentlemen with ease or four rather stout English Women. It has a top speed of about 87 mph, but it could out perform the great Porsches.
Shortly after its release tot h public, the Morris Mini Cooper was recognized as a possibly excellent rally car, due to its positive performance on slippery surfaces. The annual Monte Carlo Rally is held during the harsh winters of Europe and this little car was so easy to handle on snowy surfaces because of its front wheel drive, that a number of them began to be built up for racing. The famed Porsche 911 could easily overtake it on a dry course, but the Mini soon overtakes it on the curves and wet slippery surfaces. The Mini Cooper's first Monte Carlo win was in 1964, and then they did it again in 1965. They also won the next year in 66, taking the first three places, but were disqualified when they were found to have aux-lights that were against the rules of that time. They came back again in 1967 with Aaltonen and Liddon winning in a Mini Cooper 1275S, thereby affirming and atoning for the previous years of disgrace of disqualification. During this race, 4 aux-lights were mounted in front of the radiator grill, and the racing number plate (177) was moved to just above the windshield. On its roof was mounted a carrier to haul the spare tires required. This race required a use of no more than eight tires with all of them carried on or within the car itself. Both the front and rear windshields had defrosters added for the cold climate of the race. Yes, the Mini won again, and it is interesting to note that no British car has won the Monte Carlo rally since then.