Blog: Graeme RobertsA Mini following in Japan

Graeme Roberts | 16 October 2012

Intriguing to see the Mini - the Issigonis-designed original, not BMW's retro-look MINI remake - still has its fans in Japan.

This article from Britain's Daily Telegraph tells the story of a man aged the same as the first cars - born in 1959 - running two repair and mod shops in Japan.

Rover Japan sold the cars new right up until the Mini's demise in the mid 1990s. I was intrigued to see at the '95 Tokyo show how local vendors had developed an air conditioning unit that squeezed into the cramped engine bay; the condenser was installed on the driver's side in roughly the same location as the side mounted radiator on the left.

Original Minis also have a strong following amongst British classic car fans in North America - the line was sold in the US from 1961 to 1967 and in Canada into the 1980s. Many more, both right- and left-hand drive, have been privately imported from the UK and Europe and even as far away as New Zealand, where the Mini was assembled up until the early 1980s.


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