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Here Are 3 Classic Mini Models That Deserve a Comeback

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author photo by Eric Brandt February 2018

Ever since BMW relaunched the Mini brand back in 2000, the brand has done an outstanding job bringing the iconic marque to the new millennium. Today's Mini models keep the classic image while integrating thoroughly modern design and technology -- and Mini has established itself as a premium compact brand that has attracted a lot of devoted enthusiasts for good reasons.

Mini brought back its most-iconic models like the Mini Cooper S and the Clubman, but there are a few models from Mini's history that I would love to see brought back into the fold. Sure, the future might be in crossovers, and I'm not saying these would be huge success stories if they were to come back. It would just be cool to see modern versions of these classic Minis.

Mini Moke

Mini Moke

It's a Mini, it's a Jeep ... it's the Mini Moke! Designed for military use, the Mini Moke (which means "donkey") didn't end up being a great off-roader due to its low ground clearance and small wheels -- but it's still a neat little beach buggy. It had a surprisingly long production run from 1964 to 1993, with over 14,000 units built.

I think a modern Moke could be pretty easily made on the Countryman platform. Sure, it would be much bigger than the original, but it could also be a legitimate off-roader with an all-wheel-drive system, lifted ride height and some knobby off-road tires. Why should Jeep have all the fun?

Mini Traveller

Mini Traveller

The Mini was a city car, and the Traveller was more of a family wagon. The Traveller was also called the Countryman depending on who owned Mini at the time between 1960 and 1969, but they were basically the same car. It was a popular option for drivers who wanted the charm of a Mini but needed to carry more passengers and/or stuff. The coolest part was the optional wood exterior trim on the rear body.

Mini kind of did bring back the Traveller in the form of the R55 Clubman that ran from model year 2008 to 2014. It was a stretched-out Mini Hatch that bore a strong resemblance to the original Traveller (sans wood trim), especially in the rear barn doors and taillights. I think this was a cool, more practical alternative to the diminutive Mini without upsizing to a Countryman, and it's a bummer that the Clubman has turned into a very different, less weird car.

Mini Pick-up

Mini Pick-up

The charmingly hyphenated Mini Pick-up was exactly what it sounds like. It was a Mini pickup truck built from 1961 to 1983. You might be thinking a Mini wouldn't make a great pickup truck, and you'd be right -- but how cool would it be to drive a Mini truck? In 1978, the name changed to the Mini 95, along with the Mini cargo van that was available at the time. It was named 95 because it had a gross vehicle weight of 0.95 tons.

Since trucks keep getting bigger, not smaller, it would be darn near impossible to justify bringing a Mini Pick-up back into production. However, a modern Mini with a bed would be a cool little ute. Think El Camino, rather than Silverado.

Again, there's no way any of these Mini models will happen again, and there's a good chance Mini will eventually turn into a brand of electric compact cars and crossovers, but it's fun to dream. Mini has a weird past, and I hope to see at least a little bit of that weirdness continue in the future.

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Certified 2018 MINI Cooper Clubman S ALL4
Certified 2018 MINI Cooper Clubman
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Certified 2018 MINI Cooper Clubman S ALL4
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Certified 2018 MINI Cooper S Convertible
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Certified 2018 MINI Cooper Clubman S
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Here Are 3 Classic Mini Models That Deserve a Comeback - Autotrader