A classic car that’s still cheery

June 22, 2009

Mini Down Under: 50 Years of the Mini in NZ, by Donn Anderson (Penguin, RRP $45):

They’re small, cool and – after starring in a cult movie classic – they’re very much a Kiwi icon.

Minis are loved by drivers from all walks of life and have been popular with us Kiwis since their launch 47 years ago – more than a lifetime for some of us. And while the rest of us have undergone some serious changes over our lifetimes, the Mini doesn’t really look a whole lot different to that cheery wee model we first glimpsed back in 1960.

Unlike any other make of car out there, this little brick on wheels is instantly recognisable as a Mini no matter what era it’s from.

We took to the Mini like a duck to water: this first car of the modern era was rushed into local assembly and New Zealand offered more versions of the Mini than anywhere else on the planet.

Yes, we love our Minis and this book is a celebration of that Kiwi fascination.

Let’s face it, who hasn’t sat in a Mini and wanted to shout out for all the world to hear: “We’re taking this car to Invercargill!”

(And if you don’t get that reference, bah humbug you young whippersnapper).

Jillian Allison-Aitken

I come from the other land down under, where men are men, and sheep are nervous. I'm a sub-editor and in the past have been a proof-reader, news editor and web editor. I am also an ex-columnist, and book and software reviewer for the local daily newspaper.I still read. A lot. And surf the web. Also a lot.You'll find a little about both of those pastimes here, and on By George.

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