Half a century since first Mini rolled off Cowley line
8 May 2009

Fifty years ago today the first Mini rolled off the production line at Cowley.

Before production moved to Longbridge the Cowley factory, now called Plant Oxford, built 602,817 Minis between 1959 and 1968.

To celebrate the anniversary the first Mini Minor, finished in Old English White with registration plate 621 AOK, has returned to the plant.

Over six million original and new Minis have been sold since the car first went on sale.

Dr Jürgen Hedrich, Plant Oxford’s managing director, said: “Little did anyone know just how popular Sir Alec Issigonis’s car for the people would be – or that half a century later it would be reborn as the MINI and once again be built in Oxford.

“This is a momentous day in the plant and car’s history. Everyone at the plant is proud to be part of both the heritage and the future of this car.”

Thousands of visitors from across the globe will also be celebrating the Mini’s 50th birthday at Mini United, which is being staged at Silverstone from 22-24 May.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Range Rover Sport SVR
    First Drive
    22 March 2018
    More power and an intoxicating soundtrack have breathed new life into our love affair with the biggest, baddest Range Rover Sport variant
  • First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new Vantage has been developed as a Porsche 911 beater, and our first taste on UK roads suggests it can live up to that bold claim
  • Nissan Leaf Tekna
    The is the new Nissan Leaf
    First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new version of the world's best-selling electric car gains a bigger battery and more power. How does it compare to rivals such as the Volkswagen e-Golf?
  • Range Rover p400e
    First Drive
    20 March 2018
    The original luxury SUV is now available as a plug-in hybrid, promising lower emissions and the capacity for silent electric motoring
  • BMW i3s
    Car review
    20 March 2018
    Revised hatchback sets out its range-extended electric stall in a new, sportier tune