From our friends at Niello MINI: BIRTH OF A RACER – In the 1960s the Mini Cooper and Mini Cooper S models made their mark as serial winners both in rally racing and on the race track. Absolute highlights in the racing career of the classic Mini are its three overall wins in the Monte Carlo Rally of 1964, 1965 and 1967. As a close friend and business partner of Mini creator Alec Issigonis, John Cooper paved the way for, and gave his name to, these Mini variants that were to prove so successful in the sporting arena. He was the first constructor, along with his father Charles Cooper, to field a mid-engine sports car in the Formula One World Championship. In 1959 and 1960, Cooper race cars scooped up the Constructors’ and Drivers’ title in the Formula One World Championship – a first in racing history for mid-engine models. It was a concept that caught on, as to this day, all Formula One cars are built according to this principle.