Carole Nash - Cherished Car Insurance Company Classic Car Insurance from Carole Nash, a UK based classic car insurance specialist. Offering affordable car insurance for both classic & modern vehicles. Get a quote today
Call for a Quote
0800 093 2950

NEWS, REVIEWS &
OPINIONS FROM
THE CLASSIC
CAR WORLD

Get the thoughts of our
Classic Car bloggers.

Mini Eras – The 1980s

 

30 Years In Miniature

Image: skybluefreelance.info

The 1980s were a far cry from the bleak and uncertain decade that preceded it. Under Margaret Thatcher’s rule, Britain’s economy started to pick-up again and it was the 1980s that marked the start of consumerism and buying in excess. All of a sudden people had money to spend on what they wanted, giving rise to the young upwardly-mobile professionals - or Yuppies - who wanted to be seen donning the latest tech and gadgets. 

Influenced by American TV shows, yuppies aspired to get behind the wheel of a brand new breed of vehicle: the sports car, which made a huge impact in the UK during the 1980s. At the same time, an increasing number of foreign manufactures began selling their cars in Britain, with some firms opening their own factories in the country. Nissan was the first, shortly followed by Honda and Toyota. The arrival of more foreign companies put increasing pressure on UK car manufacturers, including Mini. 

As well as having to compete with foreign firms, Mini had to say goodbye to founder and designer Sir Alec Issigonis, who died at his home in Edgbaston, Birmingham, on 2 October 1988. Though Sir Alec officially retired in 1971, he continued working for the motor industry until shortly before his death. In honour of Alec’s work, a street was named after him at the former Morris Minor factory in Cowley. 

Right at the start of the decade, the Mini reclaimed its former ‘Austin’ title before becoming Rover in 1988. In October 1980, the Austin mini Metro was released (with the badging displaying the word ‘mini’ in lower case). BL said that the Metro was not a replacement of the Mini, but rather should be seen as an ‘older brother’ to its predecessor. Both the Clubman and the 1275GTs stopped being manufactured at this time to make way for the new Metro. 

By the time the Metro was introduced, Mini was struggling to keep up with other car manufacturers, who were offering more modern and practical vehicles on the market. On top of this, Mini also had the sports car to contend with. Foreign markets started to lose interest in the company, which resulted in New Zealand, Australia and South Africa ceasing production of the car. Production of the Mini continued after the launch of the Metro, though production volumes were massively reduced as Mini and Rover Group focused on the Metro. 1981 marked the last year Mini featured in the top ten of Britain’s top selling cars. 

In the 1980s and continuing through the 1990s, Mini released numerous ‘special edition’ models into the UK market. This move transformed the Mini from a mass-produced item to something of a fashion icon. One model included the Mini Designer, which was released in 1988 and influenced by British fashion designer Mary Quant. The car was fitted with striped seats, featured ‘designer’ decals, and was painted in either Diamond White or Black. Other special editions of the decade included the Mini Mayfair, Mini Sprite, Mini Ritz, Mini Flame and Mini Rose, to name a small sample. 

Mini celebrated its 25th and 30th birthday by releasing special anniversary models – the Mini 25 and Mini Thirty. The 25 was based on the Mayfair model – which was an upmarket version of the Mini City. The 25 was painted silver, featured ‘25’ decals and was fitted with front disc brakes and 12- inch wheels. The Mini Thirty was also based on the Mayfair, but buyers could choose from a Black or pearlescent Cherry Red colour scheme. The car was manufactured with ‘1959-1989’ decals. 

Mini in the 1980s: Fun Facts

- In 1987, the Mini Advantage was released in honour of Wimbledon

- In 1986, the world-record was set for how many people could fit into a Mini: 66.

- Mr. Bean made his screen debut in 1989. His first car was an orange BMC Mini MK II, but it was destroyed in an off-screen crash during the first episode. From that point onwards, Mr. Bean drove a 1976 BL Mini 1000.

Want more Mini?!

Check out our infographic or read about each of the other Mini eras in more detail

Little Car, Big Impact - Minis in the 1960s

The Mini Gets Bigger Abroad - Minis in the 1970s

Mini Gets Personal - Minis in the 1990s

Mini Joins the 21st Century - Minis in the 2000s

0 0
<< Back to Blog Overview

Carole Nash - The care it deserves. 0800 093 2950. Ts and Cs apply.

Save up to 41% with Multi Classic Car Insurance

Opening Hours

Mon - Fri 9.00am - 7.00pm

Sat 9.00am - 5.00pm

Carole Nash Insurance Consultants Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, firm reference number 307243. You can check this on the Financial Services Register by visiting their website on www.fca.org.uk or by contacting them on 0800 111 6768.

†Multi-Classic Car savings are based on an average customer saving 41% when compared to buying three separate Carole Nash policies.  Average customer = 57 year old male driving a 1965 MG B; a 1973 MG B and a 1972 MG Midget.  Savings accurate as of 1.7.2016.

Carole Nash Insurance Consultants Ltd is regulated by the Ministry of Justice in respect of regulated claims management activities; its registration is recorded on the website www.claimsregulation.gov.uk
Carole Nash is a trading style of Carole Nash Insurance Consultants Ltd, registered in England and Wales No 2600841. England and Wales. VAT registration no: 504684154.

Online sales and quotation service is currently only available to UK and Ireland customers. Calls may be recorded for training and monitoring purposes.

© Carole Nash Insurance Consultants Ltd. All rights reserved.