Films: A Mini Gives You Instant Rockstar Status
5
UP NEXT
Made To Drive | S4 E1
The Land Rover Series III Is Equipped For Adventure
Become a Member,
Watch the Full Episode

Become a Petrolicious Member to access exclusive content, our new printed magazine - Drive Tastefully Quarterly, member pricing in the P Shop, access to events and more.

Learn more
Made To Drive | S04 E11

A Mini Gives You Instant Rockstar Status

There are certain cars that define a place and time. Cars that are so part of the culture that they helped to define it. The Mini is one of them. But why is that? Well, as Mr. Sumner Norman explains, it's because the Mini was ubiquitous–everyone bought one, be it moms shopping for groceries or international recording stars like the Beatles who recognized its universal appeal.
36
View Comments
Up Next
Father And Son Make Peerless Racing Duo
Play
When Mr. Paul Cressey hits the track at Laguna Seca for the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion (aka The Monterey Historics) in his 1959 Peerless GT, he faces plenty of tough competition. For Paul, however, that competition is especially personal, including as it does his father, Ron, who is known for running his own 1959 Corvette in the same race.
The Ferrari 330 P4 Is One Sexy Beast
Play
As much as any other car, the Ferrari 330 P4 is the embodiment and culmination of an entire era of racing. With its low-slung stance and voluptuous lines, it is also among the most visually stunning cars ever produced. Combine these factors and the word “icon” slips to the tip of one’s tongue.
Made To Drive
VIEW ALL

36
Leave a Reply

22 Comment threads
14 Thread replies
2 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
22 Comment authors
Meliambro001canyonRyan LaxtonSumner NormanJo T Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Meliambro001
Meliambro001

A Corvair Monza would be more involving to drive……

Ryan Laxton
Ryan Laxton

I had a ’66 Austin with the 1098, dual carbs and a twin outlet highflow muffler. Awesome little car, so loved taking 90 degree corners at 50 and have the car skip over to the side once or twice then shoot up the on ramp. I burned through tires but it was so fun and little 10″ Pirelli’s were $35 at the time, Sadly it needed some more pricey repairs and I was young and broke so I sold it, still regret it.

Jo T
Jo T

Hi Sumner, I loved watching your video and your enthusiasm for your vintage Mini. I just wanted to let you know that at one point all of the Beatles owned Minis, because they were purchased for them by their manager, Brian Epstein. There is actually one still in existence, it was the car owned by Brian Epstein, and if you visit Kauai, you can see the car and hear the wonderful story of its rescue by the owner of the Kauai Country Inn, Mike (who is a amazing storyteller, by the way.). I think the only requirement is that you… Read more »

Sumner Norman
Sumner Norman

Hi Jo, Thanks for watching; I’m glad you enjoyed the video. Thanks for the comment, too! My wife and I had been trying to figure this out, actually. We knew at least three members had one, but weren’t sure about the fourth (I forget which one). I love hearing the little historical points of the mini’s history. If I ever have the chance to visit Kauai, I will absolutely make sure to visit the Country Inn. Again, thanks for sharing. Really cool story to hear 🙂

Joe
Joe

Sumner, your car rocks. But you know that. I’m on my second new-era Mini (an S convertible) and I’m going to acquire a classic in a few years. I can’t think of another car where the modern incarnation drives owners to want an original so forcefully. They are such “driver’s cars”!

Ken
Ken

I just love my original Mini. I have an original Mini cabriolet. This is a factory made Mini convertible. Less than 300 were produced in all. My car is left had drive as it was originally sold in Germany. I have owned this car for about 10 years now but I have had a few other original Minis. This one is my favorite one and a keeper. Nothing in the world drives like an original Mini. It is like a go cart for adults. You floor the pedal and steer it. It is probably one of the most forgiving cars… Read more »

Henry Hernandez
Henry Hernandez

I just saw this car in my University a couple of weeks ago. What a beautiful car. Congratulations! Zot Zot Zot

Sumner Norman
Sumner Norman

I’m sure you’ll see it again! I am a PhD candidate in mechanical engineering and neuroscience. zot zot zot! Thanks for watching

P911C4S
P911C4S

Thanks Sumner, your car is absolutely great and it was a pleasure to hear you talk about it.

How refreshing it is to see an intelligent, eloquent and passionate young individual who is interested in cars, their history, how they operate and drives a stick (on the right hand side no less!)?

There is hope for the future after all…

KimShugart

I am visiting family here in Los Angeles, and I am surprised at how much the mini has become a superstar here with Gen Y. There is a museum-quality Mini sales and repair building in North Hollywood, I was shocked when I drove by it last night. It’s not just the modern day mini’s either. Out by the Pacific, in Santa Monica, Venice and points north, the old models prowl PCH as well.

Alex Daniel
Alex Daniel

What I really liked about this particular video was how young this guy is and that he appreciates the car the way it is and doesn’t want to change anything. Being the owner of a 1972 Fiat 500L I can relate getting all of the attention he gets and being much happier when you arrive to your destination. Good for him.

Dennis Cavallino
Dennis Cavallino

What a great colour! We had a 100\% original brown Mini 1000 from ’78 with stripey interior and golden striping at the side. Loved the car, especially the handling and rewards people gave us, just like you told in this video. Enjoy it!

Matt C
Matt C

Sumner, First off, congratulations on such a beautiful car. It is great to see the next generation show so much interest in an old classic. (Warts and all). New cars are exceptionally reliable and crammed to the gills with amenities. The unfortunate side effect is that a whole generation is approaching driving age without the real joy and appreciation of just simple pure driving enjoyment. As an aside, one of my coworkers in Philadelphia had a bright red Mini. Nothing brought us more pleasure seeing him exit this little car ( he was at least 6’5″ tall and his car… Read more »

Sumner Norman
Sumner Norman

Thanks, Matt! I agree with you on all counts. I have a reliable driver… well, my wife does. It’s fast, quite, reliable, and even has a dual clutch gearbox. The mini provides a totally raw driving experience that I couldn’t live without! The mini fast became my most commonly driven car. It’s the perfect city runabout. Getting groceries shouldn’t be so much fun. Even parking is a blast. No modern car can provide that experience.

Adam Fay
Adam Fay

I don’t think ol’ Sumner knows everything he’s talking about. As evidenced by the dual fluid reservoir on the left side of the engine bay, his ’70 has a hydrolastic suspension which was standard on all Minis with the 998cc and larger engines and not just ubiquitous to the Cooper and Cooper S.

Sumner Norman
Sumner Norman

Are you referring to the silver cylinders on the driver’s/right side? Those are the clutch and brake master cylinders, not hydro reservoirs. The car may have had hydro originally, but it most definitely has rubber cones all around now. the front two are on their last legs, almost collapsed. That’s why it rides a little low in front 😉

canyon
canyon

Picky picky picky… and wrong … back to the drawing board ! Read Sumner’s reply..

Johann Philip
Johann Philip

Sumner congrats to this fanatstic Mni! Please keep it as you said in the video as it is…Recenty I’ve had the pleasure of driving the Mini Cooper S that was participaitng in the Rallye Monte Carlo with Rauno Aaltonen as pilot. Such a great car…

Sumner Norman
Sumner Norman

HI Johann.Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed the video! That sounds like a hell of an experience! I would love to hear more, especially if you have pictures. Thanks for sharing!

Mark D
Mark D

Hi Sumner Great video, your a good presenter! Certainly bought back memories of my Mini days, I think a lot of English guys in the 70,s-80,s grew up either Ford or British Leyland (ok a few Vauxhall guys as well!) My Mini days started at 14 when I got a Cooper S built into an 850 shell, never did get round to driving it legally! Good to see a real enthusiast like yourself. Nice as a standard car but Id go to a 13″ steering wheel, its amazing when you look at the steering column, wires and bits hanging down,… Read more »

Sumner Norman
Sumner Norman

Hey Mark, thank you! I was a bit nervous to have my face out there to be seen by so many, but everyone has been pretty easy on me so far 🙂 Thanks for sharing your mini experience! It’s so cool to hear everyone’s stories. It seems like everyone has some nostalgia filled link to a mini, and it makes for a great community. I’m still debating on that wheel 😉

Sumner Norman
Sumner Norman

Ian – What a cool viewpoint to hear! Thank you so much for sharing. Comments like this are the reason the car is so fun to share with others. Thank you for the kind words. I am so happy the mini was able to brighten your day as it does mine so often!

Craig
Craig

Lovely example, one of the better 70s colours too. I’m in my early 30s and have owned about nine different minis – always found it interesting that the Australian built cars had better panel fit and finishing than the English cars. Apart from recommending that you get your hands dirty as much as possible, the only thing I’d suggest is downsizing the wheels to 10 inch. Personal opinion is they look better, but they also tend to handle better and give more road feel. My last car had 12s because I put Honda Civic discs on it – stopped like… Read more »

Sumner Norman
Sumner Norman

Thank you! I noticed that in my searching as well. Even the innocentis seemed to be a step above in some respects. I have been keeping my hands dirty. Even on the day of the shoot, the mini took a lunch break with myself and a tool box haha. I have been thinking about downsizing the wheels! The 12s look nice imo, but I think they add a touch of modern to the car that takes away from the vintage appeal in my eyes. I would need to pull off the black fenders, though, which I’ve really come to like.… Read more »

JB21
JB21

Now slightly off topic, I was talking to my now ex-girlfriend, and we came to a conclusion that America hasn’t got “people’s car” since Model T – and that was before the war! – while all over the world still try to produce one (and I’m not talking retro-mobiles, I’m talking about genuine attempt at creating people’s car – i.e., Golf, Panda, Corolla (or Civic or Micra, or whatever).

CJ David
CJ David

I would say that the Ford Fiesta ST is a decent modern American peoples car. It’s cheap, practical, and by many accounts even more fun to drive than its bigger brother Focus ST. I genuinely considered one before I got my Golf TDI, but I liked the TDI’s styling more.

Great video, love the car!

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange

Cool video, reminds me of being 17 and spending the night before one of my A level exams helping my mate fix his Mini. Still passed the exam though

Christopher Gay
Christopher Gay

Thanks for sharing your cool car, Mr. Norman, is such a thoughtful and unassuming manner.

There are so many lessons to be learned from tinkering on your car when it leaves you stranded on the side of the road! Good times! This is the journey.

Christopher Gay
Christopher Gay

“[i]in[/i] such a thoughtful…”

Dustin Rittle
Dustin Rittle

I have to agree with the above statement its really nice to see the younger generation appreciate the older cars as much as we do here on Petrolicious. He could have easily gone for some Honda civic or something mundane like that. I dont think the mods are going to bring this car down since the car still has most of its original shape and design. Last but not least im really enjoying the color as well. As always thanks again for showing off your ride.

Sumner Norman
Sumner Norman

Thank you all for such kind words! The petrolicious community is a great one. 🙂

Guest
Guest

Keep the bus wheel, I have the same one in my 1975 RHD up in Washington!

Martin
Martin

As Greg rightly states, so good to see a younger person taking an interest in classic cars.

An effortlessly cool car & all the better for not having the entire Belstaff product range draped all over it.

Greg Price
Greg Price

Great car! Nice to see a young person so knowledgeable about these fantastic older cars. Well played sir!

TJ Martin
TJ Martin

Diving a Mini [ or a MINI ] giving one Rock Star status ? Having been there done that and gotten more goram T-shirts than I know what to do with [ the rock star thing ] Maybe not ! But giving its driver the highest SPM [ Smiles Per Mile ] factor available than any other car on the planet [ including my ‘ F ‘ word cars ] … regardless of whether its a Mini or a [ BMW ] MINI ? Oh yeah baby . Been there and done that as well . Guaranteed there is no… Read more »

Sumner Norman
Sumner Norman

I find myself purposely driving to the beach cities where parking is difficult, just because it’s fun to take that spot up front that was too small for anyone else!