Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Mini with an Underbite

Most British car enthusiasts know that the Mini was withdrawn from the US market when it was determined that it could not be built to meet pending crashworthiness regulations in the late 1960s. Having spent some time behind the wheel of a classic Mini, I can attest that it is not a place you want to be if metal is to be bent.

Our cousins to the north in Canada, however got the Mini a lot longer than we did. Canadians appreciate small cars due to the fact that a lot of major Canadian cities are not unlike large European cities in street width and general layout. The Canadian government adopted a number of US regulations as they pertained to crash safety and lighting. While some US standards applied, not all did. Hence, the Canadian spec Mini.

I've posted a photo from a Canadian Mini brochure from the late 1970s. You'll note that the car has side marker lights, head restraints and a couple of gawdawful bumpers hanging off of it. The bumpers give it a, well, bumper car look.

Maybe it was best that we didn't get that one here.

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