Heritage

MINI celebrates 60 years of iconic style

MINI is celebrating its 60th birthday in 2019.

Photo courtesy of MINI

McCartney. Sellers. Statham. Madonna. McQueen. The names that have driven them are as iconic in their industry as the name MINI is in its.

This year, MINI turned 60. It was on August 26, 1959 that the car made its debut in Oxford, England following the design charge of creating a competitor to German and French micro-cars.

Over the years, MINI has hit a number of milestones, but aside from the overall launch, perhaps the brand's most influential moment is when John Cooper got involved. His development of the Mini Cooper gave the brand stronger performance chops, strengthened by the car's in at the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964, 1965, and 1967.

1964 MINI rally Paddy Hopkirk Paddy Hopkirk won the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally. Photo courtesy of MINI

In 1967, the car took center stage on the silver screen alongside Michael Caine in "The Italian Job." The MINI became a status symbol as owners including George Harrison from The Beatles and legendary actor and motoring enthusiast Steve McQueen purchased one for themselves. After a seven-year run, the first-generation MINI's tenure came to an end.

The Italian Job 1969 Cars racing down staircase in a scene from the film "The Italian Job", 1969. Photo by Getty Images

In 1999, MINI celebrated its 40th anniversary and was named the "European Car of the Century by 130 international automotive journalists. MINI sold 5.3 million cars in its first 40 years in business.

With great privilege comes great responsibility. By 2000, MINI had became part of the BMW family and the company tasked its employees with redesigning the vehicle while maintaining the hallmark equipment and branding MINI enthusiasts had come to know and love.

BMW introduced a new generation of MINI Cooper models in 2001. Cooper, Cooper S, and One models were available. The John Cooper Works range of tuning options quickly followed.

Jason Statham, Seth Green, Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, and Mos Def brought the MINI back to the tip of American tongues when they starred in the 2003 remake of "The Italian Job."

The Italian Job 2003 The entrance at the premiere after-party for "The Italian Job" on May 27, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Getty Images

MINI owners were able to have the wind in their hair beginning in 2005 when the company introduced their first convertible. The model, with a full automatic roof, came in Cooper, Cooper S, and One variants. In 2007, the company followed up with MINI Hardtop convertible models and a John Cooper Works grade arrived in 2008.

In the last decade, the company has introduced Coupe, Roadster, and Paceman models, which have since bid "cheerio," but the fresh Countryman and Clubman MINIs are still on sale today.

This year, the company debuted a new all-electric MINI, dubbed the MINI Cooper SE. The model delivers around 125 miles of range and shares components with the BMW i3. The new vehicle will reach dealerships later this year.

This year the Chevrolet Tahoe celebrates its 25th anniversary. When it debuted, the 1995 Chevrolet Tahoe was positioned as a short-wheelbase truck with the functionality of four doors. It was a multi-purpose family vehicle, with the versatility to tow a trailer, go off-roading, or take the family on a road trip.

Today, the Tahoe is the best-selling full-size SUV in the U.S. That's thanks in no small part to its evolution as a larger people-hauler and as a government vehicle with tens of thousands of the model being sold each year for work as police pursuit and special service vehicles.

2012 Chevrolet Tahoe PPV Police agencies across the U.S. use the Tahoe as their PPV.Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

You can take a look at different generations of the model by driving down most streets in America. But for history's sake, here's a closer look at what the 1995 model had versus what is found in the 2019 edition.

Features

1995 Tahoe

2019 Tahoe

Infotainment

  • AM/FM stereo with Seek-Scan
  • Cassette deck
  • Compact disc with theft lock
  • Speed compensated volume
  • High-definition color touchscreen
  • Bose premium 9-speaker audio system
  • Wi-Fi hotspot with 4G LTE data
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • Wireless charging

Advanced
Technology

  • Speed control and tilt steering
  • Power windows and door locks
  • Insta-Trac system on 4X4 models
  • Independent front suspension
  • Solar-ray tinted glass
  • Rear wiper/washer with defogger
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Head-up display
  • Standard Rear Vision Camera
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • IntelliBeam automatic high-beam control
  • Tire pressure monitor
  • Hands-free power liftgate
  • Keyless entry and push-button start

Safety Features

  • Standard driver-side air bag
  • Standard four-wheel Anti-Lock Brake System
  • Forward Collision Alert
  • Safety alert seat
  • Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning
  • Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking
  • Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert

Horsepower
and Torque

  • Up to 200 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque
  • Up to 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque


Max Trailering

  • Up to 7,000 lbs.
  • Up to 8,600 lbs.

Max Seating

  • Up to five
  • Up to nine

The next-gen 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and 2021 Chevrolet Suburban will be unveiled in December, furthering the story of the two popular SUVs.

Hot Wheels held a worldwide competition to find its next model car.

Photo courtesy of Hot Wheels

Hot Wheels began their worldwide tour to find the next popular collectable toy car in March in Miami and wrapped it up last week at SEMA. Working, real-sized automobiles competed against each other for the chance to have their likeness be transformed in miniature into the newest contents of gleaming packages hanging in drug stores and toy shops.

"This tour is all about finding the custom car out there worthy of becoming a Hot Wheels," said Ted Wu, VP of Senior Design at Hot Wheels. "This year has been amazing, we have seen 90,000 people come out to our events, 5,000 cars entered the shows with 20 nationwide stops."

Legends Tour judges rated each contestant in regional contests using three attributes:

  • Authenticity- a car that embodies Hot Wheels with a radical look and amazing performance.
  • Creativity - a car that is unique with details and stands out from the rest.
  • Garage Spirit - built and not bought with a great story behind it.


2019 SEMA Nashhole winner Hot Wheels Legends The winner's car was chosen based on its authenticity, creativity, and the story behind its creation.Photo courtesy of Hot Wheels

The Regional winners that were part of the SEMA final included:

  • Miami- 1947 Steampunk Willys rat rod with military accents, motorcycle wheels and tires, and a tractor seat
  • Houston -1972 Luv truck that was put back together 30 years later after the original owner passed away
  • Atlanta - 1975 Chevy Impala Low Rider nicknamed "GQ"
  • Los Angeles - 1957 Nash Metropolitan with exposed wheels and tires that's powered by a small block Chevy 305
  • Charlotte - 1936 Chevy Custom truck that started as sedan then transformed into a four-door dually with a 750-horsepower Cummins engine
  • Philadelphia – 1968 Toyota Land Cruiser that took 3 years to build and has 5 inches chopped off with a custom chassis and a 12-cylinder BMW engine
  • New York/New Jersey – A combination 1948 Chevy Pickup and 1960 Cadillac owned by Mike Calderone was built in 1989 using four different cars
  • Detroit – 1957 Custom Studebaker that is powered by a 4.6-liter B8 Lincoln modular engine
  • Chicago- 1965 Pontiac GTO was inspired by the owner's father's gasser stories
  • Bentonville – 1969 International Harvester Cabover 1600 that has a supercharged 350 Chevy engine and a spoiler to balance the truck
  • St. Louis – 1976 Chevy Vega nicknamed "RCR" with a LS3 engine
  • Dallas - 2002 Honda S2000 that was modified after its owner went to a technical school
  • Seattle – 1971 VW Bug with three inches chopped off and a removable hardtop added
  • Phoenix- 1971 VW Squareback that's a twin-engine gasser.
  • Denver- 1954 Chevy Bel Air that has 6.5 inches chopped off the top and 15 inches added on the back
  • San Jose – 1995 Honda Civic with a beefy 450-horsepower engine that runs on E85
  • San Diego – 1960 Renault Dauphine was originally found on Facebook Marketplace after being stored for 40 years
  • Los Angeles –This car is a combination of a 1974 Opel Manta/Nissan 240SX

2019 SEMA Hot Wheels Legends Nash winner car This replica Chevy 305 engine powers the Hot Wheels toy version of the Hot Wheels Legends contest winner. Photo courtesy of Hot Wheels

All the regional cars competed in the final and were judged by a crew that included noted automotive enthusiasts Adam Corolla, Richard Rawlings, and Jay Leno.

The winner was the 1957 Nash Metropolitan, known as the "Nashhole" and owned by Greg Salzillo and Dave Ford. Hot Wheels enthusiasts can expect a miniature replica of the "Nashhole" in stores in 2020.