Charlie Cooper: A man with a genuine MINI history.

Charlie Cooper, grandson of John Cooper, MINI Cooper

By Helmut Dostal

On the occasion of the brand’s 60th Anniversary, six hundred and fifty passionate MINI enthusiasts descended on Prince Edward County for a 2019 MINI Invasion.

Like every good party, there was a guest-of honour to “meet and greet.”  This one was none other than Charlie, the grandson of the iconic John Cooper; the entrepreneur, race- car builder and the creator of the first MINI Cooper.

Charlie Cooper, grandson of John Cooper from Mini Cooper

Charlie Cooper seems to enjoy his celebrity status as he travels the world and here, among the dedicated crowd of fans in PEC. At Toronto’s Drake Commissionary, I had a chance for a relaxed chat about his famous family’s history, different MINI models and multiple Monte Carlo Rallies in the 60’s.

Charlie Cooper, grandson of John Cooper, founder of MINI Cooper

Fast forward to 2008, when the British car marque was purchased by BMW and the “John Cooper Works” was born.  Today, it’s a whole new company with a venerable heritage that any family would be proud of.

John Cooper Works Emblem

 And, as much as Charlie loves the acceleration and throaty growl beneath the hood of today’s new models, he’s happy to talk about “the originals.”  Truth is, he keeps one of the Original MINI’s in his own garage back home, for the occasional good-weather jaunt. Jolly good I’d say.

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