Famous MINIs and their Celebrity Owners
Riding on the high of MINI’s first Super Bowl commercial, celebrity exposure for the brand has spread like wildfire. Lest we forget, it isn’t just Serena Williams, Randy Johnson, and T-Pain who’ve owned our cars – MINI’s celebrity heritage dates all the way back to 1961, when the first MINI “Cooper” made its debut. Here are a few expected (and not-so-expected) celebrity-owned classic MINIs.
Gerald Harper’s “Adamant” 1966 Mini Cooper S
From 1966-1967, Harper piloted his Mini Cooper S in the British television series “Adam Adamant Lives!” The dark green and tan Cooper S featured electric windows, a sunroof, and an ultra-luxurious interior. In the show, Harper portrayed Adamant as an adventurer born in 1867 who had been revived from hibernation in 1966. The ’66 Cooper was the final year of the “Mark I” design, and the third model year of the “hydrolastic” suspension system.
George Harrison’s “Magical Mystery Tour” 1965 Mini Cooper S
This originally metallic black Cooper S was upfitted by Coachbuilder Harold Radford Ltd. for George Harrison in late 1965. Prior to Magical Mystery Tour’s filming in 1967, Harrison had the exterior repainted in shades of red and gold, replete with psychedelic pictures. Shortly after the film debuted, the Mini was given to Eric Clapton and, subsequently, returned to Harrison, who kept the car until his death in 2001. As an aside, Paul McCartney owned a nearly-identical ’65 Radford Cooper S, albeit in a shade of green. In 1967, McCartney’s Mini was crashed at the hands of a friend.
Steve McQueen’s 1967 Mini Cooper S
In 1961, John Cooper sold Steve McQueen a Cooper Formula Junior open-wheel racer which, at the time, he was famous for producing. Several years later, McQueen and Cooper reacquainted during filming of “The War Lover” which, some say, resulted in McQueen’s purchase of his Mark II ’67 Cooper S. Originally green with a white top, the Cooper was repainted metallic brown with a beige top. Features such as a single fog light, recessed antenna, and a wood dash were also installed at the actor’s request. McQueen last owned the car in the 1970s, and as of today, it is believed to still be privately owned by his acquaintance Lee Brown.
Enzo Ferrari’s Mini Cooper
Though the exact year isn’t known, Enzo Ferrari’s 1960s Mini Cooper was said to have been one of his favorite cars. Using it for personal transportation, Ferrari allegedly owned more than one, each of which featuring exclusive coach-built features. The whereabouts of Ferrari’s Coopers today are unknown.
Mick Jagger’s Wood & Pickett Mini Cooper S
In the 1960s, Wood & Pickett was the premiere coach builder for Minis, outfitting vehicles for both celebrities and royalty. High-end interior finishes and personalized details adorned Jagger’s Cooper, though exact specifications and whereabouts are not known.
Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean)’s 1976 Mini 1000
Though we’re not sure if he ever actually owned the car, Rowan Atkinson spent plenty of time in his ’76 Mini 1000. Austin Green in color with a matte black bonnet, Mr. Bean’s Mini saw plenty of fame in his sitcom of the same name, which ran from 1990-1995. “Innovative” security features such as a key-and-padlock entry system and a detachable steering wheel highlighted the car, which was brought back for a drive (seen above) in Atkinson’s appearance at the Goodwood Revival in 2009.