The Mini is 55 years old now, and still one of the quirkiest cars to ever roll off an assembly line. Though it was introduced as an economy car in 1959, its prowess on a race track, and especially in rallying, earned it a reputation as a giant killer...literally, since much of its competition was larger to a hilarious extent. The tiny car's huge pop culture legacy was cemented in the original Italian Job, and the first generation Mini was produced with only minor cosmetic changes for over 40 years by a slew of manufacturers, until BMW bought the rights to the marque.

Below are 19 Minis that show just how quirky the car can be.

Park Street Parrot

When it's just Minis racing, the scale kinda gets lost until you see that the driver's helmet takes up almost the entire half of the windshield.

Hard to get more simple than a handful of gauges, a steering wheel, and a gearshift.

Still, depending on who produced it it was possible to get a mini with something that resembled a nice interior. Wooden dash and leather? On a Mini?

Honest question: If you have a Union Jack on a Mini, are you cool, or that guy?

Even the brand itself gets into the flag hoopla.

Minis tended to own the prestigious Monte Carlo rally, dominating the event in the mid-late 60s, including a 1-2-3 finish in 1966 before the cars were disqualified over the type of filament in their headlights.

Headlight scandals aside, they were the car to have, essentially an overgrown go-kart that could go almost anywhere.

Tony Harrison

Yellow fog lights may or may not be the most effective, but they sure are pretty.

It takes an odd car company to show off their cars as capable when nearly flipping.

Tim Simpson

What was that about a lot of headlights?

m sew

Aaron Miller is the Rides editor for Supercompressor, and can be found on Twitter. He owns a newer MINI, but he'd love to have an original.

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