The dictionary would define Legacy as a gift or a bequest, that is handed down, endowed or conveyed from one person to another. It is when one comes into possession of that which is transmitted, inherited or received from a predecessor and nothing is more true, than the gravity of Legacy for Charlie Cooper, Grandson of the great racing car driver and MINI co-founder John Cooper. Charlie now carries on the legacy of MINI as the global ambassador of the MINI COOPER brand.
Charlie Cooper photographed by Nico DeMattia
Our Founder, Louise Edmonds met Charlie at the Grand Opening of the BMW and MINI COOPER Garage showroom at RushCutters Bay, Sydney this month. And beyond talking about family legacies, with Louise’s Grandfather being the Champion Australian Boxer, Tommy Burns, they got down to the discussions on the newly released MINI Coopers and their radical shake up in the Australian market.
MINI Ambassador, Charlie Cooper and Founder of MenStylePower, Louise Edmonds
The MINI is a success in itself, not only for its outstanding performances in F1, Monaco, Silverstone, Dakar and other high performance and endurance races, this tiny city car maximises interior space, torque, turbo-charge, 189 horsepower, and for the John Cooper Works version, you get a whopping 228-hp engine. A tiny car with a big presence.
MINI has Dakar, the most dangerous race in the world.
Ms Edmonds has driven MINI’s years ago, in fact her parents owned a lemon coloured 1960’s MINI wiht a blue roof. But now, Edmonds is enjoying the S series.
She notes she was surprised at the heavy weight of the car and the noticeable grip the car had on the city roads. “The outstanding performance of the MINI is completely unexpected. You automatically perceive the MINI as a fun car, but forget its impressive racetrack authority. You feel this during acceleration when the MINI pushes into the tarmac and G-force pins you back in your heated seats”.
MINI COOPER S Series Convertible
The original designer, Alex Issigonis, was a close friend of John Cooper in the 40’s, and when John saw greater potential in the design, he made it into a proper sports car, and thus we have the ongoing legacy today with the new MINI Coopers.
MINI COOPER in 1961
Charlie explains legacy as an ever-evolving and progressive attitude to an established creation. In his own words, “MINI COOPER was just like a start up in its day, without knowing what this entrepreneurial statement meant. My Grandfather went from seeing his friends first edition of the car, to envisioning the horse-powered version, and convincing British Motors to get behind the rebuild. And to prove its capacity went off and won Monaco that year”.
John Cooper Works Mini Edition
Legacy can be inherited, or young men can have these dreams and build it to a level where their children and children’s children can keep the evolution of the original concept going.
When asked, Charlie Cooper described his favourite model from the current series as the three-door sport series, which feels like a Go-Kart, close to the ground, terrific handling and power to boot. Any of the John Cooper Works vehicles will do. So here are a couple to admire.
Beyond John Cooper’s status of co-creating the MINI as it stands today, he helped teach several famous drivers, including Steve McQueen who he had said would have been a good racing driver had he not been an actor and who would also frequently stay at John Cooper’s house.
In fact, Charlie had told a story on stage at MINI Takes the States about how his father used to have to give up his room, so McQueen could stay the night. John Cooper was loved and very well-respected in the motorsport community.
Steve McQueen with his 1967 MINI Cooper.
CHECK OUT THE RANGE: Available at all MINI COOPER Dealers.
MINI COOPER 3 Door Hatch
MINI COOPER 5 Door Hatch
MINI COOPER Convertible
MINI COOPER – Countryman
MINI COOPER Clubman
John Cooper Works Edition
MINI Countryman Hybrid