Even the original Mini was too small for some, and though still quite compact, the first Countryman at least provided some more usability.
Today's Mini Countryman isn't such an original idea. Nor for that matter is the Clubman. Throughout the original Mini's 53 year history, its overall design changed very little even though it was sold under several different names. It was manufactured in other countries outside of its UK base and went on to have quite a career in racing. The original design came from a guy named Sir Alec Issigonis who wanted a front-wheel-drive car that was small on the outside but provided plenty of space on the inside. The 1959 Austin Mini was the result.
The car was quite revolutionary for its design and overall simplicity and has become an icon on par with the likes of the Ford Model T and the original Volkswagen Beetle. In fact, the original Mini was voted only second to the Model T as being the most influential car of the 20th century. During its long life, few other body style variations were released but they included a wagon, pickup truck, a van and even a Jeep lookalike. Although none were quite as popular and famous as the standard two-door body style, these alternative Minis certainly served a purpose for their owners.
Built from 1961 until 1969, the Austin Mini Countryman, also known as the Morris Mini Traveller, was considered to have a wagon body style. Its chassis was extended by roughly four inches and retained the same front-end design as other Mk II Minis. Later Austin Mini Countrymans even featured fake wooden side paneling. There were even some luxury-oriented versions with decorative wood inserts placed in the rear body that somewhat resembled earlier American "Woody" wagons. All told, some 108,000 Mini Countryman units and 99,000 Morris Mini Travellers were built over the course of eight years.
The original Mini itself lived on for an additional 31 years. When the modern Mini Cooper Clubman and Countryman were designed, it's quite evident that a number of styling traits from the originals were incorporated. But then again, a Mini, whether old or new, doesn't offer all that much to work with when it comes to body-style variations. This particular 1967 Austin America Countryman, currently up for sale, is actually quite a rare find, for the US market at least. The exterior is rust-free and the blue paint is in excellent condition. Its tan interior is nice and functional, and there's a total of just 39,338 miles on the odometer.
Best of all, it's said to still drive great. For any Mini or vintage car collector out there, this old Countryman is really not a bad find for a price of $11,500 and without a doubt has tons more character than its overgrown modern-day descendant.