Mini Shorty: When the Classic Mini Isn’t Mini Enough

Published on October 18, 2021 in Classic Cars by Guillaume Rivard

Ever heard of the Mini Shorty? This model does not officially exist. Rather, it’s the nickname given to the original Morris Mini by fans who deem it too big and wanted to do something about it.

The result is almost cartoon-like, as evidenced by some of the examples that are roaming the streets of England, including the one pictured here that was put up for sale recently.

The classic Mini, if you recall, was barely three metres long—3,054 millimetres to be exact—and way shorter than the modern MINI 3 Door that stands 3,837 millimetres long. But for a few advocates of reductive design who firmly believe that good things come in smaller packages, it could be even smaller with just two seats instead of four.

Photo: www.carandclassic.co.uk

While there are no exact measurements for the Mini Shorty, it is generally said to be about 180 millimetres shorter, or less than 2,900 millimetres long. That makes the car even shorter than the wheelbase of a midsize SUV like the Kia Telluride. Think about that.

Of course, it’s not the shortest automobile we can think of. Look no further than the smart fortwo. The tiny city car that left the North American market at the end of 2019 measured a grand total of 2,695 millimetres.

In order to turn the original Mini into a Shorty, tuners will cut the body and frame while modifying the doors and windows to match the new profile. Flared fenders and new tires are sometimes fitted to make the vehicle’s proportions more misleading.

Photo: www.carandclassic.co.uk

Inside, as you can see on the pictures, the front buckets are gone and replaced by the rear bench that's been cut in the middle to accommodate the parking brake. Weird or wise? You decide.

We don’t know about Mini’s signature go-kart feeling, though. While the Shorty is lighter, it also has a tighter wheelbase and slightly different centre of gravity. During our next trip to England, we’ll try to get our hands on one and see how it really handles.

Photo: www.carandclassic.co.uk
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