Before hybrids and electric cars hit the green car scene, the best fuel efficiency strategy was to downsize. But for decades, opting for a smaller car, in order to go further on a gallon of gas, meant driving an “econobox” — a joyless, stripped-down model with little oomph and even less style. One exception has been the Mini Cooper, which was originally inspired by the need for a fuel-efficient alternative car—after the 1957 Suez Canal Crisis sent fuel prices soaring. The rest, as they say, was history. By 1969, more than 2 million Minis had been sold globally.
The new Mini made its U.S. debut in 2002, in the form of a bigger, stronger and faster model—loaded with charisma and featuring go-kart handling. It’s hardly an econobox.
By 2012, fuel efficiency improvements boosted the Mini’s mileage to 32 mpg as an average across city and highway driving, while delivering lots of fun from behind the wheel. The Mini’s success has bred larger versions of the car—the Mini Clubman and Mini Countryman—granting more passenger and cargo space, while keeping average fuel economy above 30 MPG.
The Countryman, the biggest Mini (an oxymoron?), attempts to combine efficiency, a great driving experience, and more heft—exactly the inspiration for this one-of-a-kind custom 1965 Austin Mini turned into a monster mobile now available on eBay Motors.
It is fully restored and sits on a Jeep YJ frame with 6″ lift kit. Add four-wheel-drive, four-wheel disk brakes, power steering, 35″ tires, and military whip antennas (for show) to get what the seller says is “always a crowd pleaser.”
The formula used in this restored 1965 Classic Mini Monster — keeping things efficient and small, while delivering as much fun and functionality as possible — is very much in play in today’s auto industry. Carmakers are innovating with segments and styles to defy expectations about how much MPG can be delivered in the most exciting package.
For more information about the latest greatest green car technology, visit eBay Green Driving.