The legacy of MINI goes back to the late 1940s when Charlie’s great grandfather Charles Cooper started the brand with his son John Cooper. The father-son duo shook the automotive and motorsport industry when they created the first MINI. The car was small and lightweight, similar to match box cars in design but had the engine installed in the back of the vehicle, which at the time was revolutionary. Despite criticism and doubt, Charles and John Cooper went on to win the 1959 Formula One World Championship with Sir Jack Brabham.
Since then the brand continues to thrive and has evolved motorsport from Formula One to rallies to the Indianapolis 500. The MINI’s design has also continued to grow, driving forward towards the future of mobility without compromising MINI’s authenticity and original flavor that makes the brand iconic to audiences across generations. Charlie Cooper, Charles Cooper’s great-grandson now leads the MINI legacy forward, channeling his families’ entrepreneurial spirit and futurist passion for mobility.
Charlie Cooper pioneers his families company by acting as the global brand ambassador for MINI, spreading the history and heritage of the Cooper brand. One of his earliest and fondest memories of his grandfather John Cooper is attending the Grand Prix’s with him when he was young and seeing the respect and recognition his grandfather would receive from esteemed racers. His father Michael Cooper is also a well-known racer and through these events ignited Charlie’s love for racing and competes in the MINI Challenge in the UK, as well as other races.
MINI has always been known for chasing innovation and Charlie’s passion for the future of mobility has lead him to develop his own brand under the MINI umbrella called Cooper Bikes. Cooper Bikes was made to be the ultimate form of urban transportation, embodying the revolutionary spirit of the Cooper Company; integrating modern bike technology with the traditional design principles and engineering of Cooper. The brand received instant success and was awarded ‘Best Brand Extension’ by GQ during its launch year in 2009.