Wild New Limited-Edition Now On Sale

My first car was a MINI, and it was an art car… of sorts.  I saw it sitting, forlorn, in the back yard of a house near my Los Angeles neighborhood and decided on the spur of the moment to knock on the door.  The man who answered was working on painting the inside of his house and thus wearing a paint-spattered T-shirt, but also a holstered gun on his hip.

I nervously explained myself and discovered that, rather than stumbling on some den of iniquity, he was a policeman who habitually wore his sidearm and yes, he'd be interested in selling that piece of junk in his back yard.  I don't recall how much I paid, couldn't have been more than a few hundred dollars, but what I got for my money was an oxidized, dented but basically sound car with an 850 cc engine that actually ran, and a paint job consisting of slashes of color that he was apparently trying out before applying them to his walls. 

Not a pretty sight.  But I've seen a number of MINI art cars since then, including one completely covered in pennies… but nothing like this one.

MINI USA’s Final Test Test Drives contest kicked off in November and asked past and present MINI owners to submit a video or photo about what features of the new MINI Hardtop they were most revved up about testing before the third generation of the iconic MINI arrives at dealerships this spring.

Following more than 800 submissions, nine winners and a “fan favorite” voted on by the MINI community were selected to have their test drives brought to life by MINI and captured on video. The ten winners then had a chance to sit with an illustrator and create their very own unique MINI design and options package.

The MINI community voted Alex Coyle’s “DeLux” as their favorite “MINI Originals” design package. Part of the larger Final Test Test Drives contest designed to support the launch of the new MINI Hardtop, Alex Coyle’s blacklight-influenced MINI Hardtop was voted number one by the MINI community over nine other unique owner-developed design packages.

A limited number of vehicles (up to 56) with Coyle’s “DeLux” package will be available for order on and through MINI dealerships across the country beginning next week (April 14) and continuing through 2014.  Coyle, a sophomore studying creative advertising and photography at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA, was inspired by light and designed her “MINI Originals” package to stand out at night.

“‘Lux’ is the root meaning of ‘light,’” explains Coyle. “After I went through all the options I had available to customize the car I went for all the bells and whistles and created what I call a “Deluxe” model. The result was ‘DeLux’”.

Additional MINI Originals test drives are below, and to find out more about the artists and the program, go to

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