Austin Mini

A true icon, inextricably linked to the ‘swinging sixties’ in England. London at the time set the trends in fashion and music – think Carnaby Street, Mary Quant, Twiggy and The Kinks.

The concept for the Mini evolved in 1956 at the time of the Suez Crisis and global oil shortages, when large cars fell out of favour. The British Motor Corporation (BMC) was considering the production of a small yet spacious car. Alec Issigonis provided the box-like design. He came up with the brilliant idea of placing the engine transversely in the front and using front-wheel drive, thereby saving a lot of space.

The car was officially introduced in 1959, when BMC launched it under two names: the Austin Seven and the Morris Mini-Minor. From 1961 onwards the Austin was also badged as a Mini, and that same year a more powerful version came on the market, designed by John Cooper. The Mini Coopers went on to win many races as well as rallies, including the Rallye Monte Carlo.

The Mini was available in numerous versions: as an estate car, delivery van, pick-up and the Mini Moke ‘beach buggy’. In 1969 three Minis even played leading roles in the famous film ‘The Italian Job’. Production of the original Mini ceased in 2000.

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