Archive for September 10th, 2013

September 10, 2013

Actual Size

The Mini: surely Issigonis’ shining gem. And what a diamond it is too. Where the version 2.0 from the good folks at BMW has gone from strength to strength the original is a hard one to beat! Wide wheelbase with smaller wheels on the corners of a shorter chassis and that Series A Morris engine turned sideways, the smaller and very functional proportions with good handling were apparent from the get-go.

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It went on to be as iconic as The Beatles in the sixties; a swingin’ time for all. The roof was oft emblazoned with the union flag. Front spots reinforced the round-eye headlights and aided nighttime driving as well as celebrated the sweeping victories of several Monte Carlo rallies through the sixties (until the French changes the rules citing uncompetitive lighting…).

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Like the Morris Minor of yesterdays notes, the Mini also came in variations, a small van, the wood framed Countryman… “Ouch! You’ll gi’ yersel’ a spelk wi’ that boot youth!”

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Also available was the Jeep like Mini Moke, and the sportier engines Cooper S. Racer of both two and four wheels, John Coopers collaboration with BMC to produce a highly competitive performance motor car.

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The best view of a Mini! Behind its go-cart handling wheel, centrally located speedo and 360° all round clear view. One of the cars I learned to drive in was a latter model Cooper, a racing green late 80’s model. One of the best cars I ever drove.