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[pic]The debut 1959 Mini.
Reeling from massive debt incurred during World War II and a fuel shortage, BMC wanted the equivalent to the Volkswagen Beetle that was cost-efficient to produce and to sell to the beleaguered British consumer. Describing the Beetle with disdain as a "bubble car," BMC chief Leonard Lord sought a "box" car powered by an existing engine.

 
[pic]Sir AlecIssigonis, the father of the Mini
Issigonis, who had experience designing small cars at Morris Motor Company, recruited Jack Daniels and Chris Kingham to help him design the vehicle. They created a front-wheel-drive, 10X4X4-foot car on an 80.3-inch wheelbase with a transversely mounted 4-cylinder engine. The dimensions allowed for 80 percent of the interior to be devoted to passenger and cargo space.Monte Carlo

 
[pic]The Mini dominated its class at the Monte Carlo races in the mid-1960s.
In 1961, the Austin Mini Cooper and Morris Mini Cooper were introduced. These new Cooper versions, including the sporty Cooper S, became a success on the racing circuit. These cars had the engine displacement boosted from 848cc with 34 horsepower to 997cc at 55 horsepower. The cars captured firstplace in their class at the Monte Carlo rally from 1964 to 1967.

Monte Carlo

 
[pic]The Mini dominated its class at the Monte Carlo races in the mid-1960s.
In 1961, the Austin Mini Cooper and Morris Mini Cooper were introduced. These new Cooper versions, including the sporty Cooper S, became a success on the racing circuit. These cars had the engine displacement boosted from 848ccwith 34 horsepower to 997cc at 55 horsepower. The cars captured first place in their class at the Monte Carlo rally from 1964 to 1967.

The Mini is a small car that was produced by the British Motor Corporation (BMC) and its successors from 1959 until 2000. The original is considered an icon of the 1960s,[3][4][5] and its space-saving front-wheel-drive layout (that allowed 80% of the area ofthe car's floorpan to be used for passengers and luggage) influenced a generation of car-makers.[6] The vehicle is in some ways considered the British equivalent to its German contemporary, the Volkswagen Beetle, which enjoyed similar popularity in North America. In 1999 the Mini was voted the second most influential car of the 20th Century, behind the Ford Model T.
This distinctive two-door carwas designed for BMC by Sir Alec Issigonis.[7][8] It was manufactured at the Longbridge and Cowley plants in England, the Victoria Park / Zetland British Motor Corporation (Australia) factory in Sydney, Australia, and later also in Spain (Authi), Belgium, Chile, Italy (Innocenti), Portugal, South Africa, Uruguay, Venezuela and Yugoslavia. The Mini Mark I had three major UK updates: the Mark II, theClubman and the Mark III. Within these was a series of variations including an estate car, a pickup truck, a van and the Mini Moke—a jeep-like buggy. The Mini Cooper and Cooper "S" were sportier versions that were successful as rally cars, winning the Monte Carlo Rally four times from 1964 through to 1967, although in 1966 the Mini was disqualified after the finish, along with six other Britishentrants, which included the first four cars to finish, under a questionable ruling that the cars had used an illegal combination of headlamps and spotlights.[9] Initially Minis were marketed under the Austin and Morris names, as the Austin Seven and Morris Mini Minor, until Mini became a marque in its own right in 1969.[10] The Mini was again marketed under the Austin name in the 1980s.

Designand development

Designed as project ADO15 (Austin Drawing Office project number 15), the Mini came about because of a fuel shortage caused by the 1956 Suez Crisis.[11] Petrol was once again rationed in the UK, sales of large cars slumped, the market for German Bubble cars boomed. Leonard Lord, the somewhat autocratic head of BMC, reportedly decreed: 'God damn these b****y awful Bubble Cars. We...
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