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Thursday, December 5, 2019

Here is it the Mini, a legendary cute car from England

Small, unique, classic and classy. That's a little picture of the impression when talking about these British famous car brands. Let's re-trace its history, the beginning story of a car that is often identified with Mr. Bean, a fictional character in the comedy series that aired on television back in the 1990s.
1976 Morris Mini Cooper with Mr. Bean, a fictional character in the comedy TV-series aired back in the 1990s. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2DDb93Y)
This car production cannot be separated from the Suez Crisis that occurred in the late 1950s. At that time, there's the fuel rationing were imposed for most European countries, including the United Kingdom. To overcome this problem, an automotive company as the merger result between Austin and Morris, the British Motor Corporation (BMC) group planned to make the small, compact and fuel-efficient cars.

Then, Sir Leonard Lord as the CEO of the BMC at the time gave an assignment to Sir Alec Issigonis, who also known as the Morris Minor designer to make the intended-car designs. He started to work in March 1957 and two years later, the car was ready to be produced. Physically, the car has a length, about 3 meters. And in August 1959, this small car was launched into the automotive market. In the early days, this car was called the Austin Mini Seven and Morris Mini-Minor.
1959 Morris Mini-Minor with registration number 621 AOK was the first Mini off the production line to be badged, Morris. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2P2NGhV)
After 1969, the names of the Austin and Morris were no longer used, so the official name was the Mini. However, for the international market, the Austin or Morris brands are still used. In addition to the sedan model, there are also other variants, namely the Mini Van, Mini Pick-up, Mini Moke (shaped like a jeep) and Mini Clubman (with a square nose shape). But the most famous is the Mini Cooper.
1969 Morris Mini Cooper. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/2P2NGhV)
In addition, this car has always been a winner at the Monte Carlo rally, in 1964, 1965 and 1967, and always entered the top three from 1964 to 1968. The winning key of the Mini Cooper lies in the transverse engine layout with the front-wheel-drive system. Even though at that time the concept had never been applied by any automotive manufacturers. With such a layout, the position of its four wheels allows the driving very agile and easy to control.

After being in production almost for 44 years, the company finally ceased its production in the early 2000s. Then the company's shares were acquired by BMW and then the Mini Cooper was replaced by the New Mini design of the BMW team. Since the beginning, the total number of Mini production was around 5.5 million units. This number makes Mini Morris as the best-selling British car in history. In fact, in 2001 the Autocar magazine awarded it the title of the most influential car of the 20th century, defeating the Ford model T and VW Beetle.

Over time, the Mini Cooper underwent design improvements. Such as, its sliding windows were replaced by the wind-up windows. The next change was the use of an 850cc engine which was replaced with 1,000cc, which was then replaced with a 1,275cc engine. Then the carburetor system is replaced with injection and the disc-brake standardization. But uniquely, the basic shape of the Mini barely not changed, there was almost no noticeable change if we compared between the 1959 Mini with the 2000 Mini. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | WIKIPEDIA]
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