What can we really say that`s not been said already about the humble British Austin Classic Mini, the very first and the very best of the compact cars surely?
The classic Mini, the brainchild of Sir Alec Issigonis in the late 50`s was stunning, by simply turning the little 850cc A-series power plant east to west and mounting it right on top of the 4 speed gearbox. Then shoehorning it into the tiny engine bay was sheer brilliance. So good in that, that most manufactures still follow suit today. The body shell was designed for a revolutionary tiny ten inch wheel at every corner further mini-mised intrusion of any mechanical components into the cabin space, leaving plenty of room inside the tiny car for four adults.
Marketed at firstly under the Austin and Morris banners, the name Mini came later on, but at a price very achievable just under £500 it near killed off overnight the working man’s mode of transport, the trusty motorcycle and sidecar. The classic Mini instantly was a social phenomenon; never had a car crossed the class barrier so completely. You`d find a Mini proudly parked outside terraced houses in Leicester, just as equally outside a Mayfair flat.
If you`ve ever owned a classic Mini, it`ll only be remembered fondly and affectionately – they`re just that kind of car.