Happy Birthday, Mini!

On August 26, 1959 a revolution happened. No, I’m not talking about Fidel, I’m talking about the BMC Mini, Sir Alec Issigonis’ Ur-car from which all transverse engined front wheel drive cars have followed, which went on sale 52 years ago. Starting with a price tag of less than $800, the Mini stayed in production for over 40 years. Many consider it the first truly modern post WWII design. Only 10 feet long from bumper to bumper, the Mini could hold 4 adults and their luggage in relative comfort. They looked past the wire pull door releases and the surfeit of painted metal on the interior. At the time, microcars were very popular and compared to them, the Mini was a Town Car.

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When he’s not busy doing custom machine embroidery, Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth and contributes to The Truth About Cars and Left Lane News