Heritage100

1959 Austin Mini Seven

1959 Austin Mini Seven

The sixties model Twiggy and the singer Lulu have both featured in advertising for the Mini.

In 1957 BMC commissioned Alec Issigonis to design a new small car, following his success with the Morris Minor.

Popularly known as the Mini, this innovative model popularised many design features still common today. Driving the front wheels, its transverse mounted engine, with the gearbox beneath, removed the space-consuming transmission tunnel from inside the car.

Styling was minimalist, in sharp contrast to the transatlantic fins and chrome of the fifties.

The early example in the National Motor Museum was built in the launch year of 1959 and has very low mileage.

The sixties model Twiggy and the singer Lulu have both featured in advertising for the Mini. Indeed Lulu was invited back by the Birmingham factory in 2000, when classic Mini production stopped, to drive the final car, a red Mini Cooper registration 1959-2000, off the production line.

Quick Facts

  • Price new £537
  • Maximum speed 70mph/112.65kph
  • Maker Austin Motor Co. Ltd
  • Place made Longbridge Works, Birmingham
  • Date made 1959
  • Accession number BEAMM : V1042
  • Made of metal, wood, leather, rubber, glass and plastic
  • Dimensions Length 2.95m, Height 1.35m, Width 1.49m, Wheelbase 2.1m

Facts

  • The Austin Mini Seven was made with an engine capacity of 848cc, 4 in-line cylinders, overhead valves and a power output of 34hp @ 5,500rpm.
  • Claire Gregory (Property Assistant) chose this car as her favourite object in the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu. Claire has been a member of staff at Beaulieu since 2000. Watch the video in the "Gallery" section to see Claire talk about the significance of this object to her.

Gallery

Austin Mini 7 black and white photo with ladies enjoying a picnic
1959 Austin Mini Seven
1959 Austin Mini Seven

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