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.
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