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Old 29th May 2009, 23:15   #1
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Default The MINI Celebrates Its 50TH Birthday

Source Auto Express UK and Wikipedia
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The Mini is a small car that was produced by the British Motor Corpn. (BMC) and its successors from 1959 until 2000. The original is considered an icon of the 1960s, and its space-saving front-wheel-drive layout (that allowed 80% of the area of the car's floorpan to be used for passengers and luggage) influenced a generation of car-makers. The vehicle is in some ways considered the British equivalent to its German contemporary, the Volkswagen Beetle, which enjoyed similar popularity. In 1999 the Mini was voted the second most influential car of the 20th century, behind the Ford Model T.
This distinctive two-door car was designed for BMC by Sir Alec Issigonis. It was manufactured at the Longbridge and Cowley plants in England, the Victoria Park / Zetland BMC (Austrailia) factory in Sydney , Australia, and later also in Spain (Authi), Belgium, Chile, Italy (Innocenti), Portugal, South Africa, Uruguay, Venezuela and Yugoslavia. The Mini Mark I had three major updates: the Mark II, the Clubman and the Mark III. Within these was a series of variations including an estate car, a pickup truck, a van and the Mini Moke — a jeep-like buggy. The Mini Cooper and Cooper "S" were sportier versions that were successful as rally cars, winning the Monte Carlo rally four times from 1964 through to 1967, although in 1966 the Mini was disqualified after the finish, along with six other British entrants, which included the first four finishing cars, under a questionable ruling that the cars had used an illegal combination of headlamps and spotlights. Minis were marketed under the Austin and Morris names until Mini became a marque in its own right in 1969. The Mini was again marketed under the name plate in the 1980s.
When production of the classic Mini ceased in 2000, BMW (the new owner of the brand) announced the successor to the Mini – which is variously called the "BMW MINI" or the "New MINI". The brand name for the new car is MINI (written in capital letters).
The new MINI is larger than the classic Mini. It is around 55 centimetres (22 in) longer, 30 centimetres (12 in) wider, weighing 1,050 kg (2,315 lb) rather than 650 kg (1,433 lb).
On 3 April 2007, the one millionth MINI rolled out of the Oxford Plant after six years of production, just one month longer than it took the classic Mini to reach the same total in March 1965.
MINI is celebrating it 50th birthday in style! The legendary Silverstone race circuit has been transformed in a MINI wonderland for the bank holiday weekend. Featuring everything from driving opportunities and live music from big-names like Calvin Harris and Paul Weller, to the ultra-competitive MINI Challenge race series on the Grand Prix track - in which our very own road tester Owen Mildenhall is competing - it promises to be memorable few days.
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Old 29th May 2009, 23:39   #2
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Happy Birthday Mini ! Tum Jiyo Hazaaron Saal ..
Nothing to beat the original classic - the one in spartan white looks awesome.
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Old 30th May 2009, 00:16   #3
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ohhh mini!!
this car has always given me wet dreams!
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Old 30th May 2009, 00:39   #4
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there are no words that can describe it. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU.
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Old 30th May 2009, 00:54   #5
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I wish it was bye-bye Clubman, and hello 'Mini Mark I'. May the icon stick around for a long time to come!
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Old 30th May 2009, 20:31   #6
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Source Birmingham & West Midlands - Index and wikipedia

with more inputs from Yours Truly

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Alec Issigonis was born in Smyrne, Turkey, in the year 1906. In 1922, he and
his family were exiled to Malta by the British Navy. At the young age of
15 he arrived in London. He began studing engineering and got a job working
for Morris Motor Company. There he designed the Morris Minor. The small car
was not well received, but when the Suez crisis brought about rationing,
the BMC asked him to design an efficient small car.The new design was the
ever lovable Mini. The Mini soon became the best selling car in Europe.
To honor his success, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1969. Issigonis
worked as the engineer director at Austin Rover until 1971 when he retired.
Suffering from Parkinson's disease, he was then only able to stay on as
a consultant until 1987. Sir Issacc Issigonis passed away on October the
second, 1988. The Mini defines his design philosophy, Less is More.

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Minis assembled for paying tribute to Sir Alec on his birth centenary in 2006

Sir Alec Issigonis - A tribute by Yours Truly

Sir Alec Issigonis reinvented the automobile completely at age 50. The Mini is a mechanical monument and not like any other car of its times. I read that Sir Alec had also failed three times at Battersea Polytechnic, London. According to him “pure mathematics is the enemy of every creative man.” He was arrogant and had strong likes and dislikes. But that’s nothing new – most great men have these qualities. Knighted by the Queen of England, he hated interior luxuries like radios and comfy seats because he thought these distracted the driver. When asked by Battista Pininfarina (who liked the Mini’s design) as to whether he was a stylist, he got offended and said “I am an engineer”.
He was project engineer for Morris Motors and had designed a two seater concept car, with a unitary body 14 inch wheels to add to interior cabin space and finally a flat four engine that drove the front wheels. This idea evolved as the Morris Minor in 1948 (in production till 1971), but he had to bid goodbye to his idea of the front- wheel drive. He had a short stint with Alvis (1952-1955) and designed a V8 sports sedan which was shelved. Back to the new entity British Motor Corporation (BMC) due to the Austin-Morris merger he soon became the chief engineer.
The Suez Canal blockade and the oil crisis during 1956 led to fuel shortage and rationing. Sir Alec was asked by his company bosses to design a car smaller than the Morris Minor but using the same engine. The chief engineer shrunk the wheels to 10 inches putting them in the farthest corners but with a wide track, to least intrude the passenger space. The engine was mounted transversely (Only for the Japanese and everyone else to copy it later on) and the transmission was placed underneath. So after the day, 80% of the 10 feet long car was for passenger usage.
Sir Alec was a creator. The Minor, Mini and Austin 1100 bear testament to this contention. These are among the five best ever selling cars in the U.K.

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Old 30th May 2009, 21:03   #7
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Mini remains the most loved car around the world.
One cant forget the iconic status they achieved in 1969 British Film "The Italian Job".
Happy Birthday to Mini
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Old 30th May 2009, 21:28   #8
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Although the BMW MINI was not accepted by most mini fans.

I am such a fan of the creator that i could not think of anything else for my handle when i joined tbhp.

mini and Monte Carlo Rally.
Circa 1961 legendary racer dude name John Cooper saw potential in his friend, Sir ALec's creation.
Sir ALec gravely disagreed with his friend initially. He couldn't imagine the potential of this nimble car that he created, but his friend John did.

John Cooper appealed directly to BMC management, after lot of said and done, the two men collaborated to create the Mini Cooper, a nimble, economical and inexpensive car. The Austin Mini Cooper and Morris Mini Cooper debuted in 1961.

The original 848 cc engine from the Morris Mini-Minor was increased to 997 cc, boosting power from 34 bhp to 55 bhp. The car featured a racing-tuned engine with twin SU carburettors, a closer-ratio gearbox and front disc brakes, uncommon at the time in a small car. One thousand units of this version were commissioned by management, intended for and designed to meet the homologation rules of Group 2 rally racing.
A more powerful Mini Cooper, dubbed the "S", was also developed in tandem and released in 1963. Featuring a 1071 cc engine and larger servo-assisted disc brakes.

The sales figure rose but the best was yet to come fo mini. Mini Cooper S earned acclaim with Monte Carlo Rally victories in 1964, 1965 and 1967. Minis were initially placed first, second and third in the 1966 rally as well, but were disqualified after a controversial decision by the French judges. The disqualification related to the use of a variable resistance headlamp dimming circuit in place of a dual-filament lamp. It should be noted that the CitroŽn DS that was eventually awarded first place had illegal white headlamps but escaped disqualification. The driver of the CitroŽn, Pauli Toivonen, was reluctant to accept the trophy and vowed that he would never race for CitroŽn again. BMC probably received more publicity from the disqualification than they would have gained from a victory but had the Mini not been disqualified, it would have been the only car in history to be placed in the top three on the Monte Carlo for six consecutive years.

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Old 14th October 2009, 19:56   #9
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I am such a fan of the creator that i could not think of anything else for my handle when i joined tbhp.


Same here. Loved The Italian Job too!
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