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Mini

Mini (United Kingdom, 1962)

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General Characteristics

After having many names in different parts of the globe, in 1962, this model is launched with the name that would remain in the automobile history: Austin Mini. Mini means “small” in Latin and reflect the desires of the carmaker Leonard Lord, head of the British Motor Company, to make a miniature vehicle to compete with the German Bubble cars.

The Austin Mini was a rebadged Austin Seven and there weren’t many differences between the two. Both had all the Mini classical features: sliding windows, the “moustache” grille and the exterior hinges, that would latter be hidden in the third generation. 

Besides the Standard, De-luxe and Super versions were also available. Later, a new Super Deluxe version was also constructed.

The Austin Mini has set up a trend and reunited all British classes on a common denominator: they all wanted a Mini. The Mark I are the most sought after Minis.



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Engine and Transmission

All cars up to 1962 had an A series engine which is 848cc. Mounted transversely at the front, and driving the front wheels through an integral gearbox in the sump casting of the engine that created a lot more space for the passengers.



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Body and Design

There are 3,016 screws, nuts and bolts in the original Mini, and this version was no exception.

The version launched in 1962 was a classic Mini with floor mounted starter button. The suspension was made up of compact rubber cones instead of springs, used at that time. The metal oil filler cap was replaced in this version by plastic ones.

The innovative idea of how to rearrange the engine placement, "pushing" the passenger space forward, has created a surprisingly roomy interior for a car with only 3 meters.

When was being imagined, Mini was suppose to be practical, and it was never thought that it would launch a trend. However it’s clever rearrangement of the engine was followed by almost small front wheel drive cars built from the seventies on.



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Mini


The original Mini was debuted in 1959 and became an instant hit. Its popularity has granted him the several titles, as “Car of the Century”, “Number One Classic Car of All Time” and “European Car of the Century”, among others. It all started with a fuel shortage in 1956, because of the crisis over the Suez Canal. With rationed petrol on the UK, the sales of larger cars plunged while the German miniature cars’ were growing. Mini was the projec...  more
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