Sep 2 – Tonight, I get on a wrong plane… I think it is a 747.
Don’t understand the arrangement? May be communication error? What even lah…
Meanwhile, I was waiting, I was practicing my shot. I used my G9 shot my Q car – Mini 1000.
Mini 1000’s dashboard…
Limited edit from 1959 to 1989.
I like classic car! Simple and beautiful… Never outdated!
Below is an article which provided by my friend, Andrew. Mini fans must read!
Remembering the ‘father’ of the Mini
December 06, 2006 09:52 AM Author: Chips
Sir Alec Issigonis and the Mini
This year would have been the 100th birthday of Sir Alec Issigonis, the ‘father’ of the original Mini. Though the car he is associated with made him a legend in automotive history, he never quite made it to university and he called mathematics “the enemy of every creative human being”. He had inherited his profound interest in technology and machines from his father who was of Greek origin. Inspired by these technological achievements and everything else he saw at the company, the young Issigonis soon developed great interest particularly in railways and steam engines.
Amid the hectic years of the foundation of Turkey (where he lived then) in its modern form, the family was forced to flee to Malta in 1922, After his father died on the island, his mother then took him to England. He bought his first car there and chauffeured her through Europe in 1925 in (as Issigonis reported later) a “never-ending succession of breakdowns”. Obviously it was an experience he would never forget, and which prompted him after returning back home to take a course in mechanical engineering in London.
Issigonis’ talent for craftsmanship and his enthusiasm in drawing and designing were just sufficient to set off his aversion to mathematical theory, enabling him to barely squeeze through his final exam but without the slightest chance of being able to continue his studies at the polytechnic. With no prospects for further studies, he started his professional career as a technical draughtsman and salesman for a design office specialising in automotive technology. He promptly spent his first salary on an Austin Seven, beefed up the car for racing, and entered his first race in March 1929.
In 1934, Issigonis joined the design team of Humber Ltd in Coventry, where he worked on the introduction of independent wheel suspension. Just two years later, Morris Motors hired him on account of his particular skills and know-how in chassis development. During World War II, he had no choice but to work on various military vehicles which, being a very practical man, he also used for tests, trying out new technical features and concepts in the process.
An early sketch by Issigonis showing the Mini’s construction
The Mini’s packaging efficiency was amazing for its body size
In 1941, Morris launched the ‘Mosquito Project’, a compact 4-seater for the post-war period. Despite disastrous conditions, the team led by Issigonis (already well-known as a workaholic) not only had the first driving prototype ready within just three years, but also launched the car in 1948 in the guise of the Morris Minor, the company’s most successful model in the post-war era.
Four years later Morris and Austin Motor merged to form the British Motor Corporation (BMC), where Issigonis no longer saw any future perspectives for his creativity. So he joined Alvis in order to develop a luxury performance saloon. When that project failed for financial reasons, BMC took Issigonis back in 1955 as Deputy Technical Director of the Austin Plant with the job to develop three new model series for the small, midrange and luxury performance segments intended to secure the future of what was then Europe’s largest carmaker.
Through his challenging and authoritarian style, Issigonis succeeded in withstanding the pressure resting on the development of the new small car arising from the Suez crisis of 1956. This had seen the closure of the critical canal in Egypt for a number of months causing a sudden surge in the price of oil and petrol. The British government was so concerned that it even considered rationing fuel supplies so it appeared that in the long term, only very economical cars would have a potential in the market.
The target seemed to be clear: to develop a fuel-efficient small car taking up the great tradition of the pre-war Austin Seven and the legendary Morris Minor. Since BMC’s funds were very limited at the time (a financial squeeze many other carmakers were also feeling back then), the cost of development was kept to a minimum as was the development period. Additionally, one of the requirements was to use an engine from current production rather than go to the great expense of designing a new one.
A crash test in the 1960s
The simple features of the original Mini’s design (left) were retained throughout its long life as shown by a 1990 model on the right
Issigonis had decided to go for front-wheel drive with the engine fitted crosswise (east-west) for space-saving reasons. The only engine he could use the ‘Series A’ displacing 948 cc and developing a maximum output of 37 bhp. Indeed, even that was more than enough: the first test car reached a top speed of 150 km/h, far beyond the speed the little car was able to handle, since neither the chassis nor the brakes were designed for that kind of performance! So engine power was reduced by 3 bhp by decreasing the displacement to 848 cc – which was sufficient for a still-remarkable 120 km/h.
The suspension was a highlight in technology from the start. Instead of coil, torsional or leafsprings, Issigonis chose rubber springs made up of two cones with a layer of rubber in between. Later on, in 1964, he presented yet another outstanding solution in suspension technology, carrying over the new Hydrolastic suspension from BMC’s larger saloons to the Mini. The characteristic feature of this unique suspension was the cylinders on each wheel roughly the size and shape of a one-litre can of oil. This cylinder accommodated both the springs and dampers, with an anti-freeze water emulsion serving as the damper fluid. While this system kept the car at the same consistent level in theory, it involved significant disadvantages in practice: whenever the passengers sitting on the rear seats were relatively heavy and the luggage compartment happened to be fully laden, the rear end dropped down, lifting the front end of the car. So it was almost inevitable that Hydrolastic was discontinued in the Mini after 1971.
Various bodystyles were produced including stationwagons
The last Mini produced looked pretty much like the first one
A striking – and later characteristic – feature of the 600-kg Mini was the outward-facing metal seam between the wheel arches and the body of the car. The reason for this design feature was quite simply economic necessity, with welding seams at the outside being a lot cheaper in production. The second sign of cost-conscious production clearly visible from outside was the door hinges also mounted on the outer panels, again expressing a minimalist philosophy also reflected by the car’s interior. A piece of rope served to open the door, the side windows slid back to open, and instead of an instrument panel, the driver and front passenger sat right behind a small tray with just one large speedometer in the middle. Right below it were two toggle switches for the windscreen wipers and the lights, and that was it – even the heating system cost extra.
The Mini was launched in August 1959 with two variants initially – the Morris Mini-Minor and the Austin Seven, with the only differences being the radiator grille, body colours, and wheel caps.
At that time, it was the second-cheapest car available in the UK. Its other rivals were the Volkswagen Beetle, Renault Dauphine and Fiat 600. Sales actually started rather slowly; despite its low price, the new car was still too expensive for the young purchaser while, at the same time, it was too spartan for the more affluent customer.
Nevertheless, through the 1960s, the Mini grew in popularity and gained ‘cult’ status. It was regarded as ‘class-less’ – used by royalty and celebrities as well as university students and of course, even ‘Mr Bean’.
The great success of the Mini also made the car’s “father” famous and as time went on, his story would appear in numerous publications. But Issigonis emphasised time and again that “I did not invent the Mini, I designed it”. Even after retiring in 1971, Sir Alec Issigonis (he was knighted in 1969) continued to work for the company as a consultant until 1987 before passing away a year later shortly before his 82nd birthday.
The modern Mini by BMW remains faithful to the original concept, an authentic successor which Issigonis would surely have approved of…