Magic of the Mini con­tin­ues to cast its spell

Geelong Advertiser - Motoring - - CARSGUIDE -

THE Mor­ris Mini is cel­e­brat­ing its 55th birth­day.

The orig­i­nal Mini, made in Birm­ing­ham in Eng­land, made its de­but on Au­gust 18, 1959.

Few peo­ple could have pre­dicted how wildly suc­cess­ful it would be­come.

Two mod­els were then pre­sented to the public that dif­fered solely in their ra­di­a­tor grille, hub caps and paint fin­ishes — the Mor­ris Mini Mi­nor and the Austin Seven.

De­signer Alec Is­sigo­nis’ con­cept was sim­ple and in­ge­nious: lots of in­te­rior space com­bined with min­i­mum ex­te­rior di­men­sions, four seats, per­fect driv­ing prop­er­ties, low fuel con­sump­tion and a rea­son­able price.

The prin­ci­ples that made the car a suc­cess were re­con­firmed with the launch of the new Mini in 2001.

To­day, the range com­prises a large num­ber of mod­els. Start­ing with the clas­sic body vari­ant of the Mini, it in­cludes the Mini Club­man, the Mini Con­vert­ible, the Mini Coupe and the Mini Road­ster, through to the Mini Coun­try­man and the Mini Pace­man.

Mem­bers of the clas­sic Mini and the new Mini com­mu­nity meet on the first week of ev­ery Au­gust to cel­e­brate the most suc­cess­ful and most pop­u­lar Bri­tish small car.

This year, the meet­ing was held in Kent. Ve­hi­cles on show ranged from one of the first cars from 1960 to a clas­sic Mini Club­man Es­tate and a clas­sic 25 Spe­cial Edi­tion Mini from 1984.

The In­ter­na­tional Mini Meet­ing takes place in a dif­fer­ent coun­try ev­ery year, but re­turns to the UK ev­ery five years.

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