1. Panic at the pumps
In Britain in 1956 petrol was rationed. For most people this was bad news, but British designer Alec Issigonis took it as an opportunity. He set about designing a new kind of family car that was small and cheap to run.
The car that he designed – the Austin Se7en – was also sold as Morris Mini-Minor. Within a few years, everyone was calling it the Mini and it had become a classic. Yet in its first year, sales were low. Explore how the car transformed the motor industry and became the enduring symbol of Britishness that it is today.
2. CLICKABLE: Designing a better car
Alec Issigonis thought that market research was ‘bunk’ and used his gut instincts to create the Mini. Click on this cross-section of his original design to watch Ant explore what he came up with.
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3. Time to transform transport
Click to see which problems the Mini was trying to solve in 1956.
5. The Mini: Then and now
British Motor Industry Heritage Trust
Explore the key differences between the 1959 and 2001 Mini. Sources: Mini – An Intimate Biography, Mini website, and The Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders.
6. Cars that challenged the Mini
Click on the options below to explore the cars that competed in the showrooms from August 1959.