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In February 1952, the British Automobile Corporation (BMC) was formed by the merger of Austin Motor Company and the Nuffield Organization (Morris). The headquarters were located in Longbridge, and in 1956, the development of the classic Mini began.
In the midst of the Suez Crisis, in November 1956, automotive engineer and designer Alec Issigonis was given a task by the president of the BMC company, Mr. Leonard Lord, to design a small car with a drive from the existing production series that already exists - the A-series engine. BMC has issued the following guidelines: plenty of space inside with minimal dimensions outside, seats for four passengers, impeccable driving characteristics, superior fuel economy fuel, and a very reasonable price.
Nine months later, after a test drive of the KSC9003 prototype, Leonard Lord approved the construction of the Mini (project name: ADO15), which was powered by an 850 cc engine. The car was named "Orange Box" because of its color.
1959. Presentation of the classic Mini.
Just two years and nine months after Isigonis was given the task of developing a small car, on August 26, 1959, the Mini was presented to the public.
From the very beginning, the public could admire two new models: the Morris Mini-Minor and the Austin Seven. This double premiere of two almost identical four-seater was, of course, attributed to the wide range of brands offered by BMC on the market, but it was also very symbolic in nature.
The Morris Mini-Minor and Austin Seven, which differed solely in radiator grille, wheel caps and body color, were both powered by a four-cylinder engine mounted transversely in the front, and delivered a maximum power of 34 hp from its 848 cubic centimeters. The performance of both models was identical, as was the 195-liter boot capacity located in the rear of the vehicle. Everyone was delighted with the generous available space, the efficient but powerful engines, the good stability on the road and the comfortable suspension that this new compact car offered.
Only 3.05 meters long, it was sold at a retail price of GBP 496 - the Mini was simply perfect for small parking spaces, but also small budgets.