Al Mini

In vehicle dynamics, weight is an important consideration. Weight affects a car’s dynamics unlike any other, making its presence known from the purely subjective measure of “driving pleasure” to the cold numbers of fuel economy. With legislation requiring ever more safety equipment, and consumer tastes demanding ever more comfort, space and better fuel economy from their cars, it’s a mad dash to keep vehicle weight in check. Different materials are now being employed towards this end, and aluminum has been working wonders, with early mass-market adopters Jaguar and Audi preaching its weight saving benefits.

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Of course, racers have been gracing intricate frames with shapely aluminum bodies, shedding weight without the fatal consequences of setting magnesium alight.

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Ten Feet of Britain: The Mini at 55, Part 3

We last left the Mini’s 55th with a pair of luridly painted and decorated Minis, proving that there really is no sullying the Mini’s good looks. This time we take a look at what happens when you decide to prioritise function over most everything else; we’re starting off with some Minis that were built to go hunting.

The team name is pretty accurate.

The team name is pretty accurate.

Strung between two tents was this banner, announcing the presence of the Move Over race team. Continue reading

Ten Feet of Britain: The Mini at 55

In December of 1956, Britain was in quite a fix: a not-insignificant political indiscretion dubbed Operation Musketeer involving the Suez Canal resulted in an embargo on oil shipments to both France and United Kingdom. This prompted the return of fuel rationing to the country and ruined British car sales; overnight, German microcars like the Isetta and Messerschmidt became the cars of choice, being more frugal than anything the British had on hand. BMC (British Motor Company) was particularly concerned, both because they stood to lose a large chunk of market share and because chairman Leonard Lord reportedly took personal offense to the German “bubblecars”.

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Enter the BMC Mini.

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