by Kate Muir
Mini image of Raulmahón from Fotolia.com
Today’s Mini is known as the James Bond car or Austin Powers’ favorite vehicle. This small but powerful vehicle was derived from the UK’s Austin Mini and Morris Mini cars that were, in fact, created in response to the 1956 Suez Canal Crisis, which pushed up fuel prices. Sir Alec Issigonis was determined to create a powerful little car that would rival the largest cars of the time. For the next three years he worked on its design and in 1959 he introduced the Austin Mini and Morris Mini in the UK. Although Austin and Morris had a lot in common, the Morris Mini-Minor was known for its smaller design. There are some details that are known to collectors and fans of classic cars.
The Austin Mini and Morris Mini were first launched in the UK in 1959. There were design changes and engine improvements over the years on both models, but it is important to note that the Austin and Morris label are merged with the current name of the Mini in 1969. in the UK The Morris Mini K was produced in Australia and was restricted to sales in that market. It was produced until 1970. The production dates of the Morris Mini are considered 1959-1969. All cars after that date are considered Minis.
Morris’s seats were upholstered in black and speckled black. The seams in the seat created a central flute that ran from front to back. Austin’s seats were upholstered in red, blue, or mottled motifs. The stitching in the seat created multiple fine flutes that ran from front to back. Later, Austin’s seats adopted a welded flute pattern, but Morris’s sewing patterns remained the same.
The Morris Mini speedometer was created with a clear glass face and a silver needle design, while the Austin Mini’s speedometer had a cream colored glass design with a red needle.
Complementary box liner
The original Morris Minis featured cardboard liners on the rear add-on box, while the Austin Minis had the typical flat liners on the add-on box. The passenger box was located on the rear left and right passenger sides of the vehicle. These were often transformed into ashtrays during this time period.