The inspiration for the layout of nearly every car in production today…
Voted Car of the 20th Century, design guru Alec Issigonis’ utilitarian masterpiece of minimalism, the Mini, is the inspiration for the layout of nearly every car in production today. But it took a collaboration with the motorsport legend John Cooper to create the remarkable – and unlikely rally success - the Mini Cooper.
From the day Alec Issigonis sat down and penned his car’s layout the Mini was always going to be the most revolutionary car ever made. Initially designed to repel the threat of German bubble car sales during the Suez crises, his 10 foot long miracle of packaging placed the engine transversely and the gearbox underneath driving specially made 10 inch front wheels, liberating the cabin space of a large car in the road space of a micro car; truly brilliant lateral thinking which produced 5,387,862 cars 41 years of production.
The fact that the Mini handled so fantastically was initially a bonus of its design but one quickly exploited by John Cooper. The Mini Cooper dominated racing and rallying– always beating more powerful cars because of its superb traction, nimble handling and surprising strength. Its 4 Monte Carlo Rally Wins (including the infamous 1966 unfair disqualification) became the stuff of legend.