1959 Austin Mini
Hard to believe that this still pleasingly looking car already comes on the market 1959. It is for that time with its novel transverse engine
and with the low cross for the
external dimensions, the incredibly spacious interior is a sensation. Above you see the model for the Monte Carlo Rally, the Mini Cooper wins since 1964 as a total of three times.
It is available as a two-door sedan, vans, pick-up and later in numerous special models. He has at its start not - as the shown car - 1.300 cm³ displacement, but only 850 or 1000 cm³. The transverse engine is combined
with the transmission (automatic also available!) and both are lubricated by the same oil system. They are located behind and not beside each other, as is common today. The drive shafts are already fully encapsulated
and ball joints instead of steering pins are used, but these must still be greased. Instead of steel springs a round rubber block, which together with the telescopic shock absorbers and the ten inches wheels make sure
little spring travel (small wheel arches), but does provide excellent road holding.
The engine has except the lateral position of the cooler parallel to the left front wheel no special features. It is conform with its camshaft below the state of technics, but its inner life, the motor control and carburetor
epuipment are the object of many tuning activities. This is necessary indeed, because the series format produces relatively little fun.
As the picture 2 shows, the interior is despite the limited external dimensions quite
large. The dashboard is very low and the steering column is significantly extended to rear above. The speedometer is mounted in the center of the dashboard. Long legs have to (and can) simply use more pulled up the
delicate foot pedals. Although a rear seat is available with a relatively large amount of leg room, one feels at driving curves like sitting on the rear axle. The mini is distinguished from a special agility.
Behind the from above to open luggage compartment lid is however not much space. A third left is claimed by the tank, the rest also curtailed by the spare wheel and battery. Below the car floor the tank would not fit, the
ground clearance is barely more than 15 cm. Typical are also the more usual at vans, externally mounted door hinges.
However, a major disadvantage has this extreme use of space. The mechanics have made at
some repairs a wide berth. It is almost impossible to reach certain repair locations, such as the deflection of the hand brake cable. All this at a car that in later versions still a high level of maintenance required.
Possibly an appropriate repair would require large disassembly, eg the respective sub-frame of the front and rear axle. However, the smooth-running of the screws depends at this car from the relatively rapid proceeding of
corrosion. The low weight of the car leads by the way on some other places at the expense of stability. So it can happen, that the front cover already is warping during drying of the lacquer.
The Austin Mini has been counted from the professional world probably because of its forward-looking design to the cars of the 20th century.