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All Tests
F7 F9 

1960 Austin Seven

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 was available as a two-door sedan, vans, pick-up and later in numerous special models. He had 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 and both were lubricated by the same oil system. They were located behind and not beside each other, as is common today.

The drive shafts were already fully encapsulated and ball joints instead of steering pins were used, but these hadstill to 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 did provide excellent road holding.

The engine had except the lateral position of the cooler parallel to the left front wheel no special features. It was conform with its camshaft below the state of technics, but its inner life, the motor control and carburetor epuipment were the object of many tuning activities. This seamed to be necessary indeed, because the series format produces relatively little fun.

The interior was despite the limited external dimensions quite large. The dashboard was very low and the steering column significantly extended to rear above. The speedometer was mounted in the center of the dashboard. Long legs had to (and could) simply use more pulled up the delicate foot pedals. Although a rear seat was available with a relatively large amount of leg room, one felt 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 made a luggage rack possible. Inside there however there was not much space left. A third left was claimed by the tank, the rest also curtailed by the spare wheel and battery. Below the car floor the tank would not have fitted because of not enough ground clearance. Typical were also the more usual at vans, externally mounted door hinges.

However, a major disadvantage had this extreme use of space. The mechanics had made at some repairs a wide berth. It was 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 have required 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 leaded by the way on some other places at the expense of stability. So it could happen, that the front cover already is warping during drying of the lacquer.

Chefkonstrukteur Alec Issigonis' second success after the Morris Minor


The Austin Mini has been counted from the professional world probably because of its forward-looking design to the cars of the 20th century.

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