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August 26, 1959 – The original Mini goes on sale
This Day

August 26, 1959 – The original Mini goes on sale

In part due to Egypt’s nationalization of the Suez Canal in 1956, much of Europe was facing massive fuel shortages. In response, Sir Leonard Lord, head of British Motor Corporation (BMC), set out to build a small, fuel efficient car to compete with the German cars that currently lead that market. His efforts resulted in BMC launching the Mark I Mini on this day in 1959.  1959 Morris Mini-Minor interior. Top: 1959 Morris Mini-Minor by DeFacto. CC BY-SA 2.5 The project began in 1957 and was led by Alec Issigonis, then chief engineer at Morris, who had also created the Morris Minor. Code named ADO 15, for Austin Drawing Office, the car was ready for approval in just two and half years. Lord signed off on the project and the front wheel drive vehicle began to roll off production li...

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