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The Genius of Sir Alec Issigonis - Ten of the best from Mini's creator

Greek-born Alec Issigonis became one of Britain’s most successful motor engineers during his long career, creating iconic designs through innovation and sheer ingenuity. His roles within the motor industry saw him employed at Austin, Morris and Alvis, before joining the mighty British Motor Corporation (created by the merger of Austin and the Nuffield Organisation).

Issigonis will forever be remembered for his two most famous designs: the Morris Minor and Mini. And yet there was far more to his success than those two game-changing models. Indeed, Sir Alec had more of an impact on Britain’s post-war motor industry than just about any of his peers. 

By Paul Guinness, Contributor

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Morris Minor

What can be said about the Morris Minor that hasn’t already been uttered? Probably very little. This was Britain’s first ever car to sell over a million units, a fact that guaranteed Issigonis a unique place in the history of the British motor industry.

Work on the Minor began during World War II, under the codename Mosquito, enabling it to be launched as early as 1948. The production Minor may have lacked Issigonis’ original concept of an all-new flat-four engine (being saddled initially with sidevalve power instead), but there was no denying just how advanced the Minor was in every other respect.


John bring back Austin Rover    on 13 March 2017

As an ex owner of four from a 1970 model to the last 1979 model, I fully agree it was a far better car than many folk would admit. So much better than any of my father's Ford Cortinas mark's 1-5.
So many of us previous Maxi owners went on to buy several while they were in production for a decent period.

Derek Wonnacott    on 13 March 2017

I totally agree that it was an excellent car. Five gears when the Cortina 1600E had only four.

I owned 2 of them, both 1750cc. They both took us to Barcelona and back. The second time with our 12 year old daughter. This particular one didn't want to come back. The condenser on the distributor had failed, but fortunately I happened to have a spare on board.

Really fond memories of them. Had they only had the funds to develop the model, that the other companies then copied. The hatchback being the sought after purchase of the future.

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