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Homepage. This page: A Mk1 Mini saloon parked up in 1962/1963, plus Brian's brand new pale blue Mk1, 1961.

BMC Austin Mini saloon.

Mini car
Sporting a June 1963 tax disc is this smart Mk1 Austin Mini, or Austin Seven as the really early Minis were badged. I'm guessing that this is a deluxe Mini, judging by the wheel trims and bumper overriders. Also fitted is a pair of mirrors and a curvy roof rack, clamped to the Mini's roof. In the background is another Issigonis creation, in the shape of a Series 2 splitscreen Minor. Unlike this other Mk1 Mini, which shows evidence of being souped up, the car shown above seems to be in otherwise standard condition.

Brian's brand new Mk1 Mini see in 1961.

Brian dropped me a line in 2009, attaching this interesting old photo showing a Mk1 Mini he once owned. It was his 21st birthday present in 1961. Again it looks like a De Luxe model, finished in pale blue (Speedwell blue?), and fitted with a very appropriate registration number. Thanks Brian!
Brian's white Mk1 Mini

Val's Austin Seven Mini.

Five years have passed since I last updated this page, so thanks to Val for these two photos of the early Austin Seven (Mini) her family once owned. In one Val is shown sat on the small car's bonnet. The Austin was registered 3300SM, a Dumfries-area number first introduced in April 1959. There's a great deal of interest in Mk1 Minis nowadays, so if 3300SM was ever to turn up in a barn somewhere in Scotland, there'd no doubt be a bun fight over it amongst keen fans of Issigonis' pint-sized motor-car. Val's example was painted bright red, a great little car.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
Austin Seven Mini
Front view of the red Mk1

More photos of Minis from Val.

A year or so after sending the above photos, Val's been in touch again with a couple more photos of Mk1 Mini Deluxes "in action", during the 1960s. The first is another view of Austin Mini Mk1 Deluxe registration 3300 SM. Regarding this photo, Val adds:
"I recently sent an old and very dark negative to a professional restorer. I was delighted with what came back. I am sitting model-like on the bonnet of our wee red Mini (we called it a Mini but it was actually an Austin Seven), my dad is getting out of the car and it was taken in the grounds of Cochran's Boilerworks in Annan, at their annual open day. It is a moment trapped in time and I even know the exact date as I had written on the back of a couple of photos taken on the same day ... 17th June 1967! I wish I had that number plate now."
Austin Mini Mk1 Deluxe
The second of Val's photos shows her father-in-law with another Mk1 Mini Deluxe, this time registered 2428 ME, a London issue from mid/late 1960(ish). The photo itself dates to 1963 or 1964, the location is Somerset Crescent, Melksham, in Wiltshire. Clearly the Mini was being used for driving lessons at the time, which brings back memories for me too as I learnt to drive on a 1967 Mk1 Mini Deluxe - albeit in estate form. Thanks for digging out these latest old photos Val. I've also included a Streetview view of Somerset Crescent as it looks today.
Driving lessons in a 1960 Mk1 Mini

The Mini.

When it hit the market in 1959, the all-new BMC Mini re-wrote the small car rulebook, in the UK at least. Gone was the rear wheel drive, leaf sprung suspension, longitudinal engine positioning and dated styling of the A30 and A35, and in was a radical mechanical package housed within a tiny, 10ft long, bodyshell. The only link to the earlier cars was the A series engine, but this time mounted crossways on top of the gearbox, unlike the fore & aft layout of the A35 (and still used in the contemporary A40 Farina which debuted in 1958). Front wheel drive featured too, helping to maximise the interior space that was available to the driver and upto 3 passengers. The first Minis had an engine of 848cc, sharing bore dimensions with the A35 but employing a shorter stroke. Power was quoted at 34bhp when revving away at 5500 rpm. During the first few years of Mini production a number of variants would be introduced, including handy little vans, pickups and estates (known either as the Austin Countryman and Morris Mini Traveller). Austin and Morris versions were available.
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