1964 Morris Mini 850 Van
|Engine||In-line 4-cylinder, 848cc|
The Mini is a design icon, as much a part of the Swinging Sixties as The Beatles and Carnaby Street. No other small car has managed to capture the public imagination in quite the same way, nor revolutionise motoring to the extent that the Mini managed. The brilliant designer Alec Issigonis conceived a car that was both diminutive on the outside, roomy on the inside and – just as importantly – great fun to drive. Front-wheel drive, Hydrolastic suspension and wheel-at-each-corner layout conspired to give great handling and roadholding while the A-Series engines provided plenty of zip for city driving. Pretty soon, the Mini was the car of choice for everyone, from the average punter to numerous celebrities, while racing drivers busy were unleashing the giant-killing potential of the Mini on the racetrack before long. Wearing either Austin or Morris badges, the Mini hit the streets in 1959 and sold strongly for eight years before BMC felt any freshening up was required. In addition to the original two-door saloon, several variants proved popular, including an estate car and van, the latter replacing the Morris Minor and Austin A30/35 vans. Built on a wheelbase extended by 10cm over the standard Mini, Australian van production commenced in February 1964 and first offered for sale to the public on April 27 that year, priced at £725. Locally-assembled Mini vans differed somewhat from their English counterparts, using a saloon front end, the shells were treated with the Rotodip process and post-1965 cars used Australian floorpans, while the interiors also had several detail changes, notably the door handles. A rare sight on the road these days, the Mini Van is a fantastic classic workhorse and would make a wonderful promotional vehicle for any business.