By Gillian Bardsley
(Shire, Paperback, 9780747812555, 56pp.)
Publication Date: August 20, 2013
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The Mini was born in an age of austerity and shortage, intended to widen the base of motoring by making it more affordable for the average family. Ironically it would become something very different, a modern classless car which appealed across the boundaries of social status, age, gender, affluence or affordability. It became a key indicator of its era, lending its name to everything from fashion to furniture. Using unique illustrations from the Archives of the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust, this book tells the story of Mini's conception in the mind of the gifted designer Alec Issigonis, through its shaky infancy, its glorious heyday beloved of film stars and royalty, its glamorous sporting success, and its continued survival in the affections of the public despite many attempts to sideline or replace it over 41 triumphant years.
Gillian Bardsley has a special interest in the rise and fall of the motor industry in Britain. She is the author of Issigonis, the Official Biography and has also written books about the Longbridge and Cowley factories and the craft of coachbuilding. As Archivist to the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust she has contributed to many programs and articles on TV, radio, and in the press.