Hammond's icons: Mini Cooper S MkII
A car that changed the world and became an automotive icon in the process. Richard Hammond goes Mini
Posted: 07 Dec 2011
In a world where things move on in the tiniest of increments - a moderate improvement in fuel consumption here, a more easily adjustable seat there - how in the name of all that's holy did Alec Issigonis and his team manage
to avoid little fairy steps and take one massive leap with the original Mini in 1959?
It still takes your breath away. It is absolutely tiny. Standing next to it, your sense of scale is knocked out of kilter - a phone box looks massive, and other cars loom up like whales. And yet inside, there seems to be enough space to seat ten for dinner; the dashboard, with its simple, central dial and straightforward switches sits about 40 feet from the driver. And there's still room in the back for two passengers.
Words: Richard Hammond
Pictures: Justin Leighton
This feature first appeared in the September 2011 issue of Top Gear magazine