Posts Tagged ‘Morris Mini’

mini paddo

The Mini photographed in the year of its launch, 1959, at Paddington Station by Henry Manney of ‘Road & Track’ fame…

The Mini was launched to the press in April 1959, this photo taken by Henry Manney at Paddington Station. Maybe one of our British readers can tell us if this is the site of the cars launch?

Leonard Lord, the head of British Motor Corporation, laid down the design parameters for a small fuel efficient car during the Suez Crisis, which spiked the price of oil and caused its rationing in the UK. Alec Issigonis and his small team at Morris created a design icon which was voted the second most influential car of the last century after Henry Fords Model T.

The Cheltenham Spa Express or ‘Cheltenham Flyer’ is a train service from Paddington to Cheltenham Spa in Gloucestershire. Rivalry between railway companies in the 1920’s increased speeds, the ‘Cheltenham Flyer’ so named as trains on this route were the fastest in the world at various times…Train Driver Harry Rudduck, the Tazio Nuvolari of steam ! pushed his ‘Castle Class 5006 Treganna’ train to a record of an 81.6 mph average for the 77 mile trip in 1932.

Steam hasn’t survived nor has the ‘A Series’ powered Mini but it’s comforting that both forms of transport are as contemporary now as they were in 1959…

(Henry Manney)