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Morris Mini Cooper 1275
Many people who visited the London Motor Show in October 1959 met an unfamiliar sight at the stand of Austin and Morris of the Btitish Motor Comapny. It had a strange styling wich was quite different from the current cars at that time; however most thought it was cute. They could not quite believe that this car could seat comfortably, four large British gentlemen or stout women, in a car that had a lenghth of 3.05m and a width of 1.41m. If they had known the amount of time and trouble that the designers had taken to accomplish this feat, they would have better understood why this was not only practical, but feasible as well. Prior to the release of the Austin seven and the Moriis Mini Minor, the Austin A40, designed by Pininfarina of Italy had been successful in using the 2 box styling. This same dsign styling was adopted for the Mini Cooper. A front wheel drive was selected to keep the floor paneling level and flat. A small powerful engine was selected and developped to be mounted sideways, in front, and driving the small diameter 10" wheels, wich were laid out at the four corners of the body. By this design, 80% of the overall length could be utilized for the passengers and driver, and to further increase the space, the gearbox was installed in the oil sump of the engine. The suspension system of the Mini was one of its most excellent features. Four wheel independent suspension using a front wishbone and a rear trailing arm and the springing was a rubber, semipneumatic liquid filled and the front and rear wheels were joined together with a thin pipe to equalize the pressures during running. This type of dampening, using hydraulic springing is very compact, so that it could all be mounted without interfering with the passenger compartment. It was patented under the name of "Hydrolastic". The designer of this vehicle was Sir Alec Issigonis, a greek who became a naturalized Britih subject, and well known throughout the British automobile industry.

Tamiya KIT 24039