Mini, By Simon Garfield

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The Independent Culture

This is an obligatory buy for petrolheads of the Mini persuasion, but the reliable and versatile Garfield (he has also written books about wrestling, Radio One and mauve) provides plenty for the rest of us in this genial scrapbook.

It is interesting to learn the drawback about the cleverly designed roof intended to shed water into gutters – "So did all the paint."

Even more revealing is the reaction of designer Alec Issigonis to the suggestion that the car's fascia might remind female drivers of domestic appliances: "I don't want bloody women driving my cars." In fact, the car took off when Mary Quant and Twiggy started driving Minis.

But the most significant disclosure is that Longridge made its last Mini in 2000. Today, the brand is managed from Munich.