Minor British Institutions: The Austin 1100
Saturday 10 January 2009
This was Britain's bestselling car of the 1960s and 1970s. It was a typical British product of those times: technologically advanced, but not very profitable.
Like its kid brother, the Mini, it was designed by Sir Alec Issigonis, and featured front-wheel drive, an engine mounted sideways to save space, and fluid "hydrolastic" suspension. The neat styling, though, was Italian, by Pininfarina. Despite its enormous popularity, few 1100s survive, because of rust and the low value the cars command. The exception is the Vanden Plas Princess version, which enjoys cult status in Japan, thanks to its picnic tables, West-of- England cloth on the ceiling, leather seats and classy walnut dash. The 1100, later joined by a slightly faster 1300 type, was also available as a Morris, an MG, and a Wolseley, each one as charming as modern cars cannot hope to be – except, that is, to John Cleese, who, as Basil Fawlty, once thrashed his broken down red 1100 Countryman with the branch of a tree.
- 1 Crystal meth addict 'gouged out his eyes and ate them' while high on drug, Australian MP claims
- 2 As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
- 3 The ten most unequal developed countries in the world
- 4 Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
- 5 Toddler throws a tantrum at the White House – in front of Barack Obama
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...