See if you really know as much about the Mini as you think

Mini quiz
Do you know why engineer/designer Alec Issigonis made the door pockets in the Mini so large?

Although it is labeled as a “quiz,” what the British Motor Heritage has done as part of the 60th anniversary celebration of the Mini is to compile 60 “Mini facts and figures” to see if you know as much about the iconic car as you think you do.

You can download the entire list from a special website. And to spark your interest, the heritage team offers a dozen fun facts, which we’re presenting in quiz format:

What was 10x4x4 feet in dimensions?

The box into which Leonard Lord, the head of BMC, insisted the Mini should fit. It ultimately exceeded the prescribed length by a quarter of an inch!

What was the “Orange Box”?

The first Mini prototype Mini was nicknamed the “Orange Box” because of its paint color. The second prototype was more sedate, though its camouflage included the grille from an Austin A35.

Why were the original Mini’s door pockets so large?

To accommodate the ingredients of designer Alec Issigonis’ favorite drink of dry martini – bottles of Gordon’s gin and vermouth.

Where was the famous scene from the original The Italian Job, of Mini Coopers outrunning police in Alfa Romeos, filmed?

It wasn’t filmed in Italy but in Coventry, England.

Duckhams turned Mini into rolling oil can

Identify two of the many “weird and wonderful” versions of the Mini used for corporate marketing.

Outspan oranges and Duckhams oil cans were among the companies that turned Minis into rolling billboards for their products.

Mary Quant and her Mini

What item of clothing was named for the car?

The miniskirt, and designer Mary Quant noted that “neither (the car nor the skirt) is any longer than necessary.

Paul McCartney and his Mini

Why has the Mini been described as being “classless”?

Though clearly aimed at the lower end of the market, the Mini found favor with film stars, sports idols and pop icons, including the four Beatles.

The CV joints on the driveshafts of the original Mini trace to what object?

They were adapted from a Czech design used in submarine periscopes.

Issigonis wasn’t his family’s only famous automotive engineer. Who was the other one?

Alexander Arnold Constantine Issigonis was born in 1906 in Smyrna, Asia Minor, of a Greek father and German mother. His first cousin, Bernd Pischetsrieder, would become a key executive first at BMW and then at Volkswagen. Born in 1948, Pischetsrieder was chairman of BMW in 1994 when it purchased Rover Group, which included Mini and Land Rover.

What pop icon’s mirror-plated Mini was entered in the London Design Museum’s Celebrity Design Contest in 1999?

It was David Bowie’s.

Mini Moke

What was the original purpose of the Mini Moke?

It was designed for military use but proved unsuitable. However, around 50,000 were produced and became popular as recreational vehicles for use at resorts and on beaches.

Mini on track

Surely, a car such as the Mini could never be successful in racing, right?

Wrong. Minis won 5 British touring car championships, 2 European touring car titles, 3 British rally championships and twice were crowned European Rally champions.

The British Motor Heritage was founded in 1975 to provide “genuine components” for historic British vehicles, using the original tools whenever possible. It has produced more than 6,000 replacement body shells for such vehicles as the MGB and Midget, Austin Healey Sprite, Triumph TR6, and the original Mini. 

For more information, visit the BMH website.

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