Author: James Taylor, Photography by Simon Clay, Hardbound, 216 Pages, ISBN: 9781906133665
1st Edition, 2015
No car has had such a profound impact on the motoring scene as the original Mini. Designed in response to petrol shortages in the late 1950s, it was introduced in 1959 in both Austin and Morris guises, with either basic or De Luxe trim levels. Success came swiftly, and before long its makers at BMC were introducing van, pick-up and estate versions, high-performance Mini Coopers, and higher equipment levels on the Mini Super. Right through the 1960s, the success story continued, and the original formula proved so right that the updated Mk II models of 1967 were instantly recognisable as versions of the original and much-loved car.
These early Minis are as much admired and sought-after today as ever, offering their own unique blend of nimble driving pleasure with readily affordable running costs. They are also increasingly the subject of detailed, part-number-perfect restorations, and this book is designed to help all those who aim to restore one of these early British-built Minis to their correct specification.
Within these pages, respected classic car historiri James Taylor gives each major model of Mini its own section. These sections provide full details of specifications and examine individual areas of each model in depth. They are backed up by colour photography of outstanding examples that illustrate the way these cars looked when they were new. Body panels, external trim and badging, paint colours, interior trim, dashboard, instruments and controls, under-bonnet components, engine and transmission, lights — all this and more is comprehensively covered for both Mk I and Mk II Minis.
For rapid reference to vital information, this formula has proved to be the most useful one for restorers. With more than 300 specially commissioned colour photographs, Factory-Original Mini will delight and enthral the restorer and the more casual Mini enthusiast alike.
James Taylor is a prolific writer in the automotive world, well known for his painstaking research and his ability to present highly technical material in an accessible fashion. Some of his books have appeared in foreign languages as well, and his own linguistic ability has seen him translate other books from both French and German.
He has always had a particular passion for the cars of the 1950s and 1960s, and remembers the first Minis very well — particularly a grey Minivan priced at £360 in his local BMC dealership. Sadly, he was too young to buy anything other than model Minis in those days, and the opportunity passed.
A pair of long legs and a developing passion for much larger vehicles kept him away from Mini ownership, but he has always retained a soft spot and a great deal of respect for the Mini and its ground-breaking design. Writing Factory-Original Mini gave him the opportunity to indulge that secret admiration for Alec Issigonis's masterpiece.
James lives in rural Oxfordshire with his wife and the younger two of his four children, and consoles himself with the hope that at least one of those children might, one day, decide to buy an early Mini and ask Dad for some help with it.