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Post by Ian Nicholls Wed Dec 26, 2007 1:11 pm

Leonard Lord BMC chairman 1952 to 1961 who authorised the Mini's development in 1957.



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Post by Ian Nicholls Wed Dec 26, 2007 1:17 pm

Sir George Harriman BMC chairman 1961 to 1968. It was Harriman who set the Mini's retail price below its actual cost of manufacture with disasterous results.



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Post by Ian Nicholls Wed Dec 26, 2007 1:30 pm

Father of the Mini Cooper, Mr John Newton Cooper.



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Post by Ian Nicholls Wed Dec 26, 2007 1:39 pm

The designer of the Mini's suspension and other Issigonis FWD cars was Dr Alex Moulton, here seen with Alec Issigonis. The colour pics date from 1971. Dr Moulton still has the Morris Mini Cooper 1275S pictured, now fitted with revised hydrogas suspension. He now has a consultancy contract with Toyota.



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Post by Ian Nicholls Wed Dec 26, 2007 1:49 pm

John Shepherd, one of Issigonis's design team.

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Post by Ian Nicholls Wed Dec 26, 2007 1:56 pm

Charles Griffin was Alec Issigonis's loyal sidekick in the BMC years. In 1974 he became Austin Morris technical director and instigated the successful Metro. He retired in 1978. His son Brian Griffin was lead engineer on the MGF.

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Charles Griffin with Alec Issigonis in 1967.
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And in 1974
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Post by Ian Nicholls Wed Dec 26, 2007 2:01 pm

Charles Griffin with Morris engines chief experimental engineer Eddie Maher. Maher was heavilly involved in the Mini Cooper development programme.

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And a pic of Eddie Maher from 1957.
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Post by Ian Nicholls Wed Dec 26, 2007 2:05 pm

BMC's head of styling was Argentinian born Dick Burzi who added the finishing touches to the Mini's appearance.



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Post by Ian Nicholls Wed Dec 26, 2007 2:13 pm

Daniel Richmond of Downton engineering became a BMC consultant after he tuned a Mini Cooper 997cc to attain 103 mph. His consultantcy was dropped with the formation of British Leyland in 1968 and he died in 1974. Downton tuned cars were renowned for combining high performance with flexibility.



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Post by Ian Nicholls Wed Dec 26, 2007 2:21 pm

Geoffrey Iley was the BMC executive who ordered the cessation of Mini production at Cowley in 1968. BMC had duplicated UK Mini production at both Cowley and Longbridge since 1959. He is now a Towcester town councillor.


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Post by Ian Nicholls Wed Dec 26, 2007 2:34 pm

In 1968 the ineptly and incompetentently run BMC merged with Leyland Group which comprised Leyland trucks, Rover and Triumph cars to form the British Leyland Motor Corporation (BLMC). In effect it was a takeover of BMC, with Leyland boss Sir Donald Stokes, later Lord Stokes becoming BLMC chairman.

The first pic is a standard PR portrait, the second and third images date from the time the 3 millionth Mini was produced, circa 1972. The colour image dates from 2001. Lord Stokes is still very much alive, now aged 93.



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Lord Stokes later claimed BLMC lost 20 on every Mini they produced.
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Post by Ian Nicholls Wed Dec 26, 2007 2:48 pm

From 1968 to 1973 the rump of the former BMC, now known as BLMC's Austin Morris division was run by ex-Triumph boss George Turnbull. The first pic is a portrait, the second was taken at Cowley in 1971. The third image was taken at Longbridge in June 1969 and the occasion was the production of the 2 millionth Mini, with Alec Issigonis in attendance.
The final pic dates from 1970 and the production of millionth export Mini. The man in the car is Gunnar Eik, head of BLMC Norway.


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George Turnbull left BLMC in 1973 after losing out in a boardroom battle. He was soon employed in South Korea where he set up Hyundai. He died in 1992.
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Post by Ian Nicholls Wed Dec 26, 2007 2:58 pm

A 2000 pic of Roy Haynes, who joined BMC from Ford, where he had styled the Cortina MK2. At BLMC he was responsible for styling the Maxi, Marina and Mini Clubman.

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Post by Ian Nicholls Wed Dec 26, 2007 3:05 pm

BLMC marketing man Tony Ham launched the Mini Clubman onto an unsuspecting world in 1969.

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Post by Ian Nicholls Wed Dec 26, 2007 3:18 pm

Harry Webster, ex-Triumph, was Austin Morris technical director from 1968 to 1974. He oversaw the intoduction of the MK3 ADO20 Mini and Clubman and the rod change gearbox.
The colour pic is from 1966, the second from May 1969 and the launch of the original awful Austin Maxi 1500 and the last from May 1971 when the 5 millionth BMC/BLMC FWD car was produced. Also in attendance are George Turnbull and Alec Issigonis.



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Harry Webster died in 2007.
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Post by Ian Nicholls Wed Dec 26, 2007 3:29 pm

From 1973 to 1975 Austin Morris was run by Keith Hopkins. The final pic dates from February 1975 when the Mini usurped the Ford Cortina as Britain's best selling car. This must be one of the last pics of Alec Issigonis at Longbridge.



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Post by Ian Nicholls Wed Dec 26, 2007 3:37 pm

In December 1974 BLMC went bust and was nationalised by the government. Crippled by strikes and with a rock bottom reputation for quality, the once great company slipped further into the mire. In November 1977 the government appointed South African born Sir Michael Edwardes to the chairmanship of British Leyland and he soon got on with the task of stamping out the stoppages.

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Post by Ian Nicholls Wed Dec 26, 2007 3:46 pm

In August 1979 Sir Michael Edwardes sacked the senior Longbridge shop steward Derek Robinson whom he believed was responsible for strikes and lost production. Robinson, nicknamed "Red Robbo" worked on the Mini production line where the colour images are from. Mini production at Longbridge was so low that cars had to be imported from BL's Seneffe factory in Belgium to satisfy UK demand.



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Post by Ian Nicholls Wed Jan 23, 2008 4:07 pm

In 1965 BMC purchased Pressed Steel Fisher, a body pressing manufacturer that supplied most of the British motor industry. The PSF factory was adjacent to the BMC plant at Cowley in Oxford. Alarmed at the prospect of BMC owning its body supplier, Jaguar Cars Ltd agreed to merge with BMC in July 1966 to form British Motor Holdings (BMH). Jaguar also needed financial backing for its forthcoming XJ6 saloon which was unveiled in 1968 to great acclaim. Unfortunately for Jaguar, BMC were financially weaker than they thought, losing an estimated 30 per Mini. By the end of 1965 BMC had produced 1,212,618 Mini's which works out at a staggering loss of 36,378,540............
Pictured below are some of the BMH leading lights with Mini's and Jaguar's.

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L to R

Lester Suffield-BMC director
Ron Lucas - BMC director
Joe Edwards - BMC managing director
Sir George Harriman - BMC chairman
Sir William Lyons - founder, chief stylist and chairman of Jaguar
Sir Alec Issigonis - BMC technical director
J.L. Lutyens - PSF chairman


The postscript to all this is that in the early 1990's the old Morris Motors/BMC plant at Cowley was sold of for redevelopment and demolished. Car production was moved into the former PSF plant which BMW inherited when they bought the Rover group from BAE in 1994. Since 2001 MINI production has taken place in the former PSF factory. One wonders if BMW wish they had the larger ex-Morris motors factory aviallable to them. The engines for the MINI have to be produced at a seperate site at Hams Hall, Birmingham.
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Post by Ian Nicholls Sat Sep 26, 2009 11:03 am

MINI PEOPLE Bmcchriskingham1964.th

This is the only pic I have ever seen of Chris Kingham, who joined Issigonis at BMC from Alvis to work on the ADO15 Mini project. Later he was senior engineer on the ADO17 1800 car.
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