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CORGI VANGUARD MI2003 O SCALE Mi 50th Anniversary , 3-piece set, Aust Mi

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CORGI VANGUARD MI2003 O SCALE Mini 50th Anniversary , 3-piece set, Austin Mini, Morris Mini Cooper & Austin Mini Van
In forty-one years of production 5,378,776 Minis were produced in Britain and this set represents the beginning of that story, bringing together the first production Austin Se7en saloon, Austin Se7en van and Morris Mini Cooper.

Historians at the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust have researched the specifications so these three important cars can be accurately modelled.

The initial production Mini was built on the 3rd April 1959 and signed off by Longbridge employee Mr Jack Brettle, previous examples having been hand built in their prototype shop. Chassis number A/A2S7/101 was an Austin Se7en basic saloon allocated to Issigonis' experimental department, where it was used to fine tune the design. A book of notes listing its various faults and alterations was kept and mostly shows issues pertaining to production practices, however one amusing entry reads “seat collapsed after 630 miles, 25th May 1959 (failure of block of rubberised hair)”. Chassis number 101 was scrapped on the 1st July 1960 and was never road registered.

Mini van production commenced with chassis number A/AV7/12101, completed at Longbridge on the 6th January 1960. As was common practice at the time, despatch was delayed and it was eventually delivered to T. Startin Jnr, an Austin dealer in Birmingham, on the 5th of July. Early Mini vans were basic, even the passenger seat and cabin mirror were optional extras, and although twin wing-mirrors were compulsory on commercials, they were black; chrome being extra. The van retailed at £360 when a basic saloon cost £497. Both the first Morris Mini Cooper and Austin Se7en Cooper were produced at Longbridge on the 11th July 1961.

Modelled here is the first Morris Mini Cooper, chassis number K/A2S4/138311m. Registered 769 MFC, it was used for the model's launch at Chobham on July 17th 1961 and was then road tested by numerous papers and magazines, all of which were enthusiastic about the £679 pocket rocket. A true motoring icon had been born.

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