on 7 March 2004
The book gives a detailed history of how the Morris MINOR came into being and why it followed the development path that it did.
The book is not a model-by-model MINOR history that gives the differences between successive models. Instead, it is – as the title very fittingly states – an “Exploration of the Legend”. That is, the book tells the reader of what the legendary creator of the MINOR, Sir Alec Issigonis, initially had in mind, which avenues he explored at each stage in his quest to optimise it, and which constraints he faced before settling for the specification that finally made it to production.
There is a brief biography of Sir Alec Issigonis at the beginning of the book, that gives an insight into the nature of the man. Unlike most such biographies, this one speaks of some of the non-positive aspects of the character of Sir Alec Issigonis too.
The book is aimed at those who want to go beyond the normal Morris MINOR production models and take a behind-the-scenes look at: prototypes that never reached production; other models made in Australia that were direct descendants of the MINOR; and go-faster MINOR conversions of the ’50s and ’80s. Readers interested in the history of the normal Morris MINOR production models will have to contend themselves only with a nine-page, high level history of the models, found at the end of the book.
There are plenty of photographs (both colour and black and white), sketches and engineering drawings, which complement the text and make it so much more enjoyable.
The text is light going, never boring the reader, with humorous phrases here and there. Along the way the writer informs the reader of the sad state of affairs within BMC and later BL, that eventually led to the demise of such famous names as MORRIS, WOLSELEY, etc.
All in all, a great and highly recommended book.