The age of thickness
It's the 1950´s. England´s cars industry is thriving. Leonard Lord and the Morris design team come up with a car so revolutionary in its design. Not for size or power, but for efficiency. The Mini Minor had 80 percent of its volume available for passengers and their luggage.
Beautiful or not? it´s a debate that won't be solved now. Yet no one can defy the car´s simplicity and modesty.
Modesty and simplicity is it its core. The simple head lights, the small wheel, and its squared shape. If we compare it to its renewed version, maybe besides white roof and some shapes that remind the original car, there is nothing much between the two.
Especially in Europe and Japan, cars from that era had relatively small engines and thin shapes. Thin doors, simple accessories and painted tin was very welcome inside the car. It seems that cars were designed as useful objects. Derived from human size. They were supposed to fit the persons it carried, their luggage and pretty much that's it.
Many years later, in a very famous TV show you probably know, Jeremy Clarkson announces that the Mazda MX-5 is the best British sports car ever made. And that is exactly because this car goes against the flow. While most cars get fatter with every new generation, the MX-5 stays light, practical and balanced. Much like its “ancestor” the Mini or the Jaguar back in the 60´s was. A new cheap, right on the spot car that was designed to do one thing, and do it as good as possible.
Take a look at today's cars headlight, consoles, wheel size… Everything is becoming thicker and more complicated. Compare for example the original VW transporter that was so popular with the young Americans back in the 60´s and today´s models. It is still the same car it its essence. A van. Yet, design wise, like in the case of many other cars, every new model is becoming obsolete faster. Because too many “trendy” features are added.