Issigonis, Sir Alexander Arnold Constantine (Alec)

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b. 18 November 1906 Smyrna (now Izmir), Turkey
d. 2 October 1988 Birmingham, England
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British automobile designer whose work included the Morris Minor and the Mini series.
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His father was of Greek descent but was a naturalized British subject in Turkey who ran a marine engineering business. After the First World War, the British in Turkey were evacuated by the Royal Navy, the Issigonis family among them. His father died en route in Malta, but the rest of the family arrived in England in 1922. Alec studied engineering at Battersea Polytechnic for three years and in 1928 was employed as a draughtsman by a firm of consulting engineers in Victoria Street who were working on a form of automatic transmission. He had occasion to travel frequently in the Midlands at this time and visited many factories in the automobile industry. He was offered a job in the drawing office at Humber and lived for a couple of years in Kenilworth. While there he met Robert Boyle, Chief Engineer of Morris Motors (see Morris, William Richard), who offered him a job at Cowley. There he worked at first on the design of independent front suspension. At Morris Motors, he designed the Morris Minor, which entered production in 1948 and continued to be manufactured until 1971. Issigonis disliked mergers, and after the merger of Morris with Austin to form the British Motor Corporation (BMC) he left to join Alvis in 1952. The car he designed there, a V8 saloon, was built as a prototype but was never put into production. Following his return to BMC to become Technical Director in 1955, his most celebrated design was the Mini series, which entered production in 1959. This was a radically new concept: it was unique for its combination of a transversely mounted engine in unit with the gearbox, front wheel drive and rubber suspension system. This suspension system, designed in cooperation with Alex Moulton, was also a fundamental innovation, developed from the system designed by Moulton for the earlier Alvis prototype. Issigonis remained as Technical Director of BMC until his retirement.
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Further Reading
Peter King, 1989, The Motor Men. Pioneers of the British Motor Industry, London: Quiller Press.
IMcN

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Issigonis, Sir Alec — ▪ British automobile designer in full  Sir Alexander Arnold Constantine Issigonis   born Nov. 18, 1906, Smyrna [now İzmir], Tur. died Oct. 2, 1988, Birmingham, Eng.       British automobile designer who created the best selling, economical Mini… …   Universalium

  • Alec Issigonis — Sir Alexander Arnold Constantine Issigonis, CBE, FRS (November 18, 1906 ndash;October 2, 1988) was a Greek British designer of cars, now remembered chiefly for the groundbreaking and influential development of the Mini, launched by the British… …   Wikipedia

  • Issigonis — Sir Alec Issigonis, eigentlich Alexander Arnold Constantine Issigonis (* 18. November 1906 in Smyrna,heute Izmir,Türkei; † 2. Oktober 1988 in Longbridge) war ein britischer Ingenieur griechischer Herkunft. Berühmt wurde er als Entwickler der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alec Issigonis — Sir Alec Issigonis, eigentlich Alexander Arnold Constantine Issigonis (* 18. November 1906 in der damals zum Osmanischen Reich gehörigen und vorwiegend griechisch geprägten Stadt Smyrna, heute İzmir, Türkei; † 2. Oktober 1988 in Longbridge) war… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alec Issigonis — Sir Alec Issigonis, originalmente Alexander Arnold Constantine Issigonis (18 de noviembre de 1906 en Smyrna (actual Izmir, Turquía) 2 de octubre de 1988 en Longbridge) fue un ingeniero británico de orígenes griegos. Trabajó como desarrollador de… …   Wikipedia Español

  • List of University of London people — The following people spent time at the University of London as either teaching staff or students.Nobel LaureatesThere are a total of 56 Nobel Laureates who were either students or staff members at the University of London. Their respective… …   Wikipedia

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