Saw this on my way to work this morning and it made me smile.

There's small. Then there's this little beauty.

There's small. Then there's this little beauty.

The Mk3 Mini Clubman Estate (or Austin Countryman/Morris Traveller) was already considered small with respect to its contemporaries when it was new in 1969 - 1980, but compared with what we consider as a ‘small car’ today (Smart ForTwo in front, Honda Civic behind), the difference is breathtaking.

Originally conceived by a small design team to utilize as much of its interior space for passengers and luggage, the Mini managed to transcend its original design and intended purpose and become a rally racing legend by beating cars that were bigger and more powerful. This success, coupled with the sales success of the street cars spawned a myriad of sub-models including this Clubman Estate. This demonstrates that even though the vehicle was essentially built to adhere to a limited specification, the original design was strong enough to jump into a totally unrelated function. A case for very good design. 

I can’t imagine what it would be like driving around in Calgary traffic surrounded by truly gigantic SUV’s in such a tiny car. Truly, that driver has nerves of steel. Tip of the hat and a ton of respect for the gearhead that chooses to drive this beautiful machine daily.