On this day in auto history - August 11th

Wed 11th Aug 2021

It was on this day in 1962 that production first commenced on the Morris 1100 which went on to become Britain’s best-selling car of the 1960’s.

The brainchild of renowned designer Sir Alec Issigonis - the man behind the Mini - the original Morris 1100 was a small family car which housed a more spacious cabin than its competitors and also differed from them in that it was a front-wheel drive instead of the traditional rear-wheel drive.

The 1100 - which was sold under both Austin and Morris guises - became an instant hit, even taking up a 13 per cent UK market share at its height, and it went on to sell well over 2 million models in its production run which finally ended in 1974.

In 1973, the vehicle gained a level of immortality when it was featured in an episode of the legendary BBC comedy Fawlty Towers.  In one of the most memorable TV moments in British history, an irate Basil Fawlty is seen thrashing his Austin 1100 Countryman with a tree branch.

Such was the vehicle’s popularity, there remains a dedicated 1100 Owners Club in operation today with an estimated 600 models still on Britain’s roads.