Sir Alec Issigonis is best remembered for the Austin Mini - a car that revolutionised the small car package and probably saved the British Motor Corporation at the same time. However, there was more to his life than just one car. He was born in 1906 in a city that is now known as Izmir, in Turkey which itself can trace its history back before Alexander the Great. He was born as Alexandros Arnoldos Konstantinos Isigonis into a thriving Greek community whist the city was part of the Ottoman Empire - it became Turkish territory in the 1920s. Alexandros' grandfather was a Greek who had moved to the city in the 1830s and had gained British citizenship thanks to some work on the British built railways. This citizenship was passed down to his grandson via his son and this came in handy. Alexandros' mother came from Germany - the area around Stuttgart and was related to a family that later also produced an automotive engineer: Bernd Pischetsrieder who was heavily connected with BMW … [Read More...]
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