The Mini celebrates its 50th birthday this month. Loved by many, and a famous icon if Britishness, it is one of the most influential cars in history.

This little car came about with a fuel crisis. In 1956 the Suez Crisis caused a fuel shortage in the UK. Though the British had been used to rationing everything during the Second World War, they found that because of the conflict over in Suez, fuel was once again in short supply and expensive.

Car sales dropped, but the market for the cheap and small German Bubble car boosted.

The then head of the BMC reportedly said: "God damn these bloody awful Bubble Cars. We must drive them off the road by designing a proper miniature care."

[Quazen via Neatorama]