Archive : The day Norman Wisdom tested for BMC

AROnline is, as previously indicated, using the excuse that 2019 marks the 60th anniversary of the Mini to publish images which cannot be used elsewhere on the site. Our Mini development story has this reference to Norman Wisdom being present at a demonstration of the prototype twin-engined Mini Moke:

‘The winter of 1962/63 was cold and bitter, and in the snow outside Longbridge on 7 January 1963, Alec Issigonis and Charles Griffin demonstrated the prototype twin-engined Mini Moke to the media. Even Norman Wisdom, who was appearing in pantomime in Birmingham, was in attendance.’

Historian-in-residence Ian Nicholls has now found the proof: the picture above shows Norman Wisdom (right) seated alongside Charles Griffin, who was then Chief Engineer, Cars at BMC, outside the Kremlin in Longbridge on one very snowy day.

Ian Nicholls

Born in Bedfordshire but now residing in Norfolk, Ian Nicholls is an ardent BL enthusiast. Currently he owns a Jaguar and two classic Minis. A stalwart of the Norfolk Mini Owners Club for nearly a decade he is an enthusiast for all things Issigonis. A stickler for historical accuracy he has recently performed the marathon task of mining the online newspaper articles for all BMC>MG related stories. Ian is unable to help with technical queries – he pays other people to fix his cars!

2 Comments

  1. Ah yes – the winter of 1962/1963. I was enjoying the slightly warmer climate of Aden, being driven about in another British vehicle – the Land Rover.

    Mention of a twin-engined Moke – was it not four wheel drive, one engine driving the front wheels, the other the rear ones? – reminds me of a friend who fitted two single cylinder engines to a Lambretta frame. One drive chain connected the two engines, while another went from the rear engine to the rear wheel. Somewhere there was a gearbox, or even two (!). Alas he could not get the output from the two engines synchronised and equal, and connecting chain broke. But, a 250 cc Lambretta…

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