When Mini Vans Were Cool

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

A recent article in USA Today noted the declining market share and sales of minivans while at the same time SUV sales have climbed. All I can say is good riddance but it wasn’t always that way…

minivanThe A35 was a small family car that Austin sold from 1956 until 1968. In 1959, the A35 passenger cars were replaced by the new A40 Farina-designed models but the estate car version continued until 1962 and the van version until 1968. All in all, 280,897 A35s of all types were produced including vans such this one at left that I photographed in Prospect Colorado.

In 1956, a two-door deluxe saloon (sedan) with the 948 cc engine was tested by the UK’s Motor magazine and found to have a top speed of 71.9 mph and could accelerate from 0-60 mph in 30.1 seconds. A fuel consumption of 34.6 mpg was recorded, not that anybody cared about gas mileage at that point in time when regular gas sold for about 30 cents a gallon.

How I made this shot: The above image was made with my Canon EOS 50D before it was converted to infrared (and later sold.) It was shot using an EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens (at 17mm.) Exposure was 1/400 sec at f/145 and ISO 800.

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For Wallace & Gromit fans, an A35 van was featured in the 2005 movie, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and I think it’s green like this one. The movie is available on DVD from Amazon for $13.19 as I write this. If you’re not familiar with the Wallace & Gromit series, you will love and laugh out loud at this movie