It’s the fourth Friday afternoon of 2020, and traditionally that’s when we ask a trivia question about the iconic Mini, so far be it from me to get in the way of such a noble tradition, especially this one, which was started over 500 years before the Mini was introduced in 1959. The question I have for you is an easy one: the door pockets in the original Mini were designed to hold something specific. What was that specific thing?


I suppose it’s possible this is apocryphal, but it does show up a number of places, and seems to fit the character of the Mini’s designer Alec Issigonis.

The original Mini design didn’t include roll-down windows—they just slid backwards—and so there was ample room on the inside of the door for storage.

A large bin that ran the full width of the door was included, and it’s said that the bin was designed to hold bottles of Gordon’s Gin.

If you look at the somewhat rectangular bottle, it all makes sense. You can see how easily a bottle of gin would lay down in one of those door pockets or, if you placed them upright, you could probably fit six or seven bottles in a row in there.


It’s said that Issigonis really loved his dry martinis, and that’s why he designed the door pockets to hold the gin bottles—and, significantly, there is no mention of those pockets being designed to hold vermouth bottles.

An oversight, though, is the lack of dedicated olive storage. Maybe the ashtray? Too gross?

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus • Not-so-running: 1973 Reliant Scimitar, 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!)

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