March 1960
The first Traveller and Countryman cars are built.
There had been prototypes of the Traveller/Countryman running around since 1959.  As you can see, the photos below show what appears to be a Mini Van, with wooden battens added.  The rear doors had square windows, rather than the rounded ones found on a production Countryman or Traveller.  The rear side windows added were a single piece of glass, whereas production models would have the two-piece sliding rear windows.  Interesting to note that even the prototype already shows the filler cap for the internal fuel tank, rather than the later van-type external tank.

proto1.jpg proto2.jpg

The first official Austin Se7en Countryman was built at Longbridge on 15th March 1960 and had chassis number A-AW7-19126.  It was Farina Grey in colour with a Grey & Red interior and was despatched the same day to Henly's in Bristol.

The first Morris Mini Traveller was built on 29th March 1960 but not despatched until 27th July 1960 to Welder Ltd.  Unlike Morris Mini Saloons, which came out of the Cowley plant, all Travellers were built at Longbridge.  The first Traveller had chassis number M-AW4-19101 and was Old English White with a Grey & Red interior.  The eagle-eyed may spot that this appears to be an earlier chassis number than that applied to the first Countryman 2 weeks earlier.  Whilst the actual chassis numbers used for the first cars are well documented, there seems to be no explanation as to why they appear to be the wrong way round!