many some of them) a sense of humour !
I almost forgot; apart from Harley Earl, you can add the Greek that designed the Mini, Sir Alec Issigonis.
Now I'm disappointed!
I was never an original
Mini fan, and have indeed been in a couple of the first ones. They were a disgrace, and the lack of creature comfort made my Ford Popular seem like a Lincoln! But hey, that was during a period when new cars were still very expensive and hard to get in Britain. The Pop cost around £500 in '59 and the Mini about the same for a lot less: you didn't even get a proper trunk! The new, Germanic ones I do like, but you still don't get much space in the luggage bay. Neither, of course, does the Fiesta offer much, but then I wouldn't have bought it if that mattered today; today I shop little and carry even less on each trip.
The Mini was never a Topolino. Nor a Fiat 850 Coupé! I think the Italian car that I fancied the most (disregard the fantasy vehicles) was the little Giulietta Sprint:http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=alfa+romeo+giulietta+sprint+&FORM=AWIR
Oh well, the Fiesta's a 1.6 diesel two-door... slow from a standing start, but phenomenal acceleration when already doing about 65kph. You find yourself speeding in moments. If you want to, of course.
A small, cheap British sports car that I fancied but never had, was the original bug-eyed Sprite. I also liked the MGB GT before they ruined it with those US-regulation rubber bumpers that made it look like it belonged in a fun-fair. The Rootes Sunbeam Alpine two-seater was a little classic (there was one in Dr No
), and would still have looked contemporary today. There was a US version with a V8 crammed in (I think a V8), and a pink one was part of the reward/prize for the Playboy Bunny of the Year, one year.
Funny what you remember and sometimes surprising what you forget. I always forget birthdays and suchlike.