ERJ staff report (BC)
Bradford-on-Avon, UK - Dr Alex Moulton, inventor of two different forms of suspension for Alex Issigonis's Mini car, has died at the age of 92.
The Mini was launched in 1959 with Moulton's compact rubber cone suspension system. He later devised the Hydrolastic system which connected the front and rear wheel pair on each side of the car, giving the Mini a notably soft and level ride for its small size.
Moulton was most famous, however, for inventing the small-wheeled bicycle. Its 50th anniversary was recently celebrated at Moulton's home in Bradford-on-Avon by admirers including Sir Norman Foster and Sir James Dyson. The bicycle remains in production.
A great grandson of the rubber pioneer Stephen Moulton, Alex was active as an inventor from a very young age, converting his Austin Seven (not very successfully) to steam power while still a student. During WWII he was involved in engine design at the Bristol Aeroplane Company.
Afterwards he joined the family firm, Avon Rubber Co, rising to technical director before it was sold in the late 1950s. He then founded the research company Moulton Developments, still functioning at his death, where most of his inventions, including the Mini suspensions, were developed.