Currently reading: Dr Alex Moulton: 1920-2012
Mini suspension designer and Moulton Bicycle Company founder, Dr Alex Moulton, has died aged 92

Dr Alex Moulton, inventor of two different forms of suspension for Alex Issigonis’s legendary Mini, has died at the age of 92.

Moulton, who was a great friend of the Mini pioneer while he was alive, and a staunch defender of his legacy after he died in 1988, designed the revolutionary and ultra-compact rubber cone suspension system with which the Mini was launched. He later devised the Hydrolastic system which connected the front and rear wheel pair on each side of the car and gave the Mini an amazingly soft and level ride for its diminutive proportions.

Away from the car business, Alex Moulton was most famous 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, still popular with cycling enthusiasts, remains in production.

Moulton, who was a great grandson of the rubber pioneer Stephen Moulton, was active as an inventor from a very young age, converting his Austin Seven (not very successfully) to steam while still a student. During the war 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.  

Steve Cropley

Steve Cropley Autocar
Title: Editor-in-chief

Steve Cropley is the oldest of Autocar’s editorial team, or the most experienced if you want to be polite about it. He joined over 30 years ago, and has driven many cars and interviewed many people in half a century in the business. 

Cropley, who regards himself as the magazine’s “long stop”, has seen many changes since Autocar was a print-only affair, but claims that in such a fast moving environment he has little appetite for looking back. 

He has been surprised and delighted by the generous reception afforded the My Week In Cars podcast he makes with long suffering colleague Matt Prior, and calls it the most enjoyable part of his working week.

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Mrmc28 2 December 2019

His 61 ferrari 250 GTE

I have his ferrari 250 gte series 1 rhd he ordered new with Sergio pininafarina in blue sera interestingly it's the only one ever to have had a front centre armrest made from factory and also the original letters he sent Sergio fuming that the seat wasn't comfortable.. 

streaky 14 December 2012

Why did his suspension systems not last?

Dr Moulton must have been saddened and frustrated that his car suspension systems were never persevered with.  The hydrolastic system on the Mini was ditched and likewise the hydragas system on the MGF. When the latter turned into the coil sprung TF the ride deteriorated to something as hard as boards.  Was it cost and/or difficulty of manufacture that curtailed the longevity of these systems?  I did read a rumour that Moulton was working with Toyota on some sort of interconnected suspension - does anyone have any further info on this, and are we likely to see it finally come to proper fruition?

eseaton 11 December 2012

I was lucky enough to spend

I was lucky enough to spend an evening with him at his home about 5 years ago.  All I can say is that he was exactly as you would hope he would be.