A Mini History
Originally designed as a budget car by the British Motor Corporation (BMC), the Mini was created in response to the 1957 Suez oil crisis when designer Alec Issigonis was tasked to design a compact, fuel efficient car, that was impeccable to drive and had lots of space inside; he succeeded and so was born the Mini.
This radical new design, and engineering innovation, with its transversely mounted engine, gear box arrangement and front wheel drive gave the Mini its fun go-kart like feel and meant the Mini set the bench-mark for other car manufacturers, influencing the production of compact cars for generations to come.
The Mini Cooper
John Cooper, racing driver and F1 team owner, saw the potential of the mini as a racing car and in 1961 took the mini to its first rally. This then led to Cooper teaming up with Issigonis to create the extremely successful performance versions of the mini: Mini Cooper and Mini Cooper “S”. This new performance model then went on to win the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964, 65 and 67, cementing itself as a cult classic.
A British Icon
If its revolutionary design and racing performance weren’t enough for this modestly sized car the Mini soon rose to fame, becoming an icon of British popular culture in the 60s and 70s. The popularity of the Mini mirrored that of the Beatles, whose manager ordered four minis for the bands 1967 Magical Mystery Tour, last year Paul McCartneys customised mini sold for a staggering £182,000. The mini was also driven by other pop icons and actors including Mick Jagger, Steve McQueen, Peter Sellers, Roman Atkinson and even Enzo Ferrari was known to drive a Mini Cooper to work.
It wouldn’t be fitting to hold our Chateau Impney Hill Climb without celebrating this British classic but how do you celebrate such a small icon in a big way?
Mini Class, for 2019 Class 18 will be dedicated to the Mini, with 15 road and rally minis taking to the course for the last race of the day to compete to be the Mini King of the Hill.
Always a show-off, the feisty Mini, known for its personality and fun go-kart feel will be stopping the show each day by completing the course on two wheels. Driven by stunt driver Alastair Moffat who holds nine Guinness World Records including Tightest parallel park in reverse in a classic Mini and the fastest time to drive a car on two wheels between ten parked cars for CBBC.
The Italian Job, no Mini celebration would be complete without a nod to the Italian Job, watch the Italian job in our open-air cinema amongst the films classic cars including the Aston Martin DBS, the Alfa Romeo Police Car and of course the Mini taking centre stage.
Mini Display, we will have an exhibition dedicated to all things Mini with a Marquee filled with over 20 of the country’s finest Mini’s plus 30 Minis will be parading across the Chateau grounds and along the course with more special guest cars to be announced…
A Mini extra feature, as well as the Mini Class the Hill Climb will feature a range of Mini derived classic cars including one of a kind beauties:
John Cooper’s 1963 Deep Sanderson known as “Twinny”, this odd-ball car features a Mini chassis and two Mini cooper Engines, one at the front and one at the back.
The 1966 Les Mans Unipower GT, which was allegedly designed by a moonlighting member of the GT40 design team and is perhaps one of the best-looking derivatives of the Mini ever made.
And finally, the fantastic 1966 Broadspeed GTS Factory Works race car, which is the only one in existence! This incredible little car had numerous class wins and podium finishes over the 1966 and 67 seasons at venues such as Brands Hatch, Oulton Park, Zandvort and Welchap.
Don’t miss the Mini celebration
CLICK HERE to get your ticket and join us for our BIG celebration of the Mini.