Abingdon Works Motorsport Celebration latest

There are some positive vibes coming from the British Motor Museum that the mega show on Sunday 6 September, of which the AWMC forms a part, will go ahead.
The event combines the National Metro & Mini Show and the BMC & Leyland Show which were both postponed because of Covid-19 restrictions. The British Motor Museum has re-opened to visitors, albeit on limited days, and is now looking at its events programme for later in the year.
Continuing uncertainty over whether the show would actually happen has meant that AWMC organisers have had to scale back on their original plans, but there will still be a great display of cars to see.
Plus, of course, the MCR Warwickshire region will have members’ Minis on display as well.
For tickets, please visit the Museum website.


The latest edition of CooperWorld is hitting the doormats

The July edition of CooperWorld is now out, packed with news, views, reports and all the usual technical stuff.

This month, Geoff Marr’s search of the archive comes up with news from the 1961 Scottish Motor Show, Stephen Dalton goes even further back with a look at the 1948 Luton Hoo Speed Trials and Mini Sport’s Cara Jackson tells of the restoration of a 1964 Mini Cooper S.

Plus, there is part two of Robert Clayson’s story of the 1996 Mini Monte Classic Rally, Stephen Chandler getting lost in Kent with some Mini owners from Belgium and 19 pages of helpful information and technical support from the registrars.

Available by subscription only, in print and digital formats, CooperWorld costs from £35 a year for 12 editions.


Minis to the Alps cancelled

With Motor Sport UK not issuing any licenses and social distancing measures still in place, the 2020 Minis to the Alps has now officially been cancelled.
Despite the best efforts of Peter Moss and Robert Young to facilitate the running of this year’s event, it has been decided to postpone until 2021 with all entrants guaranteed a place should they wish to re-sign, with the price pegged at this year’s figure.
All entrants have been contacted and will have their entry fees refunded in full.
Time and opportunity are now running out for members and car enthusiasts generally to join in an event this year with the club’s flagship National Mini Day in August having been already cancelled. At the moment, the British Motor Museum still plans to run the combined National Metro & Mini Show and the BMC & Leyland Day at Gaydon on Sunday 6 September, at which the club’s Warwickshire region will have a display.


Mini Sport renew sponsorship

We are pleased to welcome long-standing supporters Mini Sport as joint club sponsors for another year.

Like all clubs, with no event income this year, money is tight and sponsors provide a lifeline in these challenging times.

A family firm, Mini Sport’s restoration and serving work is carried out at their premises in Burnley from where they ship specialist Mini parts all over the world.

Our thanks to Chris and the team for their continuing support.

For more information, go to http://Www.minisport.com


Goodwood cancels with future of estate under threat

Goodwood Road Racing Club have taken the decision not to hold the Festival of Speed and Revival in 2020.

While ticket holders will be given the option to roll their tickets over into 2021, or request a refund, the Duke of Richmond and Gordon, owner of the Goodwood Estate, is seeking support for a new initiative, aimed at keeping the spirit of Goodwood motorsport alive.

He is inviting people to join the newly reinvigorated Goodwood Supporters’ Association (GSA). The original GSA was founded 25 years ago, when a group of enthusiasts joined to help overcome a seemingly insurmountable challenge – bringing racing back to Goodwood Motor Circuit.

The challenge we face today is very different, but perhaps even more serious, as it threatens the future of the entire estate” said the Duke.

Bringing people together to enjoy the things they love is fundamental to everything we do at Goodwood, so social distancing is having a catastrophic impact on all areas of our business. It is a worrying time, in the face of which we are doing what we can to salvage a future for our events.”

Goodwood are hoping to have a ‘behind closed doors’ motorsport occasion in the autumn, for everyone to enjoy at home, but in terms of business the most this will do is limit damage.


The history of the Mini Cooper

As a team of Mini specialists, we’re very passionate about the true British icon that is the Mini Cooper. It’s not just a stylish vehicle that looks great, they’re powerful tools of automotive engineering and our team of drivers have performed superbly in racing events in previous years, showcasing both their incredible talent as drivers and quality of the vehicles they’re driving.

The history of the Mini Cooper

The Mini Cooper is arguably one of the most easily recognisable automobiles ever produced. The original Mini started production in the late ‘50s and quickly became one of the best selling cars in Europe, with many attributing the transverse engine front-wheel drive layout as a main factor of this success.
Like many inventions throughout history, the Mini was invented to meet a demand. During the 1950s, Great Britain had great need of a vehicle with high fuel-efficiency.

As such, in 57 Sir Leonard Lord (of the Morris Company) asked his top engineer, a man called Alex Issigonis to lead a team of designers with the goal of providing a solution to this demand. The vehicle created as a result was a compact vehicle with a transverse engine and a gearbox (allowing for front wheel drive) and all four wheels being pushed out to the far corners of the vehicle, maximising both interior space and handling of the vehicle.

Many features that enthusiasts love about the classic Minis were originally included to keep costs to a minimum. This includes external door and boot hinges, and of course the sliding windows which were used instead of the more expensive roll-up style side widows.

However, shortly after this vehicle reached the market, John Cooper (the race car builder) saw the potential in this vehicle, the engine’s displacement was increased from 848cc to 997cc, SU carburetors increased the power from 34 to 55 horsepower, and front disc brakes and a close-ratio gearbox were added to complete the performance boost.

The origins of the Mini Cooper S

In the early 1960s, a more powerful Mini Cooper vehicle was released. Dubbed the Model S, this Mini came with a superb 1071cc engine and large servo-assisted brakes. This superior and more powerful version of the Mini Cooper was sold for a year, and sold a total of 4,030 models.

However, this was not the only S model produced, two other S models were also produced specifically for circuit racing, one of which the 1275cc Cooper S model for Under 1300cc classes was produced until ’71.

The Mini Cooper in motorsport 

The Cooper S is a very successful vehicle in the world of motorsport. In fact, the Monte Carlo Rally has had numerous victors in Mini Coopers, including the 1964, ’65, and ’67 winners.

Here at Mini Sport, we proudly and passionately race our Minis in some of the most exciting events throughout the country. For example, last year, Team Mini Sport took part in the Mull Rally, an annual event which is attended by many motorsport VIPs, in which Daniel Harper & Chris Campbell from Team Mini sport finished 2nd. As passionate Mini Cooper enthusiasts, we’re always happy to demonstrate that whilst the Mini is indeed an automotive icon of British culture, it is also a superb racing machine.

Simply put, Mini Coopers are our passion, ever since the halcyon days of the Mini; we have been there, providing parts and spares to fellow enthusiasts from all over the world. As a result, we have established a world-leading service in the supply of everything Mini; it’s still going strong over 50 years later.

In fact last year we were approached by Mike Cooper, son of the legendary John Cooper with the prospect of re-launching the ‘Cooper Car Company’ in association with Mini Sport. Our exclusive Cooper Car Company collections are internationally recognised for reliability and power; taking direct inspiration from the original parts designed by John Cooper and Charles Cooper when the company was founded in 1946, with classic styling and high-grade quality.

Why buy from Mini Sport?

As part of our Exclusive Collections, we stock a diverse and bespoke range of Mini Parts, Components, and Memorabilia which is designed and manufactured in collaboration with some of Mini and Motorsports’ most notable names and talent. In our Exclusive Collections you’ll find products that are only available at Mini Sport, however that is not all you’ll also be able to browse through acclaimed with custom designs and style, which evoke the authenticity and heritage of our favourite Classic Car, the Mini Cooper.

In addition to the Mini Cooper parts and memorabilia available, our team can also provide restoration and repair services for a diverse range of Mini models. So if your classic Mini requires restoration services due to damage or wear and tear, get in touch with the Mini Sport team. We have restored a range of Mini models from across the globe to personal specification, making specific effort to retain original parts and authenticity where possible, preserving the legacy and character of this unique and inspirational vehicle. In fact, we have become internationally renowned as experts in the restoration of Classic Minis.

Get In Touch With Our Team Of Mini Experts Today

If you would like to learn more information regarding our company or our services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of Mini experts. You can speak to us by calling 01282 778 731 or alternatively you can send any questions or enquiries you have to us via e-mail at sales@minisport.com.

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Hagerty Insurance renew sponsorship

With the loss of its flagship National Mini Day still fresh in the mind, Mini Cooper Register (MCR) has been boosted by the news that Hagerty Insurance is to renew its sponsorship deal from 1 July.

Run by avid classic car owners and enthusiasts, Hagerty is dedicated to the development of specialist insurance and do not offer any other insurance products such as household or travel cover. Their aim is to offer clients the best premium rates for a comprehensive range of classic car insurance products available in the UK.

MCR’s other main sponsor Mini Sport also renewed its support in June, meaning that the club can manage the fallout from losing its main event at Beaulieu and plan for 2021 from a sound financial base.

Mini Cooper Register was set up in 1986 with the twin objectives of preserving the name of the Mini Cooper and stimulating interest in the car and its history. The Register has grown over the years and now has over 2,000 members worldwide, with Mike Cooper as Honorary President. Its remit covers both Classic Minis and modern MINIs.

As well as organizing events and services to members, the club publishes the acclaimed CooperWorld magazine monthly.

We are delighted to have Hagerty Insurance as joint sponsors with MiniSport again and am sure that this will prove a continuing success for all parties” said MCR chairman Robert Young.

We are thrilled to be working with the Mini Cooper Register again as their members embody everything Hagerty stands for in preserving, driving and enjoying their cars” said Hagerty UK marketing director Marcus Atkinson.

We look forward to talking and meeting as many members as possible during our partnership with the MCR” he added.


6 Facts About Paddy Hopkirk and the Monte Carlo Rally

Over 50 years ago, the Mini established itself as a ‘must-have’ car for drivers everywhere; a massive factor in this was the success of Paddy Hopkirk as he roared to victory in the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally in his Mini Cooper S.

In an interview in the Belfast Telegraph, Paddy recounted that famous moment, as well as some other tales from his life. Here’s, we’ve picked out some of the best ‘Paddy Facts’ about the Monte Carlo Rally – how many are you already aware of?

Paddy Hopkirk Monte Carlo Rally Facts

  1. Paddy’s Mini made quite the impression in Minsk. In those days, The Monte Carlo Rally required drivers to set off from various places in Europe to converge on the starting point in Reims, in northern France. Paddy seemed to have drawn the short straw as he was made to go from Minsk (then in the USSR, now Belarus) – in mid-winter. So as you can imagine, there were deep pockets of snow everywhere. In fact, it was so cold that the cars had to be towed around the city square by tractors to get them started. As the watching locals had never seen a Mini before, they thought that this was how one was started!
  2. He drove the wrong way. Battling the track around a small village in France, Paddy accidentally drove the wrong way up a one-way street and was stopped by a gendarme who threatened to book him. This would have meant that he would have been disqualified from the race, so he told the military policeman that he ‘resigned from the race’ and was hurrying home at the behest of his family who had some bad news about sick mother. A little porky that saved his race and helped to make history!
  3. He ATE his side hustle. With not much money at stake in the race, Paddy brought several piles of ladies nylon stockings with him, swapping them for a giant tin of ‘Beluga No1 caviar’ with the chef of the hotel he and his crew were staying at. The plan was to sell the caviar to the chef of a posh hotel (as they all are) in Monte Carlo when he arrived in the city. Apparently, the caviar would have sold for more money than he would have got for winning the rally.As it turned out, he did win the rally. However, instead of selling the caviar, he and his many friends – the F1 driver Juan Manuel Fangio, Stuart Turner (manager of the BMC team) and designer of the orginal MIni, Alec Issigonis, ended up dining on the caviar and washed it down with champagne and vodka to celebrate the win!
  4. He became Britain’s most famous racing driver (at least for a while!) The shock win of this little car against the supercars with their massive engines made headlines across the world. Paddy received congratulations from the Prime Minister, Alec Douglas-Horne and politicians in Northern Ireland, as well a telegram from The Beatles, who would be proud owners of their own Coopers not long after. He was even invited on Sunday Night At The Palladium to be interviewed by Bruce Forsyth in front of millions of viewers.Perhaps the most famous interaction with a ‘celebrity’ that Paddy Hopkirk has had was with Princess Grace of Monaco, who presented him with the trophy for winning the rally. Famed for her previous career as an Holywood actress (notably the Alfred Hitchcock films, Rear WindowDial M For Murder and To Catch a Thief), Grace Kelly made international headlines when she married Prince Rainier in 1956 and was amongst the world’s most admired people. On the 5oth anniversary of his win in 2014l Paddy returned to Monte Carlo to show the trophy to her son, Albert (the current monarch of Monaco).
  5. He keeps his signed photo and telegram from The Beatles in his cloakroom. Before sending the telegram and signed photo, drummer Ringo Starr found himself in need of a lift whilst in Paris and Paddy’s mechanic duly obliged. After hearing about the famous win, Ringo sent Paddy a telegram that read “It’s nice to be number one isn’t it. Stop. Congratulations. Stop. Thanks for the lift. Stop. Ringo Starr”! The signed photo that accompanied it was dedicated with signatures from all four Beatles and a “You’re one of us now Paddy!” message. (So after all this time, it was actually Paddy who was the fifth Beatle?). To this day, Paddy keeps them framed in his cloakroom!
  6. Paddy became synonymous with safe driving. The spotlight that the Monte Carlo Rally win provided opened a few doors for Paddy  to explore the things that he was passionate about. Those of you of a ‘certain vintage’ will fondly remember the heyday of public information films – well, Paddy was in one! As a recognisable name, the government-backed initiative employed Paddy to present a piece on the importance of wearing seatbelts. Check it out, it’s almost like Hitchcock himself directed it:  https://youtu.be/oFalDw-CjC4

So those were our 6 Paddy Facts concerning the Monte Carlo Rally. With such a long and varied career, there is plenty more to chat to the man himself about! Paddy regularly attends classic Mini events across the country so be sure to get along to one and meet the man himself!

Safe driving is something that Paddy is a big advocate of to this day. Along with his son (also called Patrick), they are ambassadors of IAM RoadSmart; an independent road safety charity who run courses and hold events to improve the standards of driving. Earlier this year, at the age of 86, Paddy passed the course with distinction. He regularly travels throughout the country to talk about road safety and how older people especially, can drive safely with confidence on today’s roads.

Mini Sport & Paddy Hopkirk: A Winning Combination.

Having been working alongside Paddy for many years here at Mini Sport, we have created a wide range of Paddy Hopkirk Mini products that any dedicated Mini fan would love. Aside from some fantastic Monte Carlo Rally merchandise, we have worked closely with Paddy to design and build Mini parts that are preferred by the man himself.

If you have any questions that you would like to ask about anything you may see on our website, or just need advice on Mini servicing in general, our Mini specialists would be pleased to speak with you. Give them a call on 01282 778731 or send an e-mail to sales@minisport.com.

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National Mini Day cancelled

Chairman Robert Young has announced today that, in the light of continuing measures to combat Covid-19, the club’s flagship event, expected to attract 3,000 people, has been cancelled.

Plans will now be made to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Mini Cooper in 2021.

I know that the decision will come as a huge disappointment, but probably as no surprise” said Robert.

It was with heavy hearts that organiser Tony Salter and I have reluctantly decided that we have to abandon our rescheduled National Mini Day at Beaulieu. When we first revised the date to 16 August in early March as the lockdown restrictions came into place, we were both positive that we would be clear of Covid-19 and things would have returned to normal.”

Sadly, that proved not to be the case and, with social distancing at 2 metres still in place, clearly to run the event would be impractical. Even if social distancing was reduced to 1m, we do not see how the event could run.”

We do appreciate that our National Mini Day is still just over two months away, but felt it correct to abandon now rather than delay in the faint hope things will radically change in that time. We owe it to our members and supporters to give them as much notice as possible.”


Club weathering virus storm

The arrival of Covid-19 into the country brought life as we knew it to a halt, with all leisure activities, including car shows and events, impacted from the middle of March.

For Mini Cooper Register (MCR), its annual National Mini Day, held at the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, is the club’s largest single source of income and to try to protect this, the date was moved from the traditional second Sunday in June to 16th August.

However, with no let-up of social distancing measures and restrictions on large gatherings of people in sight, the club can only wait and see whether the event, which attracts around 3,000 people, will go ahead.

Also at risk is this year’s popular “Minis to” event, planned for The Alps over a week beginning 18th September, although it will be moved to 2021 if necessary.

MCR is in good financial health and, even without the Beaulieu event, will be able to weather the virus storm. It has just renewed its sponsorship deal with Mini Sport, a long-standing supporter, and is working with them to enhance the discounts and bespoke deals for members.

The 68-page monthly magazine CooperWorld continues to be published in print and digital format and is paid for through advertising and subscriptions which start at £35 a year.