MINI's Extraordinary Centenary Tour


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    [B]'MINI is celebrating the Cowley centenary by setting off on a tour of [I]all[/I] of the European production sites that have built the iconic car over the years. These will include [URL=''%5DNovo Mesto[/URL] (Slovenia), the Italian city of [URL=''%5DMilan%5B/URL%5D, the former production plant in [URL=''%5DMalta%5B/URL%5D, the Portuguese town of [URL=''%5DVendas Novas[/URL], [URL=''%5DPamplona in Spain[/URL], [URL=''%5DSeneffe%5B/URL%5D in Belgium, [URL=''%5DAmersfoort%5B/URL%5D in Holland, Longbridge and the Irish capital [URL=''%5DDublin.%5B/URL%5D%5B/B%5D
    At MINI Plant Oxford preparations are afoot for a quite extraordinary anniversary: [URL=''%5D%5BCOLOR=#009900%5D%5BU%5Dcars%5B/U%5D%5B/COLOR%5D%5BIMG%5D have been produced in Cowley for 100 years now and the history of the plant, like its present, is closely intertwined with the one-off British [URL=''%5D%5BCOLOR=#009900%5D%5BU%5Dsmall car[/U][/COLOR][IMG][/IMG][/URL]. Where today the MINI is produced, the classic Mini – one of the most important models built in Oxford over the years since 1913 – was also born. The classic Mini embellished its British roots with a very European character; Cowley's assembly figures were bolstered by Mini cars pieced together over the decades in European pastures beyond the brand's native borders. To kick off the celebrations, five Cowley-built MINIs are embarking on a tour that will take them to eight former classic Mini production locations throughout Europe.'

    [B]More on AROnline:[/B]

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    [B]Day two: Milan, and the Innocenti factory[/B]

    The first classic Mini rolled off the production line in Oxford on 8 May 1959, and another 602,816 were to follow in the years up to 1968. During this time, the Oxford factory also built CKD (Completely Knocked Down) vehicle sets to be assembled in other locations. The tour undertaken by the five current MINI models will bring back to mind the cross-border nature of Mini production as it takes the cars – plus an accompanying fleet of media representatives and the MINI Community – to eight former production locations from 13 – 27 March. MINI fans can follow the progress of the tour on the specially launched website [URL='' A tracking function shows the MINI convoy's latest stop-off as it charts its course across Europe. Detailed updates on the journey and stops along the way can also be found on the MINI Facebook page [URL='' and online community forum [URL='' The final destination on the tour will be Oxford – the home of the brand past and present – where 100 years of car production will be celebrated on 28 March.

    The tour of former production locations covers more than 10,500 kilometres (over 6,500 miles) and includes stops in Novo Mesto (Slovenia), the Italian city of Milan, the former production plant in Malta, the Portuguese town of Vendas Novas, Pamplona in Spain, Seneffe in Belgium, Amersfoort in Holland and the Irish capital Dublin. Only three of these eight locations are still home to car production today. But all of them count the classic Mini as an important part of their local industrial history, one that is about to roar back into the public consciousness. Looking further afield still, CKD classic Mini sets were also dispatched from Oxford for local assembly in many other parts of the world, such as Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Uruguay, Venezuela and South Africa.

  3. “Oxford for 100 years now and the history of the plant, like its present, is closely intertwined with the one-off British small car”

    One off? 5.3Million Classic Minis and a fair few BMW's. Not quite one off then. A little like those model cars you buy with 'limited edition of only 10'000'.:)

  4. [B]Day 4 Malta[/B]





    [B]Message from Mini Seven Club Nederland[/B]
    (posted on AROnline)
    'Have you any idea the date and time you arrived at Seneffe Belgium and Amersfoort The Netherlands ?
    I will try to send some Minis to you arrive.'
    HCJ van Brakel Mini Seven Club Nederland

    [B]Reply[/B] from [URL=''%5Dontheroad2cowley100%5B/URL%5D
    This whole celebration and tour is about the cars and the passion behind it. It's a lot of fun talking to guys who built the Mini long time ago, and to see young people connect to the past by means of their cars (Minis or MINIs).
    Let's leave politics and marketing to the people good at that, and lets enjoy the celebration.
    On-line tracking is provided through: [URL][/URL] for everyone wanting to meet up. Thanks HCJ van Brakel, we will be in both Belgium and the Netherlands on March 23rd. We don't have the exact timing but will share it with you, as it becomes available through our driving progress.

    [B]Estimated arrival times:[/B]
    Novo Mesto, Slovenia – March 13th, 03:00 pm
    Milan, Italy – March 14th, 11:00 am
    Marsa, Malta – March 16th, 05:00 pm
    Vendas Novas, Portugal – March 20th in the afternoon
    Pamplona, Spain – March 22nd in the morning
    Seneffe, Belgium – March 23rd late morning
    Amersfoort, Netherlands – March 23rd in the afternoon
    Dublin, Ireland – March 26th late morning
    Longbridge, UK – March 27th in the afternoon
    Oxford, UK – March 27th early evening

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    'From Portugal, it was a long trip back to Pamplona. As this factory's still very much in action building SEATs, following the company's purchase of the factory from British Leyland in 1975, getting close for an iconic shot was always going to be a problem. After all, most modern factories look so dull.
    That wasn't the case in Belgium and Holland, though, as both Seneffe and Amersfoort are no longer active factories. Luckily, Belgian and Dutch enthusiasts drove out to meet the MINIs as they arrived at the factories, giving the four cars an extremely warm welcome. Some of the cars they brought along were pretty special, too.
    After the Benelux stop-off, it was off to the Hook of Holland to catch a ferry for England. The convoy was travelling through the UK in order to get to Dublin to check out the Mini production site in Ireland. But first they stopped off in London for some inevitable iconic photography. After Dublin today (26 March, the cars return to the UK) for the final two locations, Longbridge and Cowley. Here are details of when and where – wonder if MG [URL=''%5D%5BCOLOR=#009900%5D%5BU%5DMotor%5B/U%5D%5B/COLOR%5D%5BIMG%5D UK will be expecting the convoy…'
    [B]Longbridge, UK – 27 March in the afternoon
    Oxford, UK – 27 March early evening[/B]

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