Hopkirk to drive Mini at Festival of Speed 2014

The 50th anniversary of the Mini's improbable victory on the Monte Carlo Rally will celebrated at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed. 'Irishman Paddy


  1. [b]The 50th anniversary of the Mini's improbable victory on the Monte Carlo Rally will celebrated at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed.[/b]

    'Irishman Paddy Hopkirk will drive a Mini Cooper S up the Goodwood hill during the 27-29 June event, and is certain to be a favourite among spectators as he evokes memories of his heroic performance on the mountain stages of Southern France in 1964.
    The Monte Carlo Rally, which kicks off the 2014 World Rally Championship, encompasses just 238 competitive miles, while the 1964 edition featured crews starting from a variety of European cities, such as Oslo, Paris and Glasgow and descending on the Principality after a mammoth three-day drive of over 1400 miles.
    Paddy Hopkirk, whose Mini Cooper S was co-driven by Henry Liddon, beat the more powerful Ford Falcon of Bo Ljungfeld and Erik Carlsson's Saab over a series of stages and driving tests, using the Mini's agility to maximum effect in the snowy conditions.
    It also began a run of three wins in four years on the Monte for the Mini; Timo Makinen and Rauno Aaltonen adding successes in 1965 and '67 respectively and perfectly encapsulating the 2014 Festival of Speed's theme: “Addicted to winning”.
    Hopkirk is just the first in a long line of rally legends to be confirmed as appearing at the Festival of Speed this year. Plenty more will be revealed soon.'


  2. [b]Paddy Hopkirk won Monte Carlo in a Mini and got fan mail from the Beatles – Exclusive video[/b]
    50 years on Paddy Hopkirk remembers letters from Ringo star and celebrity fans – relive the excitement with our video footage.
    Hanging on the wall in rally legend Paddy Hopkirk's downstairs loo, there is a fantastic reminder of the moment he turned the Mini from a simple car into a global icon.
    It is a framed telegram and signed photo from the Beatles, which they sent to congratulate him on winning the Monte Carlo Rally, exactly 50 years ago.
    “It's on my cloakroom wall,” laughs Paddy. “It reads ‘It's nice to be number one isn't it. Stop. Congratulations. Stop. Thanks for the lift. Stop. Ringo Starr.'
    “One of our mechanics had given Ringo a lift in Paris a few days before – that's why he was saying thank you”.
    All four Beatles signed the picture and added the note, “You're one of us now Paddy!” in recognition of his giant-killing win and rallying number one status.
    The Beatles, who were at the height of their global success in January 1964, weren't the only famous people clamouring to congratulate Paddy.
    “I also got one from the Prime Minister,” he recalls, as he reminisces about his famous win.


    Beatles to Paddy Hopkirk after his 1964 Monte Carlo Rally win.



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