This bit of Mini nostalgia comes from Rob:
Here’s an interesting website that really shows how the classic Mini is interweaved thru the recent history of motor racing, and set the stage for our MINIs to capitalize on the fantastic reputation the original built for us. The MINI would never have had a re-birth, or at least as well financed a one, if BMW hadn’t recognized that this well of memories was so deep.
This site has some wonderful shots of Paddy and his Monte car, various other Mini bits, and a great shot of Timo Makinen and Paul Easter with their 1965 Monte winner. This was possibly one of the fastest of all the BMC Factory Rally cars because it was run under a fairly highly modified class that year, which was effectively eliminated after the ?1966 disqualification fiasco. This forced any winning car in ’67 to be run under the dead stock class due to the devious handicapping the French were using to ensure anybody but a Mini would win. Like that worked. ;-)> I actually got to sit in the drivers seat of this very car at back the old Heritage Collection building. It was pretty much as it is now, set up on a snow stage display, and I asked the attendant if I could take some interior shots of the Factory Rally dashboard, and he opened the door and told me sit down and make myself comfortable! The ultimate Walter Mitty moment….rats, no keys, dammit. HeHe! I’ve often thought about the fact that the great racing factories keep their old racers – Daimler-Benz, Porsche, and BMC – they valued their heritage, and we benefit. Enjoy!
Thanks Rob. I think this type of thing is great for newer MINI enthusiasts who may not know much of the rich racing heritage that the original Mini enjoyed.