Paul Baker, the first UK MINI GP customer, collected the keys to his dream car from Mike Cooper. Mr Baker had registered his interest with local dealer, North Oxford Garage, when the first rumours of the fastest production MINI started to appear in January 2005; nine months before the car was officially announced.

Mr Baker was the first person in the UK to place an order for the MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit and was rewarded with the second car: 0002. MINI GP 0001 is currently displayed at the British International Motor Show and will be returned to the MINI museum where all first production models are displayed.

The remaining 458 MINI GPs in the UK will begin arriving at their new homes next week. 2000 have been built in total and the car is now sold out worldwide. Priced at £22,000 in the UK, the MINI GP reaches 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds, with a top speed of 146mph and a power output of 218hp.

Mr Baker and his family have been MINI fans for years and the MINI GP is the fifth model to be owned by the family since 2002.

Mr Baker, said: “It looks even better in the metal than the photos. When I heard the rumour, I couldn’t resist ordering the fastest, most powerful production MINI. I’m looking forward to driving it to my local pub, sitting in the front garden, and showing it off to my mates. I’ll be keeping this car a long time, and no I’m not going to sell it on Ebay!”

Source: MINI UK Press