Debut motoring event deemed a great success, attracting hundreds of beautifully restored classics, modified performance cars and the UK’s leading Mini specialists and experts.
With backing from Adrian Flux Insurance and the world’s top three Mini magazines, plus a healthy dose of fine weather, the highly anticipated Mini World Live event was warmly welcomed to the busy Mini show calendar for 2015. Proceedings kicked off in style, with a DJ spinning up tunes on the Village Green as the sun set, for those who’d chosen to bring a tent and stay the whole weekend.
There was much to keep the loyal Mini enthusiasts entertained the following day, as show goers were invited to take on 0-60mph sprints, try 20-minute track sessions on the famous banked circuit, enjoy a technical autotest, and even a Great Mini Bake Off! The 0-60 sprint was won by George Harris, a Mini fan who’s engineered a 200bhp Suzuki Hayabusa motorbike engine in place of the rear seats, while Nathan Badger took the Autotest. Emily Sulma was the deserving winner of the Bake Off, with a Mini-themed cake that looked too good to eat!
Meanwhile, as owners of both classic and new Minis went in search of spare parts, upgrades and accessories in the Retail Village, a live screening of the British Grand Prix meant that no motorsport fan would miss Lewis Hamilton racing to glory at Silverstone. Away from the fast-paced action, shopping and culinary expertise, Mini owners clubs put on a fantastic display of themed stands around the venue, with Milton Keynes Mini Owners Club taking the honours and £500 voucher to spend on next year’s efforts.
In the magazine stand area, visitors were treated to show cars from MiniWorld magazine, Mini Magazine and Modern MINI. “The MiniWorld stand display included fantastic examples of the Mini marque,” says MiniWorld’s Karen Drury. “Highlights included a restored AA van, which sparked much nostalgia from visitors, John Porter’s rare Australian Clubman-fronted Mini S, and a modified Pick-up owned by Robbie Kenning. Robbie and his friend Ben Jordan, who also had his modified saloon in the MiniWorld display, both took their cars on Rockingham’s circuit and thoroughly enjoyed the day.”
Mini Magazine’s Jeff Ruggles was also enthusiastic about the new show: “It attracted an impressive attendance for a first outing, and with the foundations and infrastructure already in place, there’s serious potential for this event to be a big-hitter in future years,” he says. “The line-up on our magazine stand ranged from Clive Harrigan’s English-built Mini Moke to a couple of hybrid-engined Z-Cars Minis, with the likes of Dominic Mattholie’s stanced saloon, Neil Husband’s supercharged monster, Barry Tilbury’s Clubman Estate, Mick Whitehead’s bold Hornet and Scott Turner’s Speedwell-inspired Cooper S – something for everyone.”
Of course Mini World Live is not aimed exclusively at the Issigonis Mini and its devout followers, but the 2001-onwards BMW MINI too. As prices of the 1959-2000 Mini continue to spiral, the MINI brings in fresh faces to the scene and a new take on modification too. “All in all, it was a great first show, with plenty to see for MINI owners and all fans of the MINI,” says Modern MINI’s Martyn Collins. “Highlights of our own stand were Lex Harris’ ground-scraping R53 Cooper S and Karl Kempley’s rat-look R50 Cooper; both representing the extremes of modifying! What really stood out for us was the range of traders for MINI owners, not just the classic parts suppliers that you come to expect from a big Mini show. DanKan MINI Shop and MINI Matt in particular reported swift business.”
The team behind Mini World Live, Fast Car Entertainment at Kelsey Media, is well versed at action-packed motoring events, with nine sister shows throughout the year. Next on the horizon is Retro Cars Live, also based at Rockingham, before Mini in the Park at Santa Pod and Japfest 2 at Rockingham, both held on 16 August. “After an enjoyable and successful first show, we look forward to a second running of Mini World Live in 2016,” concludes Kelsey’s Sarah Jackson. “We will announce the dates and details as soon as possible, but there are already many plans in the pipeline to make it even bigger and better.”