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A Mini adventure at Brooklands

‘BEAUTIFUL things come in small packages’, so the saying goes, but there is nothing tiny about what Brooklands Museum is looking to achieve on Sunday 25th March when that most iconic of British small cars takes the spotlight at the Weybridge site.

The day should see two spectacular records set – and by its close somebody will be the proud new owner of their own Classic Mini.

Last year, the Museum missed its target of getting 1,000 Minis on site by just a few vehicles so now its sights are set on smashing this number.

Brooklands Museum, in association with the London and Surrey Mini Owners Club, will be attempting to set a new world record for the fastest construction of a Classic Mini. The task is to replicate the assembly of a Mini as it would have been done at the Longbridge factory: a complete running car has been stripped down into modular parts as they would have been delivered originally to the assembly line.

Shortly after 10am, the clocks will start and a team of 12 volunteers will begin re-assembling the pile of bits. Once completed, the car will have its electrics and mechanical safety-tested and then be run up the Test Hill to complete the challenge.

A raffle to win the car – a 1990 Mini Flame Red – will be drawn at the end of the day.  This means that for the price of a £2 ticket, one lucky winner will become the proud owner of a Classic Mini – and one that has been assembled in record time.

Among the 1,000-plus Minis on display, a rare 1959 Austin Seven will take pride of place by the Shell Pagoda. Few of these early cars still survive and this one will play a suitable ‘grandfather’ against the newest incarnations of this ever-evolving car in the guise of the BMW Mini Roadster.

Classics like the Mini Cooper, Traveller and Clubman will be out in force, but the extraordinary range in variants such as the Riley Elf and Wolsey Hornet will show just how broad this marque is.

The Paddock, the period motoring village, members’ banking, aircraft park and all other areas of the Museum – recognised as the ‘Birthplace of British Motorsport’ – will host club displays, customised vans, Mini Mokes, Scamps and the modern BMW models which have seen a revival in interest in this evergreen little car.

At various points in the day, attention will be drawn to the famous Test Hill, when owners will try and coax their precious vehicles up to the summit in front of the cheering crowd.

As well as the action, there will be a ‘Show ’n’ Shine’ competition in which cars are judged for their appearance. Prizes will be given for the first two cars in each of seven classes. Dozens of stalls will be selling memorabilia, spares and other Mini paraphernalia, alongside the Museum’s own shop which stocks a huge range of Brooklands-related and other merchandise, books, toys and games.

Nearly 40 Mini clubs have booked their places in this annual celebration. The appeal of Mini stretches far and wide, as the Belgian and Dutch contingent of the International Mini Moke Club have booked their place among the club displays. Another new element to the event will be the best dressed club stand and already, 12 clubs have entered. The theme for this competition is the 1960s so expect to see the odd scooter and mod outfit.

Brooklands Museum’s Mini Day is open to anybody who wants to bring a Mini, or who just wants to come along to look at and admire these little cars. The first 1,000 Minis through the gates on the day will receive a free special commemorative car sticker.

The entrance fee includes access to all the Museum displays in the motoring village and aircraft park, the LondonBusMuseum and the Sunbeam Café will be open all day. Also on site is the only Concorde in the south-east that is open for visitors. The half-hour Concorde Experience tour and virtual flight is not to be missed and it is advisable to book on arrival.

The Museum is open from 10 am to 5pm on Mini Day and usual admission prices apply: Adults, £10; Seniors, £9; Children (5-16 yrs), £5.50; Children Under 5, free; Family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children), £27.

For full details visit www.brooklandsmuseum.com or telephone 01932 857381. The half-hour Brooklands Concorde Experience is an extra £4 for adults, £2 for children.

For more information, contact Paul Stewart on 01932 857381 ext 249 or e-mail: paulstewart@brooklandsmuseum.com

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