Mideast fans join in on MINI festival
Silverstone, England, May 27, 2009
Ten MINI enthusiasts from the Middle East joined the legendary MINI United Festival held at the Formula One track in Silverstone, England to mark the 50th anniversary of the popular brand.
Each MINI market across the region gave away a trip for two people to attend the three-day extravaganza. To participate, residents had to log onto MINI-me.com, answer three questions correctly and get as many people to vote for them as possible.
More than 25,000 fans from over 40 countries gathered for the celebration held from may 22 to 24. They arrived in over 10,000 MINI models, most of them individualised.
As part of the world premiere for the new Mayfair and Camden special models, the now 75-year-old Mary Quant – British style icon and inventor of the miniskirt – revealed a long-guarded secret: the designation “mini-skirt” is not derived from the celebrated brevity of the garment; it was her much-loved car that inspired her to choose this name.
To mark the 50th anniversary, MINI also took the wraps off a reinterpretation of George Harrison’s flamboyant model. This one-off, presented to Olivia Harrison at the event, fully met the precise design brief of the Beatles’ widow.
She accepted the MINI on behalf of the Material World Charitable Foundation, a charity which George Harrison founded in 1973. The car will be auctioned this year to raise funds for the foundation.
“George was a huge MINI fan and he would have enjoyed this new version. The fact that the 50th anniversary celebrations for MINI will also benefit our foundation has made it an enjoyable as well as meaningful collaboration,” said Olivia Harrison.
There were plenty more unique models to get pulses racing among the fans.
British fashion designer Paul Smith again presented the model created by him, while the designs by David Bowie, Kate Moss, Missoni and the acclaimed illustrator and graphic designer Alan Aldridge were also on display.
Similarly drawing approving looks were the original cars from films like “The Italian Job” and “Austin Powers”.
The major highlight of the United Festival was the appearance of “modfather” Paul Weller, former frontman of the two legendary bands The Jam and The Style Council and now a longstanding and highly successful solo artist.
“As I’ve been driving MINI all my life, I was delighted to be able to join in the 50th birthday celebrations,” said Weller.
Since its launch in 1959, MINI has continued to redefine small car design. Acquired by the BMW Group in 1994, the MINI brand includes the MINI Cooper and Cooper S, MINI Cooper Cabrio, MINI Clubman and the new MINI John Cooper Works range of models. – TradeArabia News Service