restoration of POP 22 was completed in time for the 50th anniversary of the launch of the Mini Cooper, an event held at the National Motor
Museum, Beaulieu, in June
2011. The Mini Cooper Register
(www.minicooper.org) organises an event at Beaulieu each year, but it was on a grander
scale for the anniversary year.
Unfortunately the weather also put on a memorable display with a depression
sweeping across the South of England all day causing torrential rain and high
winds. POP 22 was one of the display
cars, but visitors had to be exceptionally hardy to venture into the
display area. It was also not the only
Mini to return home with a water-logged footwell that evening!
was followed a couple of weeks later by another outing organised by the Mini
Cooper Register, this time to one of rounds of the hill climb championship held
at Prescott hill climb in Gloucestershire.
The MCR organiser had negotiated with the hill climb organisers for
there to be a Mini Cooper display and a parade up the hill during the lunch
interval. Prescott was one of the
spiritual homes of New Era Minis (see ‘Austin A35 - Alfa version’ page) and POP 22 was
allowed onto the track before the start so that a retro photo could be taken in a
similar spot to one taken almost 50 years ago during a visit by the first New
Era Mini, just after a new loop had been added to the track.
of November 2011 saw the Regent Street Motor Show. It is a relatively recent event organised
by the RAC who negotiated the closure of most of Regent Street for a day. This year there were 50 ‘E’ type Jaguars and
50 Mini Coopers as both marques were celebrating 50 years since their launch. There was also most of the veteran cars that
were to participate in the following day’s London
to Brighton run and, as a contrast, examples
of most of the latest ‘eco’ cars (hybrid, electric and fuel cell vehicles). POP 22 was one of the 50 Mini Coopers and it
attracted a great deal of interest from the crowds thronging the street. It was
surprising, and encouraging, how classic Mini Coopers appeal to the younger
generations and not just those who remember them in their heyday.