60 Years of Mini History (Pt 2): IMM 2019

By Kurt Buttress - July 18, 2019

Started way back in 1978, the International Mini Meeting is a global event setup to celebrate the UK’s most valued export; the Mini. The event kicked off in Germany and was held there for the first five years. Since then it’s been rotated around the world annually, with a single stipulation – every five years the event must be hosted within the UK.    

International Mini Meeting 2019 – The IMM Comes Home! 

The UK is the birthplace of the Mini, and so it’s with great pride that the Mini celebrates its 60th anniversary on UK soil during the 2019 leg of the International Mini Meeting.  On the cards are fantastic birthday celebrations set to attract and entertain Mini owners from all over.

Did you know the birth of the Mini coincides with the Suez Crisis of 1956? The nifty little vehicles were created out of a necessity for smaller cars which were more fuel economic. An initial launch with a one-litre engine proved to be more bang for the buck, but was still deemed to be overly sporty. The scaled back 848cc size was much more palatable and widely accepted. 

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The Mini's low centre of gravity offered impeccable handling with superb dynamics which all helped in catching the attention of racer, John Cooper. Cooper's revised sportier take on the Mini as a rally car was realised as a success when his Mini achieved immense accolades on the track - beating an Aston Martin DB4 at Monza by an hour, no less. These JCW models went on to dominate rally circuits claiming victory at Monte Carlo in 1964, 1965 and again in 1967.     

Come and celebrate this longstanding history with us and the world's top Mini clubs this season. The IMM is in it's 40th successful year and has been hosted by prestigious Mini clubs like Mini Fun Club Belgium, Shasta Minis California, Mini Asociados Mexico, Mini Seven Club Sweden and the UK's Gert Lush Mini club. 

The event is organised by local Mini clubs who vie for the right to host their country's leg. Previous UK events have been held at Silverstone in 1989 and 1994, Norwich 2004, Birmingham 2009, and Kent in 2014. This will be the first year the event comes to Bristol and we’re absolutely delighted to have a hand in making the gathering a reality.  

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Apart from being the Mini’s 60th birthday, there’s also the release of the new Mini 60 anniversary edition which will be spotlighted at this year’s event. Take a look at more Mini history in Part 1 of this blog, and get a sneak peek at what the Mini 60 looks like 

What to expect at the Bristol IMM 2019 

It’s all hands-on-deck at this year’s International Mini Meeting which aims to see Bristol's Washingpool Farm at Easter Compton in a frenzy.  

The South-West, four-day extravaganza kicks off around mid-day on Thursday, August 8th until Monday, 12th August. There will be live music stages throughout the event, food stalls, exhibition stands and thrills for the entire family.  

On the Sunday, a huge birthday party will be held in honour of the Mini, complete with all the celebration that goes along with honouring an icon. The event will take on a different format for that day and will allow day-passes for visitors hoping to get in on the birthday action.    

Here’s a brief overview of the International Mini Meeting weekend’s general calendar: 

  • Thursday, 8 Aug: Gates Open 
  • Friday, 9 Aug: Meet Officially Starts - Welcome gathering in the evening and presentations from participating clubs 
  • Saturday, 10 Aug: The president’s meeting to decide the next club to host, and usually a themed party 
  • Sunday, 11 Aug: A cavalcade of various Mini models, and that BIG Mini Birthday Bash 
  • Monday, 12 Aug: The event closing and formal “key handover” to the next club to host 

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As a main sponsor for the event under our sister company moniker – British Motor Heritage – expect to see us out there in full support and taking in what promises to be a fantastic sunny weekend. If you have any questions for us or would like to reach out to us about our products or services, you can catch us at the International Mini Meeting 2019.  

Please feel free to come and say hello – and if you’d like to get a head start on getting your Mini ready for the event, contact us now to discuss restoration, accessories, parts, overhauls, or entire Mini body shells.

See you at Bristol IMM 2019. 

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