The original Mini was built at the plant from 1959 to 1969 but it’s the inaugural test drive that offers the main reason for this gathering. On the 26th August 1959, a production engineer from the Cowley Factory drove a prototype Mini during a rainstorm to the Headington Roundabout (just 2 miles away) and back again. This was to show that the standard level of weatherproofing sealing on the prototype was not up to scratch.
The 60 Minis taking part on the run were not specifically chosen for their age or rarity. This, therefore, allows everything from a mint 1959 ex-press car to a tatty 90’s Cooper to brand new BMW Minis to be eligible for the cavalcade – reflecting on the diverse nature of Mini brand.