MINI Paddy Hopkirk Edition Celebrates Historic Rally Victory

The David vs Goliath story that saw the MINI become a rally legend is now being used to sell new MINIs today. 

MINI has announced a new special edition in an effort to shift more new hatchbacks. This time, the limited run models will be based off Mini’s Monte Carlo Rally success way back in 1964. 

Some 56 years ago, with the starting number 37 on their original Mini Cooper S, 30-year-old Northern Irish rally driver Patrick “Paddy” Hopkirk and his co-driver Henry Liddon managed to clinch the first of three overall victories at the legendary Monte Carlo Rally. Beating out faster and more powerful cars, and cementing the Mini’s legacy as a rallying David that handily defeated the favoured Goliaths of the time. 

Thus as a tribute to one of Mini’s greatest motorsports success, the MINI Paddy Hopkirk Edition has been created to commemorate 56 years since Mini first won the iconic Monte Carlo Rally. 

Available as both 3 door and 5 door variants, as well as on the MINI John Cooper Works, this limited run of MINIs features numerous hallmarks of the rally-winning MINI. Most notable of which is the single white bonnet stripe on the driver’s side bearing Hopkirk’s signature. The Hopkirk signature is also to be found on the tailgate of the MINI. 

The iconic start number ’37’ also pops up a lot on this limited run MINI. Not only is it found on the side scuttle, but also features prominently as a stylised vinyl sticker on both doors. On the topic of stickers, special 3D effects graphic has been put to use on the bonnet strip to spell out the iconic number plate of the 1964 Monte Carlo winning car ’33 EJB’. 

Another stand out of this Paddy Hopkirk edition would be the liberal use of black trim throughout the exterior. These include the front grille, hood scoop, door handles, fuel filler cap and the MINI emblems. Even the wheels, of which there are two choice available, are only available in dark colours. 

One neat thing available as an option on the MINI Paddy Hopkirk edition is probably the auxiliary headlights, in piano black of course. These additional fog lights are one of the few features that gives the current MINI the look of the original 1964 rally winning car. 

Opening the door of this commemorative MINI, exclusive LED backlit kick plates with the inscription ‘Paddy Hopkirk Monte Carlo’ are visible. As for the rest of the interior though, it is pretty standard MINI fare. Although it is worth mentioning that this special edition MINI does come as standard with the MINI Excitement Package and Comfort Access optional extras. 

This limited edition MINI will only be available in certain markets, and no word yet on whether any of these will come to Malaysia. To those however who already have MINIs and want to dress it up as Paddy Hopkirk editions, MINI will happily sell you most of these parts as optional extras. 

PRESS RELEASE: 56 years have passed, but memories of the great triumph achieved by the small car with the starting number 37 have hardly faded. In 1964, the classic Mini Cooper S clinched the first of three overall victories at the legendary Monte Carlo Rally. At the wheel: the then 30-year-old Northern Irish rally driver Patrick “Paddy” Hopkirk. In his honour, MINI now presents an edition model with exclusive design and equipment features to mark one of the most spectacular achievements in the history of international motor racing. One unmistakable reminder of Hopkirk’s coup in the classic Mini is the winning car’s start number 37, which is featured in stylised form on the driver and passenger doors of the edition model.

Hopkirk’s victorious run in the Mini Cooper S was frenetically celebrated by spectators on site and motor racing fans in the UK. Driving the small British car with his English co-pilot Henry Liddon, Hopkirk overcame the odds against competitors with significantly greater engine power. The handicap formula in force at the time meant that differences in weight and output within the starting field were compensated to a certain extent. But the crucial factors in the challenging chase over country roads and mountain passes, through ice snow, round tight corners and down steep slopes were the agility and reliability of the Mini Cooper S and Hopkirk’s driving skills.

The surprise win in Monte Carlo made Paddy Hopkirk the UK’s most famous rally driver overnight. At the same time, the classic Mini advanced from outsider and crowd pleaser to being a motor racing legend. This status was underpinned in the years that followed when the Mini Cooper S dominated the Monte Carlo Rally. Hopkirk’s Finnish team mates Timo Mäkinen and Rauno Aaltonen added two more outright victories to the title collection in 1965 and 1967.

The winning streak at the Monte Carlo Rally continues to inspire MINI fans all over the world to this day. With the MINI Paddy Hopkirk Edition, they now have the opportunity to express their passion for racing in a particularly authentic way. The edition model combines its exterior paintwork in the style of the historic rally winner with 17-inch John Cooper Works light-alloy wheels in Track Spoke Black design, 18-inch John Cooper Works light-alloy forged wheels in Cross Spoke Jet Black matt design and numerous other accentuations in dark colours.

The frame and horizontal brace of the radiator grille are finished in high-gloss black, as are the inserts for the lower air intakes, the opening in the bonnet, the door handles, the fuel filler flap, the tailgate handle, the MINI logos at the front and rear as well as the surrounds for the headlights and rear lights.

The start number 37 also appears on the side indicator elements known as side scuttles. Other unmistakable features on the exterior are the LED headlights and rear lights in Union Jack design, stickers with the inscription “Paddy Hopkirk Monte Carlo” and a single white bonnet stripe on the driver’s side, which like the tailgate of the edition model bears the signature of the 1964 “Monte” winner. In addition, the famous number and letter combination 33 EJB of the number plate of the 1964 Monte Carlo winning car is shown on the bonnet strip using 3D effect graphics.

Hopkirk’s signature also appears on the decorative trim strip on the passenger side, which forms part of the Piano Black high-gloss interior surfaces. Another exclusive design feature is the MINI LED entry sills bearing the name “Paddy Hopkirk”. The MINI Excitement Package and Comfort Access are also included in the MINI Paddy Hopkirk Edition. A market-specific configuration also includes auxiliary headlights in Piano Black, a key cap with the start number 37 and the Waistline Finisher in Piano Black for the trim strips between the body and the greenhouse. In addition, the edition model can be tailored to the driver’s personal style so as to create an entirely unique specimen. To optimise driving pleasure, comfort and individual style, almost all items are available from the range of optional extras for the MINI 3-door and MINI 5-door.

The MINI Paddy Hopkirk Edition is available in selected automobile markets from October 2020 as the MINI Cooper S 3-door (combined fuel consumption: 6.4 – 6.1 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 147 – 139 g/km), the MINI Cooper S 5 door (combined fuel consumption: 6.5 – 6.2 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 141 g/km) and the MINI John Cooper Works (combined fuel consumption : 7.1 – 6.9 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 162 – 157 g/km).

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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