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.
The MINI Paddy Hopkirk Edition is available in selected automobile markets from October 2020 as the MINI Cooper S 3-door, the MINI Cooper S 5-door and the MINI John Cooper Works. Like the famous starting number and the powerful engine, the body finish in Chili Red and the white roof of the edition model are inspired by the historical 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 in a market-specific manner with 17-inch John Cooper Works light-alloy wheels in Track Spoke Black design or 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 the 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.