May 15, 2009 The Mini, perhaps the most iconic automobile in history, is about to turn 50 years of age. Runner-up in the Car of the Century competition, the Mini was catalysed by the fuel rationing resultant from the 1956 Suez Crisis. Its price and frugality at the pump made the BMC Mini a symbol of freedom for baby boomers and its status as an emblem of the swinging sixties was reinforced in 1966 when The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein, gave each of the Fab Four a Mini Cooper S as a gift. George Harrison had his Mini painted with psychedelic images, yantras and Sanskrit mantras and it subsequently starred in The Beatles’ film Magical Mystery Tour. BMW, which now owns both Mini and Rolls Royce, has come up with a fresh interpretation of the extravagant original Mini to coincide with the brand’s 50th birthday.
The new edition of the legendary George Harrison MINI is a one-off and has been designed according to the wishes of Olivia Harrison who will accept the vehicle at the MINI United event. MINI United – the world’s biggest fan event – will take place at Silverstone in the UK on 22 – 24 May 2009. The festival delivers three days of non-stop entertainment for the brand’s large fan community. MINI United is all about concerts, shows, car races etc. Olivia will accept the MINI on behalf of the Material World Charitable Foundation, a charity set up by George Harrison in 1973. The car will be auctioned in aid of the Foundation later in the year.
“George was a huge MINI fan and he would have enjoyed creating this new version. The fact that MINI’s anniversary celebrations will also benefit our Foundation has made it an enjoyable as well as meaningful collaboration.” says Olivia Harrison.