Bingley Hall at Staffordshire County Showground was the place to be on 31st January for any Mini fan. The British Mini Club's annual Mini Fair brings together a huge range of parts specialists, owners clubs, show cars and an autojumble under one roof.
It's the ultimate place to go shopping for Mini bits and it's also become a traditional meet-up for thousands of enthusiasts from all over Europe.
Thanks to David Hollis of the British Mini Club, we were allocated a huge stand to put on a special display for our 50th anniversary season.
Gathering together cars in the midst of winter is no mean feat, especially when many are concentrating on race prep for the forthcoming season. Despite that, we were taken aback by the huge support and enthusiasm from club members, and had a full house of eight cars on the day. It was mega!
We literally filled the area with stunning race cars, the stand causing a real stir with show goers. Many visitors may not have seen a Se7en or Miglia in person before, and we overheard several hardcore concours entrants raving about the build quality and levels of prep.
In fact, the stand was so vibrant that we were mobbed with admirers throughout the day. The following pics were snapped when the crowds subsided some time later…
A highlight of the day was a visit from four Mini 7 members from the very early days of the club. We were joined by (from left to right) Graham Elwell, Alec Williams, Bob Fox and Mike Smith. Look out for an archive/interview series in Mini Magazine soon.
Here's Bob, Graham and Mike back in 1967! Alec was Bob's mechanic from back in the day, and all four have stayed in contact since the '60s. They were clearly impressed by the standard of modern day Se7ens and Migs.
We were joined by the Mini Se7ens of Ashley Davies, Leon Oli Window and Max Hunter.
Lewis Fox was also there with his eye-catching blue and day glow Se7en. He managed to get a pic with ’66 and ’67 champion Bob Fox (no relation!).
Amy, Charlotte and Leanne were also there on behalf of the Mini Girls.
And they managed to find time to strike a pose or two on the stand...
Max Hunter’s Mini Se7en looking sharp ahead of the 2016 season.
Leon Oli Window just about finished his car in time for the show…
…and it looked incredible with its fresh paint and contrasting graphics.
Charlie Budd really put in the hours with his polishing, aiming to be there at 7am to start the buffing. His 2015-spec car looked awesome as usual.
Kieren McDonald didn’t start quite so early with the cleaning, but still made the most of the day, handing out flyers and chatting to new followers.
Alan and Mike Jackson helped with a fantastic display of merchandise under the smart club marquee.
From up there in the top pic, it's Rohith de Silva's stunning invitation-class Miglia, with special 50th anniversary decals. See more here: http://mini7.co.uk/news.php?p=615
Another new build came from Endaf Owens - a real crowd pleaser. Endaf was on hand to promote the ‘win a Miglia race’ raffle with his latest project.
The interior is pretty exotic! Check out the floor-mounted pedal box and lever handbrake.
Even the internal gear lever set-up is a work of art.
In all, it was a brilliant start to the season and let’s hope we can keep the momentum going with a big turn-out for the Castle Combe meet on 28th March.
Huge thanks go to everyone who helped out and joined us on the day, especially those who went to great lengths to ensure their cars were on show.