A big Mini day out - thousands take to the road for Mini's 50th anniversary

Today, the 50th birthday of a Great British icon took - that of the Mini.

Over 2,500 Minis in a vast assortment of colours took to the streets of London today for the annual 56-mile-long London to Brighton run to celebrate the car's 50th anniversary.

The car even featured in the 1969 British movie "The Italian Job" starring Michael Caine.

There was even a record attempt, which took place at Crystal Palace Park in south London, famous for its life-size model dinosaurs, for the longest parade of Minis.

A big Mini day out - thousands take to the road for Mini's 50th anniversary

By Amy Oliver
17th May 2009
Daily Mail

Thousands of Mini enthusiasts took to the roads today to celebrate Mini's 50th anniversary.

More than 2,500 brightly coloured Minis made the pilgrimage to the coast in the London to Brighton run.

The annual run is now in its 46th year but this year was extra special for the organisers and participants who were celebrating 50 years since the first Mini rolled off the factory production line.

Owners proudly showed off their cars and, in what seemed like a history lesson of the classic car, made famous by 1969 film, The Italian Job, starring Michael Caine, all models from classics to variants to the new BMW Minis, were on display.

Mini view: Thousands of Minis took to the road to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Mini at the annual London to Brighton run (click picture to enlarge)

The troop of Minis that came in a spectrum of colours with many roofs displaying the Union Jack set off from Crystal Palace Park, London, in some classically British drizzle at 8.30am this morning.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary the first 51 Minis to leave London were representatives from each year of production from 1959 - 2009.

They left the park in production year order.

Mini crocodile: A line of Minis make their way through Crystal Palace Park

There was also a world-record attempt for the longest parade of Minis through Crystal Palace Park.

The annual run, organised by the London and Surrey Mini Owners Club, is one of the largest single-manufacturer car shows in the world and attracts around 2,500 Minis for the journey to Brighton's sea front.

Happy birthday: A participant in the annual pilgrimage zooms past in his classic Mini

Hang on lads, I've got a great idea: Michael Caine stars in the classic 1969 Mini movie, The Italian Job

On arrival the long line of cars took pride of place on Brighton's seafront where the festivities continued with demonstrations and the chance to show off the much-loved vehicles.

As Michael Caine's character, Charlie Crocker, would no doubt say - what a great idea.

L Gilbert
I like the little beasties, once you fix the electrical systems. Not sure what to think of the new ones with the Bimmer parts yet, but they seem pretty cool, too.