Paddy Hopkirk R.I.P.

Started by Scargo, July 22, 2022, 01:02:37 PM

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Read that earlier. 89 years old I think I read.


Great guy!  When I was living in England, we (the Mini Cooper Register) had a trip to the museum at Gaydon.  As part of that event, Paddy was giving rides in the latest Monte Carlo Historic rallye Recca car to 3 raffle winners.  Well, I got one of the winning tickets and we took a couple of laps on their test track.  It was a calm, slow speed drive, but it was me in the Mini with Paddy Hopkirk!  It was the highlight of my Mini ownership!  My friend videoed me getting in the car and meeting Paddy then filmed us driving off.  I will get a copy of that from him the next time I'm in England.



What I always thought was neat was the guy seemed to be very involved in the Mini scene even in his advanced age.  He must have really enjoyed it and appreciated the fanfare.  Never had the chance to meet him but he came across as a very nice guy in print interviews and videos.  RIP!


To his discredit, he (and John Cooper) did embrace the "fatty" MINI.


Hmmm...   So, since both Paddy Hopkirk and John Cooper, two of the three biggest names in the long history of the classic Mini, had no issues with recognizing and embracing the new MINI, it makes me kinda wonder if it's really worth continuing to carry on a grudge against the MINI now that it's been around for more than 20 years.  I don't get it.  Is it an effort to try to preserve the sanctity – if something like that could really exist for a mass-produced industrial product - of the original Mini?  I know it's possible to like the original car, as well as like the modern one too.
1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
1992 Toyota LiteAce (JDM)
1997 Jeep Wrangler Sahara


I never understood the "hate" for the new MINI, but maybe I'm prejudiced since I own some of each (modern and classic) and there are things I really like about each.

I would love to have a car that's classic Mini sized but has the power, performance, ride quality reliability, fuel milage, good seats, cruise control, A/C and on and on of the newer modern MINI cars.....but that ain't happenin.....

Yes they are bigger, but they're also orders of magnitude safer......

But hating on them is just a waste of time IMHO, if you don't like them don't buy one. But there's no more reason to hate or name call on them than a Chevy or Mercedes or anything.

I also find that most of the people who belly ache about the new MINI have never driven one, because if they had it would be hard to have that negativity.
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad


The MINI is an honest modern version of the classic mini and it was much better than the original mini replacement, which was the Metro! I don't think the Metro ever made it to the US, but it was effectively a rebodied mini, as the basic architecture was retained and was TERRIBLE!  It kept the bad bits of the Mini and threw away the good bits!

If you look at other cars models that have been through multiple model evolutions like the VW Golf (on its 8th version), Honda Civic (on its 11th version) - you can see how they have and the car market in general has evolved and the Mini would probably have evolved to where it is today.  Cars have gotten much larger over the last 50 years, due to both market pressures and the improvement in safety standards. 

In my opinion, the MINI brand did a great job of respecting the history and tradition of the Mini whilst modernizing it and making it mass market again rather than an interesting classic.  They have also gone a great job of evolving from a single model to a portfolio of models so that people who like the brand can grow within it as they go through different life events e.g. have a family.

To disparage two people that did so much for the classic mini because they embraced the future of the marque is unbefitting their legacies.


Agree on all points....

I've had a 2003 JCW and now a 2009 Clubman S, both were excellent cars - I'll probably keep the 09 (Ordered from new)'s just that good.
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad


I have contemplated and almost bought a "new" MINI several different times. Closest I got to actually pulling the trigger was on a black 2012 (I think) JCW a few years back. I still kind of regret not buying that one when I had the chance.


We have 3 MIni's in all...2 BINIs and one classic Mini.

The 2 BINIs are the modern interpretation for sure and w/o BMW there would be no MINI to carry along the legacy.

For that I am grateful.

I do not however "confuse" the 2.  They share no parts and were owned/developed by different people and companies.

Much like a 1946 Indian motorcycle and a 2022 Indian.  No parts shared.  Different owners.  Looks similar.

My modern interpretations are not without fault, but are probably more reliable than my 1987 Austin Mini (RHD) from Wales.
( I have 250,000kms on my 09 and wife has nearly that on her 2012)

I still think the classic 1987 has more character, yet even the modern ones gets looks and smiles from time to time.
Mike in NB

30 minutes in a Mini is more therapeutic than 3 sessions at the shrink.


I'm surprised how often non-MINI/Mini people get them confused, as if the one begat the other.

In a way it did, in that Rover had developed the new car pretty thoroughly before BMW bought them out.
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad