This is going to age some of you, but the very first Mini rolled off the production line no less than 50 years ago. How brilliant then was that first 'Morris Mini Minor' design with its east-west engine, mind-bending interior space, and cheeky pet-like styling?
The landmark Mini design - penned by the remarkable Alec Issigonis (who was also responsible for the Morris Minor and Morris 1100) - redefined small-car motoring and became an instant cult classic. It would also later become a track icon of the 60's as the giant-killing Mini Cooper S.
To celebrate the much-loved little brick's 50 Year Anniversary, the UK's Silverstone race track will be turned into the the largest ever MINI fan event on the weekend of 22-24 May 2009. The legendary race track is the third location for the unique MINI United Festival after Misano, Italy and Zandvoort, Holland.
Over ten thousand fans from all over the world are expected to descend on Silverstone for the event - many expected to travel in their own cars - to share the passion. There, they'll be greeted by a MINI-party of clubsport action, music and, you'd reckon, thousands of other tragics and their Minis.
Some of the highlights include appearances by Chris Thompson, former lead singer of Manfred Mann?s Earth Band, DJ Calvin Harris, Raygun, and, headlining the show, Paul Weller, former lead singer of The Jam and The Style Council (and himself a Mini tragic).
?As a lifelong MINI driver, I am really happy to be taking part in its 50th anniversary," Paul said.
For driving enthusiasts, they get a chance to drive a couple of laps on the track themselves or with a MINI Challenge driver. They also get the opportunity to watch the nose-to-tail action with the running of the third and fourth races of the MINI Challenge Clubsport series.
There will also be a Mini Seven Racing Club race with up to 40 classic Minis, stunt shows, Go-Kart races, driver training programmes and a huge Mini exhibition.
If you're heading over to the old dart and get misty every time you think about your first Mini (and what you did in it), you can register online at: www.MINIUnited.com/MINIunited2009.