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Rally legend and classic small car celebrated at British Motor Museum at Gaydon





CELEBRATING 60 years of the Hillman Imp and the life of rallying legend Paddy Hopkirk was the theme of this year’s Historic Rally Car Register (HRCR) Open Day at the British Motor Museum on Saturday.

This 1969 Austin Maxi 1500 was driven by Bron Burrell in the 1970 London to Mexico Rally and was displayed at the British Motor Museum at Gaydon last Saturday. Photo: Mark Williamson
This 1969 Austin Maxi 1500 was driven by Bron Burrell in the 1970 London to Mexico Rally and was displayed at the British Motor Museum at Gaydon last Saturday. Photo: Mark Williamson

The event in Gaydon launched the coming year’s full programme of rally championships and encouraged visitors to explore three distinct halls: speed, stage, and road and tour.

Each area gave event organisers and equipment suppliers an opportunity to guide petrol heads to the HRCR championship that’s right for them.

This Ford Capri Mk1 2.8V6 which competed in the 1970 London to Mexico Rally was displayed by Michael Ryman at the Historic Rally Car Register Open Day at the British Motor Museum at Gaydon last Saturday. Photo: Mark Williamson. (61881384)
This Ford Capri Mk1 2.8V6 which competed in the 1970 London to Mexico Rally was displayed by Michael Ryman at the Historic Rally Car Register Open Day at the British Motor Museum at Gaydon last Saturday. Photo: Mark Williamson. (61881384)

There was also a selection of classic rally cars on show, including a replica of a 1963 Mini Cooper, pictured left, which was driven by Paddy in his first Monte Carlo rally for the British Motor Corporation.

Paddy won the Monte Carlo rally in a Mini a year later.

There was a line up of Austin Mini's and Hillman Imps at the Historic Rally Car Register Open Day at the British Motor Museum at Gaydon last Saturday. Photo: Mark Williamson. (61881382)
There was a line up of Austin Mini's and Hillman Imps at the Historic Rally Car Register Open Day at the British Motor Museum at Gaydon last Saturday. Photo: Mark Williamson. (61881382)

In total, he won 13 international rallies during his career and was appointed an MBE in 2016.

He died on 21st July 2022, aged 89.

A replica of legendary rally driver Paddy Hopkirk's 1963 Mini Cooper was displayed at Historic Rally Car Register Open Day at the British Motor Museum at Gaydon, pictured with Paul Loveridge, chairman, Mike Harrison, secretary, and Chris Phillips, Mini Sport Cup Championship secretary. Photo: Mark Williamson. (61881381)
A replica of legendary rally driver Paddy Hopkirk's 1963 Mini Cooper was displayed at Historic Rally Car Register Open Day at the British Motor Museum at Gaydon, pictured with Paul Loveridge, chairman, Mike Harrison, secretary, and Chris Phillips, Mini Sport Cup Championship secretary. Photo: Mark Williamson. (61881381)


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