Mini leads 60s line-up at classic

Toby HusseyAlbany Advertiser
Blake Watson with his 1968 Mini Cooper.
Camera IconBlake Watson with his 1968 Mini Cooper. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

It was named European car of the 20th century, voted England’s favourite car and one magazine even called it the greatest car of all time — and up to 40 of them will take centre stage at the Albany Classic.

With an owner list including Steve McQueen, Enzo Ferrari and Mr Bean, the nimble Mini will play a starring role at Albany’s historic Around the Houses race to celebrate the model’s 60th anniversary.

Albany driver Blake Watson, 22, will drive his bright pink 1968 Mini at this year’s event.

“I reckon I could be doing 130km/h-140km/h,” he said.

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“It’s a street circuit here, (so) it’s very handy, rather than trying to get a big car around.”

A regular at the Albany speedway circuit, Mr Watson has raced the Mini in the Northam Motorsport Festival and at Collie Motorplex.

Though originally designed as an affordable and economic transporter, the Mini quickly developed an unexpected reputation on the racetrack.

It won the Monte Carlo Rally three times in the 1960s.

This year’s classic also marks 60th and 50th anniversaries for the Jaguar Mk2 and Datsun 240Z.

Event organiser Vicki Clark said the three models would be the heart of an event embracing 1960s motoring.

Firsts for 2019 will also include live broadcasting from around the track, a pedestrian bridge over York Street and a historic car parade.

The classic will be held on June 1 and 2.

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