Petty rules and over-zealous officialdom - an epic stitch up
… French officials had decided the Mini’s headlights failed to comply with race regulations. It was a controversial decision that fellow drivers and rally fans find impossible to comprehend, even today. Although, given the prestige of the famous race, many believed that the powerful French motor industry lobby, fearful of what the Mini’s success might do to their own car sales, played a hand in the affair.
Winning was no fluke
In fact, the Mini Cooper story precedes this infamous incident. It was first entered into the legendary Monte Carlo Rally back in 1960 – a mere six months after the car started rolling off the production line. Although it was designed by Alec Issigonis as the ultimate people’s car, rally drivers soon became aware of the Mini’s amazing handling ability and quickly recognised its racing potential. The Cooper’s first Monte Carlo win came in 1964, superbly driven to victory by Paddy Hopkirk. Proving that the win was far from a fluke, Timo Mäkinen repeated the feat the following year – despite some appalling driving conditions in the snow and ice-bound Alps.
The Mini Triumphs
Determined to prove the authorities wrong after disqualification in 1966, all three drivers re-entered 1967 race – the British public urging the plucky Minis to victory. When Aaltonen’s Cooper crossed the finish line 12 seconds ahead of its closest rival, rally fans worldwide were jubilant. The Mini, against all odds, had once and for all proved its status as a bona fide rally car.
That same year, Corgi Toys did the victorious car proud by issuing it in its full 1967 Monte Carlo livery, complete with an impressive array of jewelled headlights and a detailed roof rack. It remains one of their most-iconic models of all time, and a most desirable one for collectors to this day.
And now, we are delighted to have re-created this fully authentic die-cast reissue completely faithfully to the 1967 model – of course at a fraction of the cost of an original! What a story, what a car, what a model!
Now it’s all yours, along with three extra FREE gifts, for less than a tenner!