Mini United is the title of the festival that has just been held for the third year running at Silverstone in Northamptonshire. It turned out to be a mega birthday party for the ultra-compact vehicle celebrating its first half-century this year. Designed by Alec Issigonis, the Mini made its market debut in 1959 as an affordable car and went on to revolutionise urban traffic in the ensuing decades.

The guest list at Silverstone included the whole management team, from CEO to Head of Design, and rally legends Rauno Aaltonen and Paddy Hopkirk who both won Rally Monte Carlo in a Mini, as well as musician Paul Weller. The true stars, of course, were the 7,000 Minis in which the fans arrived at Silverstone. There were some splendid examples on show of flights of fancy and loving attention to detail.

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