It was in 1959 that the Mini broke out onto the scene as a classless car, quickly took the world by storm and soon became a motoring icon admired by one generation after the next. Nowhere is the close bond between the classic Mini and its followers more apparent than at the International Mini Meeting (IMM).
The 36th edition of this traditional event is about to get under way, and still the classic Mini continues to transcend boundaries: this year marks the first time that the IMM is being held in Hungary. From 24 – 28 May 2012, fans of this compact British classic will descend on the resort of Balatonfüred on the northern shore of Lake Balaton.
The event’s hosts from MINI Club Hungary have put together a wide-ranging programme packed with thoughtful details, all organised with help and support from various quarters, including the MINI Clubs International Office. Two floating pedal-powered MINIs will be launched out onto Lake Balaton, for instance, while MINI wicker beach chairs will invite visitors to soak up the sun, and professionally restored classic Minis from the BMW Group Classic collection will be on show on the lakeshore alongside the brand’s current models.
Fans and drivers of today’s MINI have been equally welcome at the IMM events for years now.
The inaugural IMM took place in 1978 and has since evolved into the world’s largest gathering of classic Mini owners and friends. Some 4,000 of the brand’s fans, including representatives from over 200 MINI Clubs in countless countries, have registered for the IMM 2012. Enthusiasts from Portugal, Finland and Ireland are planning to drive there in their own Mini, and registrations have even been received from as far afield as Seattle in the US. For the day when everyone arrives, MINI Club Hungary has prepared a highly entertaining rally where the objective is not to be the fastest but to master the final stage before the journey’s end along a particularly picturesque stretch of road.
Bungalows and caravans provide accommodation for anyone attending the IMM, while the extensive campsite in Balatonfüred offers enough room for visitors to park their classic Mini and pitch their tent right next to it. The campsite grounds, furthermore, are the venue for numerous spectacular activities revolving around the classic Mini where the name of the game is sporting competition and having fun together. Plans include setting up a parts and accessories market, staging slalom races in the classic Mini, as well as a competition for the most stunning specimens from all model series, the classic Mini that is truest to the original, the oldest driver and the oldest car. Wedding bells will also be ringing amid the ranks of MINI enthusiasts when two members of the host MINI Club take their vows at the event arena before starting their new life together in true style at the wheel of a classic Mini – followed by a celebratory convoy of some 200 further examples of this British classic, whose drivers have registered in advance for the occasion.