Mass of Minis motor to Marseille

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A trio of 1964 Coopers was among 17 Minis to complete a 1400-mile epic to the South of France for the Mini Cooper Register's first Minis to Marseille touring event.

The Minis arrived in Marseille on Friday 5 October having set off on 29 September after a week of challenging motoring.

The historic destination had been chosen over Monte Carlo because "organisers decided to go somewhere different" and because of the historic Mediterranean seaport's own deep-rooted links with motor sport, not least as the starting point for the Coupé des Alpes.

The route began in Vienne, from the premises Automobiles BMC, and took cars and crews via St Nectaire, the Pas de Peyrol, Aurillac and across the stunning Millau viaduct.

Avignon was the base for two days of motoring including a 232-mile circular tour.

The closing stages offers a run up the fantastic 1912m Mont Ventoux hill climb and then a scenic descent into the Camargue and a ferry crossing of the River Rhone.

Event co-organiser Robert Clayson said: "France offers a real contrast to motoring in modern Britain with much more space and a lot less traffic on the roads, so it gave us all a chance to sample driving as it used to be.  It's a great credit to the cars' owners and the quality and strength of the cars themselves that they all ran so well."

Next year the Mini Cooper Register will be running a touring event in Ireland from 19-26 September.

In September 2014 it will mark the 50th anniversary of Paddy Hopkirk's victory on the Monte Carlo Rally with a run through France to Monaco, using some of the roads that featured in the 1964 rally.

Keep an eye on the club's website for more details.

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