In addition to top draw live entertainment provided by headliners Paul Weller and Calvin Harris, fans indulged in MINI Challenge racing, stunt driving, fascinating car displays and were treated to the unveiling of three new special edition models to mark the iconic brand's 50th birthday. The MINI 50 Camden, MINI 50 Mayfair and MINI John Cooper Works World Championship 50 editions made their public debuts at MINI United 2009.
Ten thousand classic and new MINIs assembled at the legendary British race circuit for the party. To mark the 50th anniversary, MINI took the wraps off a re-interpretation of a unique classic Mini owned by George Harrison. This one-off, presented to Olivia Harrison on Saturday night, was developed from a design brief produced by The Beatles star's widow. Olivia Harrison accepted the MINI on behalf of the Material World Charitable Foundation, a charity which George Harrison founded in 1973. The car will be auctioned this year to raise funds for the foundation.
There were many more unique models to get pulses racing among the fans. British fashion designer Paul Smith presented the model created by him in 1997, while designs by David Bowie, Kate Moss, Missoni and the acclaimed illustrator and graphic designer Alan Aldridge were also on display. Similar attention-grabbers were the original cars from "The Italian Job" and "Austin Powers" films.
The big news of course was the reveal of the three special edition 50th Anniversary Minis. The MINI 50 Mayfair and MINI 50 Camden editions will go into production in August 2009 for one year only. Both new editions are available in MINI Cooper, Cooper D and Cooper S Hatch guises. They feature the same chassis and suspension arrangements as the standard models, along with the choice of two petrol and one diesel engine.
The new MINI John Cooper Works World Championship 50 boasts a 1.6-litre, 211hp turbocharged John Cooper Works-tuned engine, beneath a body featuring numerous specification upgrades, both inside and out. It is finished in John Cooper's signature colour - Connaught Green - the flagship model is based on the Hatch version of the current MINI John Cooper Works. The car will be produced in a limited run of 250.