11,063kms - 10 Countries, 3 Continents, 35 days … in a 50 year old Mini?
On May 22nd 2011, at noon, Nicky West and Rob Stacey will be waved off by celebrity chef, Jean Christophe Novelli, when they start an incredible journey to Asia Minor in a 50 year old Mini Minor.
With the aim of reaching the Great Pyramid of Giza, the couple's epic journey starts at Hatfield House, Herts, on May 22nd and will end at the same venue just 35 days later on June 26th.
Nicky and Rob are making the run to support the Willow Foundation charity which helps young people afflicted with terrible illnesses to live their dreams or to take a break from treatment to be with their loved ones. Nicky and Rob hope that their arduous journey, without a support crew, will raise £11,000 for the Willow foundation.
An eBay purchase, mysteriously the Cherry Red 1961 Mini had been off the road since 1967 although the only obvious fault with the engine was a leaking hose and crossed sparkplug wires. Although carefully prepared for the journey, the car is unrestored and original. However, this is an 850cc model, so that Pyramid is quite a goal!
In 2012, Veloce will be publishing the book 'Mini Minor to Asia Minor' covering the journey in detail and packed with photos. 40% of the royalties earned by the book will go to the Willow Foundation.
“It is going to be a really hard slog,” admitted Nicky. “The Mini has no air conditioning and we’ll spend over 10 hours in the car each day with temperatures around 40◦C, so we should certainly come back a bit thinner! The political situation in some of the countries we travel through is a slight concern at present but we have a number of alternative routes already planned should we need to make a diversion”.
“At the end of the day it should be a fantastic drive and it’s for a really great cause” Rob added.
We wish Nicky and Rob bon voyage!
Hatfield House, Hatfield Park, Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL9 5NQ
01707 287 010
The Willow Foundation is a national charity established in 1999 by Arsenal legend Bob Wilson and his wife Megs in memory of their daughter Anna. The charity assists some of the estimated 12,500 people in the UK, aged 16–40, who are diagnosed every year with a life-threatening illness.
"Nicky & Rob must be mad to do this but that's what makes it all the more challenging. Taking this on for the Willow Foundation means that every mile they travel they will be helping to transform the lives of 16 to 40 year olds living with life threatening conditions. Good luck and a huge thank you for supporting the Willow Foundation."
- Bob & Megs Wilson, co-founders, Willow Foundation
"I wish Nicky and Rob the very best for their adventure. I have more power in my big toe than they have in their Morris (Mini) Minor so I hope their trip will be blessed with patience.
I'm sure it will be fantastic fun! Good luck to you both."
- Vicki Butler-Henderson - Fifth Gear.
“Everyone at Hatfield House is thrilled that we are the best place to start if you want to drive to Asia Minor from England. They are driving in the best of causes and we all wish them the best of luck and a safe return.”
- Lord Salisbury, 7th Marquess – Hatfield House
“When Mini was launched in 1959, a new generation of drivers had their first chance to get mobile independently. Minis left the UK in swarms and travelled all over the world, powered by their already archaic 34bhp motors. Nicky and Rob know their Minis and a 1961 850 Deluxe is a clever choice for travelling to Asia-Minor and back. Something to be proud of ...”
- Monty Watkins, Editor - MiniWorld