When we think of MINI today, motorsports are probably not the first things that come to mind. Yet, in 1962, MINI won the international Tulip Rally in the Netherlands.
Who was behind the wheel of the Morris MINI Cooper? None other than Pat Moss, the first driver to give MINI its first international win in a racing event. She also just so happens to be a woman. She was also pregnant at the time, unbeknownst to herself, which is mind-boggling.
Moss also had Ann Wisdom (later Ann Riley) with her as the navigator, and together they stormed Noordwijk, west of the Netherlands, through to the French Riviera and back.
Nearly 60 years later, the iconic brand has introduced a limited edition model to honor Moss' achievement. Aptly named the 2023 MINI Cooper Pat Moss Edition, the model will come in Cooper S hardtop trim in two-door and four-door configurations. A John Cooper Works hardtop variant will also be available. There will only be 800 models available globally in six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic transmission versions.
The design of the vehicle itself pays homage to MINI's racing heritage and the careers of Moss and Riley. A tulip design with Moss' name is visible on the C-pillars and the scuttle panels to symbolize the racer's historic win. The wheel hub covers also feature a tulip graphic and are exclusive to the limited-edition model.
On top of that, the front side panels show the complete route of the Tulip Rally's 2,500-kilometer competition distance. The number 104, which Moss and Wisdom used, round out the package on the side panels and the aluminum door sill trims. The front gets unique design touches as well, with the hood having a horizontal white stripe and below it a replica of Moss' signature.
The tributes don't stop inside the vehicle. Moss' signature also features in the cabin, along with sprinkles of tulip graphics and M and W monographs. MINI will also create multi-color fading roof designs, each of which will differ slightly to make each example one-of-a-kind.
Apart from winning the Tulip Rally, Moss went on to be quite a successful racer, having become one of the winningest female rally drivers of all time. She won three international rallies and seven podium finishes in the span of her storied career. Of course, it's worth mentioning that her older brother is famed Formula 1 driver Stirling Moss.
It's still unclear whether MINI Philippines plans on bringing over some of the Pat Moss Edition Coopers out here. If they do, we'll be sure to let you know.
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