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Classic road-trip: Classic car.

The sixth “Hamburg-Berlin Classic” starts on 19 September 2013 from Berlin’s Olympic Stadium. BMW Group Classic dispatches three classic British cars on the vintage and classic car rally.

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Munich / Berlin. Joining the sixth “Hamburg-Berlin Classic” 2013 rally for vintage and classic cars organised by “Auto Bild Klassik” magazine, will be three of BMW Group Classic’s more unusual representatives from the small British car collection: a 1981 Mini Clubman Estate, a Riley Elf, first registered in 1969, and a Mini Wildgoose “Brent” Super V. E. B., one of the few surviving Mini-based campers, developed in the 1960’s.

The “Hamburg-Berlin Classic” will be held from 19 to 21 September 2013 under a name that will be familiar in vintage car circles, even though this time the rally is taking an east-west route. This is the first time that the Olympic Stadium in Berlin will be the starting point for the three classic Minis and around 180 other vehicles from almost 100 years of automotive history. Most of the route covers quiet secondary roads through Mecklenburg-Pomerania. The Fleesensee region, Müritz National Park, the state capital Schwerin, the Lauenburg lakes and the banks of the Elbe provide the backdrop for this veteran rally. During the event, the competitors will be tested in special tasks to be completed against the clock. At the closing event in the Fish Auction Hall at Hamburg Harbour the winners in all categories will be named, including the team with the most original car and the best-dressed competitors.

Without doubt, the visual highlights in the field include the three classic Minis hoping to complete the trip from the banks of the Spree to the waters of the Elbe. The trio nominated for the “Hamburg-Berlin Classic” demonstrate only a fraction of the various incarnations of the classic Mini during its long and varied life. The Mini Clubman Estate was built between 1969 and 1981 as an estate version of the new model variant, which was longer than the original by 11 centimetres and which had a different front section. One of the last of this type of vehicle ever produced is taking part in the “Hamburg-Berlin Classic”, featuring silver paintwork and a 1.0 litre four-cylinder engine with 29 kW/39 HP.

The Riley Elf is unmistakably a Mini, while also having a character all of its own. This model was introduced in 1961 as a more elite version of the classic Mini and extended the range of the Riley marque, which also belonged to the British Motor Corporation (BMC). The Elf was immediately recognisable thanks to its tall radiator grille, extended luggage compartment and swallow-tail wings on the back. The participating car, customised for rallying, dates from 1969, the last year of production and features a splendid two-tone colour scheme in Damascus Red/Whitehall Beige, the advanced hydro-elastic suspension system and a 28 kW/38 HP four-cylinder engine.

The British trio is completed by the Mini Wildgoose, a particularly radical example of how much the revolutionary small car inspired the ingenuity of fans and modifiers right from the earliest days.  Using the classic Mini van as a basis, British coachbuilders in the 1960s set about creating a camper van for adventurers who wanted to push to the limits of the principle of the creative use of space that characterised Mini. Wildgoose Ltd. in Worthing produced about 60 of the small camper between 1963 and 1968, only about 10 of which are estimated still to survive today. One of these is the turquoise and ivory vehicle with serial number 18, produced in 1965 as the top-of-the-range Mini Wildgoose “Brent” Super V. E. B., will take to the road this weekend.

The Mini Wildgoose has room for four people to travel and sleep and, among other features, has a two-ring gas hob, a sink and an electrically powered telescopic roof that offers a surprising amount of headroom in the living quarters. A modest tempo is guaranteed by the 850 cc four-cylinder engine with 25 kW/34 HP, enabling this bird to reach maximum speeds of 116 km/h. However, the “Hamburg-Berlin Classic” has never been about speed, and stopping for tea is almost mandatory.

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