British car

Dan and Heather Coyle of Indianapolis, right, display their 1959 MGA during the 23rd annual Champagne British Car Festival on June 1, 2014, at the David Davis Mansion State Historic Site in Bloomington. 

BLOOMINGTON – The Mini — old and new — will get the spotlight June 3 during the 27th Champagne British Car Festival on the grounds of the David Davis Mansion State Historic Site in Bloomington.

The grounds will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for guests to tour about 150 cars that include models from MG, Triumph, Jaguar, Lotus, Bentley and others. Redbird Catering will offer both English and American food for breakfast and lunch.

The original Mini was marketed under the names of the Austin Seven and the Morris Mini-Minor. Although small and slow (the top speed was only 72 mph), they could carry four adults in reasonable and very economical comfort. Production began in August 1959 and ended in October 2000, after nearly 5.4 million had been sold.

In 2000, BMW bought the Mini name and produced the first of the modern Minis in 2002. Larger and quicker than the original, it was an immediate sales success, propelling BMW to a series of record-breaking years.

Multiple examples of both the old and the new Minis will be on display at the festival.

The beneficiary of a cash donation from this year’s event will be the Community Cancer Center, 407 E. Vernon Ave., Normal. The center will have an informational tent on the grounds.

The Davis Mansion, 1000 Monroe Drive, was built in 1872 by Davis, a political ally of Abraham Lincoln and a U.S. Supreme Court justice. All entrance donations benefit the David Davis Mansion Foundation.

The site is operated by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The Davis Mansion Foundation is a not-for-profit organization supporting education, preservation and acquisition programs for the David Davis Mansion. 

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