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The celebrations for MINI’s 60th anniversary are kicking off in earnest.

Events are planned throughout the summer to mark the creation of one of the 20th century’s more remarkable motoring arrivals.

But there is one in particular – at Mondello Park on August 17/18 – that looks like being well worth putting into your summer ‘to do’ diary.

You can be part of the fun that weekend when MINI owners from around Ireland and the UK gather for the Mondello Historic Festival.

There will be classic MINI-race and demonstration laps and special guests from the brand’s now lengthy and illustrious history.

As well as all the car stuff, you can even dress up in the style of the era.

It will also be interesting to see how the car has grown from Mini to MINI and from a one-model lineup to four as the cars are displayed alongside each other.

The brand is marking the year with a limited-edition MINI Cooper S 3dr 60 Years Edition. This has automatic transmission only.

There are only 500 models being made.

Cars for the Irish market will cost from €40,370.

The special version has a new Racing Green paint finish, a black contrast roof, special 17ins alloys and a heavily revised interior.

With combined emissions of 129g/km to 127g/km, road tax will come to €270.

Given MINI’s spritely nature, you’d expect a nippy drive; this one shouldn’t disappoint as it has a 0-100kmh acceleration time of 6.7 seconds.

But back to this week and the summer celebrations kicking on in earnest. . . as you read this I hope to have completed a MINI drive from the famous Oxford plant to Liverpool to mark the special occasion of the little car’s birth year.

I’ll report on the mix of old, new and future MINIs in full next week.

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