Business travellers know just how rugged and reliable the Mini is for long trips. But now the car is being put through its paces on an epic journey across Europe, Asia and Australasia to help mark the 40th anniversary of Lonely Planet guides.
The 10,000-mile road trip celebrates the seminal journey from London to Sydney made by the travel book series’ co-founders Tony and Maureen Wheeler, which also began in a classic Minivan. The 1972 expedition led to the publication of their first guidebook, Across Asia on the Cheap, in 1973.
The Wheelers paid just £60 for their ten-year-old Morris Mini Traveller, which they drove from London to Kabul amid a very different political situation in Afghanistan. It had a top speed of 70mph and with its timber option would have cost £552 new.
Things have changed a lot in motoring terms since then, as well as politically. The 2013 MINI Cooper D Clubman, which the Lonely Planet team are driving from London to Istanbul, has a top speed of 122mph, a 1.6 litre engine putting out 112bhp and an average fuel consumption of 72mpg.
The trip is being documented on the road using social media, blog entries, map updates, photos, videos and magazine features.
Lonely Planet Traveller editor Peter Grunert comments: “The world has changed immeasurably in the past 40 years, with borders opening up, transport links improving and new technology available. We are recreating the trail blazing spirit of Tony and Maureen’s first trip, using a similar MINI and route, but with a 21st century twist to reflect the world of travel today.”
The Mini Clubman Estate 1.6 Cooper 5dr is available on a business lease from UK Carline. Or for businesses wanting improved fuel consumption, the Mini Clubman Diesel Estate 1.6 Cooper D 5dr is also available on contract car hire from UK Carline.
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