aa9c6ff333188210VgnVCM100000e56411acRCRDapproved/thenational/Articles/Migration/2009-Q2Mini moments9a9c6ff333188210VgnVCM100000e56411ac____Mini momentsClassic moments and memories from Mini's growing heritage.<p>The Italian Job, the 1969 original and the 2003 remake of the heist caper flick, featured Minis prominently in car-chase scenes. Three Minis weave their way in and out of Italian traffic in the original, starring Michael Caine, and this scene is consistently rated as one of the best movie car chases of all time. In the re-make, the Minis are from the new, BMW-owned line and much of the action moves to LA, but it's still a great promotion for these nimble little cars.</p>
<p>The chronically awkward Mr Bean, one of British comic Rowan Atkinson's most popular characters, drives a lime green Mini featuring a removable steering wheel and a padlock on the driver's door for added security. In one episode, Bean managed to get dressed and clean his teeth while driving, and in almost every episode, he has an encounter with his automotive nemesis, the faceless driver of a three-wheeled Robin Reliant.</p>
<p>A startlingly psychedelic Mini featured at the London Design Museum in an exhibition that honoured graphic designer Alan Aldridge. Aldridge crammed all manner of hippie-era designs and logos onto the car but it wasn't the first time he gave a Mini a custom paint job. In 1965, he decorated a Mini Cooper, giving it opposing masculine and feminine sides.
Joanna Lumley might be best known these days for her portrayal of über-lush Patsy Stone in British comedy Absolutely Fabulous, but in the early days of her career in the 1960s, she accepted a Mini as payment from a photographer for a modelling job.</p>
<p>The year was 1977 and Twiggy's modelling career was in its twilight years, but she still had enough star power to get a gig endorsing a Mini. The ad campaign featured Twiggy (real name, Leslie Hornby) still looking glam beside a yellow Mini for the "Welcome back to a better Mini" campaign.
A Mini is currently touring Britain as part of the 10-month Lap of Honour campaign to raise funds for the British Forces Foundation. Several companies have lent their support to the campaign and a several public figures have autographed the car, including the former prime minister, Baroness Margaret Thatcher, the current PM, Gordon Brown, Sir Roger Moore, Joanna Lumley, Sir Elton John, Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart and David Beckham. The car will go under the hammer on July 3 at the Festival of Speed auction.</p>
<p>It's not just British celebrities who have had connections with Mini. Oscar-winning US actor Kevin Spacey paid $130,000 for the last classic Mini Cooper that was ever built.</p>