Austin Mini 850, RAF Station Commander VA01319 (Merchandise)

RAF stations are often very large plots of land, and to get around the Station Commander used a Mini, which was ideal for the role being nippy, reliable, easy to park and economical to both buy and run.

It was distinguishable by the blue and red flag on the bonnet as other black Minis were used for general transport roles around RAF facilities.

Many racetracks, most noticeably Silverstone and Goodwood, originated as airfield perimeter tracks and it wasn't unusual for even quite senior officers to use these Minis to perform a quick 'handling test' on the perimeter track as it was a more carefree era than today's health and safety dominated world.

Minis were bought in large numbers by the RAF and were used for both general Mechanical Transport duties and VIP transport, being cheaper and more suitable for this role than Land-Rovers which were used for heavy loads, towing or operating off road.

Executive officers would often have a Mini as a daily duty vehicle that the MT section would pick up or drop off each weekend.

BMC worked closely with government organisations, the military, the police and others, and had liaison engineers who dealt with the problems found in service and fed the information back to improve the car.

These Minis were often involved in squadron high-jinks, with one apparently finding its way on to the roof of a hanger after a squadron function.

The Station Commander utilised a Mini to go around because RAF stations are frequently extremely big pieces of land. The Mini was perfect for the job because it was quick, dependable, simple to park, and reasonably priced to both buy and operate.

Other black Minis were employed for general transportation duties throughout RAF sites, but this one could be identified by the blue and red flag on the bonnet.

Since it was a more carefree time than today's health and safety-driven society, it wasn't uncommon for even fairly senior officers to utilise these Minis to perform a quick "handling test" on the perimeter track at many racetracks, most notably Silverstone and Goodwood.

Because they were less expensive and better suited for this duty than Land-Rovers, which were utilised for big cargo, towing, or off-road driving, Minis were purchased in significant numbers by the RAF and used for both ordinary Mechanical Travel operations and VIP transport.

The MT section would pick up and drop off executive officers' daily duty vehicles every weekend, which were frequently Minis.

BMC had liaison engineers that handled the issues encountered in service and sent the knowledge back to the company to enhance the vehicle. BMC also closely collaborated with government organisations, the military, the police, and others.

These Minis were frequently used in squadron antics, with one supposedly making its way to a hanger's roof following a squadron event.

Engine: 848cc 4IL OHV; Power: 34bhp@5500rpm; Torque: 44lb.ft@2900rpm; 0-50mph: 27.1 seconds; Maximum speed: 72mph; Unladen weight: 1380lbs.
SKU: 825282-product
Release Date: 20/10/22