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Mini Goes to War

Mini RAF Livery 19822012 sees the 30th anniversary of the war for the Falkland Islands and many television programmes are analysing what happened in that period. One of the most fascinating was shown as a Channel 4 documentary and treated with great respect despite the Monty Pythonesque way in which success was achieved. Channel 4's programme entitled the Falklands' Most Daring Raid tells the story of the re-assembling of an all-but-obsolete Vulcan Bomber and how the pilots had to be re-trained in the use of using none-nuclear bombs which need to be dropped with greater precision - what has this to do with a Mini - well I'll let the pictures tell their own story!


Mini and RAF Vulcan

Maybe Mini is trying to hitch a lift?

From the Channel 4 web-site:

On 30 April 1982, the RAF launched a secret mission: to fly a Vulcan bomber to the Falkland Islands and bomb Port Stanley's runway, putting it out of action for Argentine fighter jets. The safety of the British Task Force depended on its success.

However, the RAF could only get a single plane - a crumbling, Cold War-era Vulcan - 8000 miles south to the Falklands, because just one bomber needed an aerial fleet of 13 Victor tanker planes to refuel it throughout the 16-hour round-trip. At the time it was the longest-range bombing mission in history.

From start to finish, the seemingly impossible mission was a comedy of errors, held together by pluck and ingenuity.

On the brink of being scrapped, only three of the ageing nuclear bombers could be fitted out for war, one to fly the mission and two in reserve. Crucial spare parts were scavenged from museums and scrap yards - one vital component had been serving as an ashtray in the Officers' Mess.

In just three weeks, the Vulcan crews had to learn air-to-air refuelling, which they hadn't done for 20 years, and conventional bombing, which they hadn't done for 10 years either.

The RAF scoured the country for Second World War iron bombs, and complex refuelling calculations were done the night before on a £5 pocket calculator.

With a plan stretched to the limit and the RAF's hopes riding on just one Vulcan, the mission was flown on a knife-edge: fraught with mechanical failures, unreliable navigation, electrical storms and lack of fuel.

Of the 21 bombs the Vulcan dropped, only one found its target. But it was enough to change the outcome of the war.

Astonishingly, this great feat has been down played into near obscurity by history, but this documentary brings it back to life, providing a thrilling and uncharacteristically upbeat account from the Falklands War: the Dambusters for the 1980s generation.

Mini - serving with the (Royal &) Automobile Associations

The BBC have stated under an image of the AA Mini Van "That This bright yellow AA minivan will have come to the rescue of hundreds of stranded motorists. It is equipped with an old fashioned valve radio. Motorists would have used the AA boxes at the roadside to call for assistance. There's no synchromesh on first gear and the starter button on floor shows the different advances in driving."

Dependable Duo promoting the work of the AA

Dependable in Service Austin Mini Van and Pick-Up

Covers of brochures extolling the services offered and virtues of the Automobile Association in the 1960s - images sourced from Pinterest (Top) & ebay (Bottom) respectively

RAC Morris Van Brochure

The Morris variation of the van extols the virtues and services of the Royal Automobile Services in the 1960s - image sourced from ebay

1960s AA Rescue Van at Car Rally

"By 1965 these were our (AA) standard issue Patrol vehicles - They spelt the end for our motorcycle combinations and were in service until the early 1970s" - as commented on by the Automobile Association's Flickr account. Exhibited at the Festival of Speed 2014, Goodwood, Chichester - West Sussex, June 2014 image courtesy of Peter Bovyn fotografie

RAC Van on Show

The RAC added 'Radio Rescue' as early as 1960 to their promotional decor - this image courtesy of Peter Barker via Flickr

& The Toy Models & Golly came too!!

An RAC Golly Badge

I certainly wasn't expecting to find on of these! Thanks to for the image

Dinky version of the AA Van

The Dinky version of the AA Van

Dinky version of the RAC van

The Dinky version of the RAC Van

Die Cast version of AA Van

The Die Cast version of the AA Van

Corgi RAC Van Model

The 'Corgi' version of the RAC Van

Corgi AA Van and packaging

The 'Corgi Classic' version of the AA Van - visit for a very comprehensive study of this model.

Sunstar RAC van with packaging

The 'Sunstar' version of the RAC Van - visit for a very comprehensive study of this model.

The Vanguard RAC van

The Vanguard RAC van Caledonian

The Vanguard Collection gives us the Caledonian Patrol RAC van - for more images visit

Mini - the Police Car

Police Mini sells for £31K

Still a popular sell in 2019 - image sourced from PressReader as it appeared in The Telegraph on 11th April 2019

Mini as a Police Car

Mini joins the Fleet of Police cars - most Forces used the nifty little Minis - their 'Panda' livery was very popular in the toy models.

1966 East Suffolk Police fleet of Mini Vans

East Suffolk Police, ahead of other forces, proudly show off their squad of mini vans in 1966

1968 Mini fleet in Liverpoor

Liverpool Police Police Fleet

Panda Van on Show

Restored Minis for Merseyside Police

A force to be reckoned with - Liverpool adopt a whole fleet of the Mighty Minis to help them tackle crime! Two examples of restored Minis in 2010 at the Brooklands Museum

GMP Panda

In Panda livery GMP Mini

Greater Manchester Police Mini in Workshop

GMP Mini in Workshop

'Super-Mini' from 'Crypton' used by the Greater Manchester Police of the 1960s visit the museum for more

Mini - carries the Royal Mail

Beautifully restored and preserved Royal Mail van - all images courtesy of Norman Nelson via Fb

Royal Mail Mini Van from front

Royal Mail Mini Van

Royal Mail Mini Van Bonnet

Royal Mail Mini Van

Royal Mail Mini Van interior of rear

Royal Mail Mini Van interior

Royal Mail Mini Van interior close up

Royal Mail Mini Van dashboard

Royal Mail Mini Van livery

The Corgi Classic & Vanguard Collections

Royal Mail Mini Corgi Classic edition packaging

The 'Corgi Classic' version of the Royal Mail Van variations - images sourced from auction houses and AwesomeDiecast

Vanguard Mini Car used by Royal Mail Model

Vanguards also produced a variation of the Royal Mail minivan in their 'Royal Mail Set'

In addition to Corgi Classics, Vanguards also produced a variation of the Royal Mail minivan in their 'Royal Mail Set' - images sourced from


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Page refreshed : 10th April 2019 (G)