A Non Standard Mini Adventure

26. September 2011

Jeff Ruggles, Features Editor at Mini Magazine, dreamed up the latest plan to catch the eye of Performance Direct’s Non Standard Awards judges:

Stylish Italy and a traditional British icon like the Mini might seem at odds with each other, but thanks to a certain film they enjoy a rather special relationship.

That film is of course the Italian Job, a classic movie that sees Michael Caine and co steal a consignment of gold from under the noses of the Italian Mafia, before making their getaway through the streets of Turin in three Mini Coopers.

Turin is now a pilgrimage for many a classic Mini owner, but Jeff wanted to do it differently.

Rather than make his way to Italy in a British car, he decided to actually buy the Mini in Italy before taking it to Turin and visiting all the famous film locations. The Italian Minis are not like the British ones – made under licence in Milan by Innocenti from 1965 until the mid ‘70s, they’re a sharp Italian-suited version – the same basic looks, but with an added dose of style. And a cigarette lighter as standard. More...

Non Standard Awards - Twice Around the World in a Mini 1275 GT

21. April 2011

Mini 1275GT at Beaulieu Motor MuseumBack in 1996 Duncan Mortimer set himself the incredible challenge of taking his 1978 Mini 1275 GT all the way around the world.  A slightly crazy challenge I'm sure you'll agree but as he was raising money for his favourite charities it was a journey that he very much believed in.  Over the course of 130 days he covered 14,000 miles on the road crossing the USA, Malaysia, Thailand and Europe.

The arduous route towards automotive history didn't put adventurer Duncan off and if anything only served to encourage him because in 1999 he decided to do it all again but to go much further.  This time his route took him across the USA, Australia, India, Pakistan, and Iran before travelling back via Europe.  His second trip around the world clocked up 24,000 miles in 11 months for which he achieved The Guinness World Record. 

In 2009 Duncan once more started preparing for a third attempt to travel around the world, once more in his well-travelled Mini 1275GT.  For this trip Duncan approached the Performance Direct Non Standard Awards to help him with funding and was awarded one of our prestigious awards which included a large amount of the funding that he needed.  Alongside more generalised insurance, Performance Direct are renowned for being able to insure the more Non Standard vehicles such as offering some great classic Mini car insurance fit for anyone driving an original Mini or any other sort of classic or vintage vehicle.  More...

The longest taxi journey... ever... with 'It's on the Meter'

29. March 2011

it's on the meter team in paris in the FX4 London taxiPerformance Direct run a fantastic scheme designed to give you (yes YOU) free money.  Free money sounds far too good to be true doesn't it?  Well with Performance Direct's Non Standard Awards you really can get granted money, up to £10,000, for your automotive project.  As long as it's an interesting idea, isn't dangerous and is achievable you really could win the needed funding.  The scheme has so far funded a diverse range of projects such as restoring such vintage vehicle's as the first British dragster, helping Duncan Mortimer to take his classic Mini Clubman around the world and providing the money to sponsor Practical Classics journalist Matt Jones to buy a classic 1978 Cadillac and drive across America - all for the same price that a holiday in Center Parcs would have cost him.  So as you can see there is little that we shy away from here at the Non Standard Awards.

Our most recent venture has been working with Paul Archer, Johno Ellison and Leigh Purnell who are also known as 'It's on the Meter' as they try to break the world record for the world's longest taxi ride to raise money for the British Red Cross - a worthwhile charity I'm sure you'd agree.  More...