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Anyone ever been to MINI factory?

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Anyone ever been to MINI factory?

  #1  
Old 07-14-2008, 05:31 PM
aprilrain51
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Anyone ever been to MINI factory?

Has anyone ever taken a tour of the MINI factory in England? I have emailed them and will be trying to get reservations. What I am wondering about is how far out of Oxford is the factory? We will be riding the train from London to Oxford but then we don't know how we will get out to the factory. Does anyone have information about public transportation available in Oxford?
 
  #2  
Old 07-15-2008, 05:40 AM
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The factory is on the outskirts of Oxford. There's nothing but residential so you won't be site seeing your way there. I'd suggest taking a bus from the train station to the factory. The bus stop is really close to the train station.

We were there late in the day and ended up taking a taxi back to the train.
 
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Old 07-15-2008, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by STLMINI View Post
The factory is on the outskirts of Oxford. There's nothing but residential so you won't be site seeing your way there. I'd suggest taking a bus from the train station to the factory. The bus stop is really close to the train station.

We were there late in the day and ended up taking a taxi back to the train.
I've viewed the tour online numerous times. I can only imagine it on location. How did you like it?
 
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Old 07-15-2008, 07:31 AM
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Last year, someone on NAM was going to propose to his girlfriend during the factory tour! How did that turn out? Does anyone know?
 
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Old 07-15-2008, 09:32 AM
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There better be pix of this tour!!!
 
  #6  
Old 07-15-2008, 04:11 PM
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I loved the tour. Don't hold your breath for any pics – they aren't allowed.
 
  #7  
Old 07-15-2008, 04:26 PM
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Oh... ok... I suppose I'll just have to go over there and see it for myself.
 
  #8  
Old 07-15-2008, 04:58 PM
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We
 
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Old 07-15-2008, 05:12 PM
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We did the factory tour in '05 and were the only ones in our group that didn't own at least one MINI. But we fixed that problem with a Checkmate in 2006. From what I can gather current tours don't run as long these days, but hey if your close by you have to do it. The people were awesome and the engineer with our group was fantastic, new the car inside and out.

The only pictures that we were allowed to take were in the lobby area, prior to the tour you are given a locker (with key) to secure your camera. No cameras allowed on the factory floor.
 
  #10  
Old 07-15-2008, 06:57 PM
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Thanks for all the info. Now if we can just get reservations we will be set.
 
  #11  
Old 07-16-2008, 08:32 AM
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We did a MINI vacation in Oct. 2005 in conjunction with MINI UNITED in MISANO - Italy.

Hired a MINI in London stayed in a very elegant Hotel on High Street in Oxford and drove to see the plant.

No pictures allowed but I had a lot of fun. I

Oxford is a nice small city worth a couple of days stay over. Motor in the wrong side of the road was not too bad - easier than crossing the street - and the country side of UK is really lovely.
EXPENSIVE - Very EXPENSIVE !!!!!
 
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:02 AM
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any souvenir shop inside the plant?

does MINI have europe delivery like BMW or MB?
 
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:22 AM
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When I was there a few years back, the lobby area is one big retail/gathering type place with vehicles on display. If you've been to a manufacturing plant before, there really isn't too much new, but it is interesting to see the first half of the cars made with virtually no human input, then after paint it's all hand assembly.
I had a friend drive me over and we went on the tour, so I'm not help on transportation. There must be some public transit as some of the workers use it to get there.
If you can get someone in the know on the tour there are some interesting stories about how BMW tried to change certain customs at the plant and had to give in eventually. Ask about the tea/coffee riff
 
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Old 07-16-2008, 01:10 PM
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Thanks to the U.S. Air Force, I was stationed in Oxfordshire for three years. While there my wife and I took the Cowley factory tour three different times.
There is a “No Picture” policy inside the Body in White factory, but inside the Reception/gift shop it’s okay. The reception area houses the limited edition Minis, i.e., Italian Job and Austin Power Minis.
Now if you sweet talk the Yugoslavian tour guide as we did, you might be able to get access to the backroom of the reception. In there they house the last five of the classic style Minis named the “500”. Famous Mini race drivers such as Paddy Hopkins only drove these five Minis at the 2000 Monte Carlo.

Another Mini thing just up the road on the M40 is the Heritage Motor Centre in Gaydon. This motor museum has the first production Mini and several Mini prototypes of Sir Alex Issigonis. http://www.heritage-motor-centre.co.uk/index.html

http://flickr.com/photos/ashley3d/893068375/
 
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Old 07-19-2008, 04:24 PM
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We did the factory tour in 04, while our first MINI was arriving at the dealer. While photos aren't allowed during the tour, they were allowed in the visitor centre. It was quite fascinating, well worth the effort.





They had some of the Italian Job cars there.
 

Last edited by Btwyx; 03-05-2013 at 06:57 PM.
  #16  
Old 07-23-2008, 11:17 AM
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We were there last fall, here are my notes from the tour. At the time there was no gift shop.

https://www.northamericanmotoring.co...d.php?t=116982



h



Originally Posted by aprilrain51 View Post
Has anyone ever taken a tour of the MINI factory in England? I have emailed them and will be trying to get reservations. What I am wondering about is how far out of Oxford is the factory? We will be riding the train from London to Oxford but then we don't know how we will get out to the factory. Does anyone have information about public transportation available in Oxford?
 
  #17  
Old 08-21-2008, 04:18 PM
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We were there in July, it was great

Here are some thumbnails

(spot the three MINIs)



My MINI looks like a toy in this photo





I want a desk like this at work, not sure the boss would be to please though
 
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Old 12-03-2008, 03:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Andy Simpson View Post
We were there in July, it was great

Here are some thumbnails

I want a desk like this at work, not sure the boss would be to please though
Actually, someone refused to part with his old MINI (the original, not the 2nd generation) so he had the top half of the body removed and took off the left door. It's probably the world's only MINI cubicle! I wish I could remember the website. It might outrage other MINI owners but I see it as proof that the guy loved the brand so much he couldn't part with it when the car broke down completely.
 
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Old 01-28-2009, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Scoopmama View Post
Last year, someone on NAM was going to propose to his girlfriend during the factory tour! How did that turn out? Does anyone know?
Really?!?!?! Would love to hear more about this!!
 
  #20  
Old 06-10-2010, 02:07 PM
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Aww man. During a school trip over to England, we drove through Oxford and passed by the plant. I wanted to stop but no one else wanted to. Maybe next time...
 
  #21  
Old 06-11-2010, 06:08 AM
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Mini Desk

Originally Posted by beasleyboy View Post
Actually, someone refused to part with his old MINI (the original, not the 2nd generation) so he had the top half of the body removed and took off the left door. It's probably the world's only MINI cubicle! I wish I could remember the website. It might outrage other MINI owners but I see it as proof that the guy loved the brand so much he couldn't part with it when the car broke down completely.

Is this what you were talking about?


 
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Old 06-12-2010, 01:53 PM
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I used to go over to England regularly, parts chasing hard to find motorcycle parts. I would use Oxford for my base instead of going into London. Its not much farther from the airport, and just a much cheaper and nicer place get one's bearings in. I'd rent my car there, found a local BMC dealer that was much cheaper than the chains. Always rented Minis, much to the dismay of my snobby English friends, but they would be the economy versions with the 850 engine. Still a lot of fun if a hell of a lot noisier than our current when screaming down the motorway at 75 MPH with the engine revving like a two stroke.

Anyone going to visit the factory should be sure to spend at least a night or two in Oxford rather than just driving out from London - its a really nice city with great architecture and pubs, and a lot of history.

Hmm... I wonder if the factory is still filled with older blokes wearing shop coats and sitting around drinking tea?
 
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Old 08-10-2010, 09:41 AM
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We are terrible MINI parents. We found ourselves with a couple of extra days in the UK and thought Oxford would be perfect to spend them in. We thoroughly enjoyed our time there but couldn't figure out for the life of us why we saw so many car transports full of MINI's. I, of course was in heaven as I knew we would be ordering my new car when we got back from our trip.

So we are home and we head down to the MINI dealer, DH is being cute and wears his Oxford University t-shirt that he just got. (he's not a t-shirt kinda guy!) So I'm drooling over all of the cars and DH comes up to me, "did you know these things are made in Oxford?" My mouth hit the floor! Instead of Blenheim Palace I coulda been in the MINI factory!!!!!

Now here is where it gets really cool!!! We were in Oxford June 24, 25 and 26. My car build was started on June 15, It was loaded onto transport June 29. That means when we were in the UK we were only a few miles away from it!!!!

I know, cheesy, but hey, it's my FIRST MINI!!!
 
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Old 03-13-2011, 01:46 PM
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MINI Factory Tour First Rate

Two British friends and I took the tour of the MINI factory in Oxford in mid Sept 2010. It was a fantastic experience! Our three hours on site were the best auto plant tour experience I have had (and I've toured BMW in Greenville SC, Jaguar in the UK and MG Rover in Longbridge, UK). Our guide Terry was a old factory hand from back in the British Leyland days and knew the history of the factory in detail. Even pointed out the nice plot of grass that now marks the former building were the MG RV8's of the early 1990's were built. The grounds were still decorated for the Employee and Family Appreciation Day that had been held the previous day (a Sunday). Never saw so many industrial robots in any car plant I've toured. Tour showed just how great and well built our MINI's are. If you ever have the opportunity, as a MINI or British auto enthusiast, you just must make the time to take this tour while in the Oxford area.
 
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:15 PM
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We were there during MINI United 09 as a part of our Honeymoon.. Tour was great. We had a rental MINI out of London, dont have experiance with the transit system.. but if like rest of Europe, should be good and easy...

 

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