Winewall dad’s Italian Job adventure

ADVENTUROUS: Craig McBeth at the Italian Job Mini car rally (S)
ADVENTUROUS: Craig McBeth at the Italian Job Mini car rally (S)

An adventurous dad’s Italian trip might have been dubbed a Mini adventure, but it soon became one of the biggest experiences of his life.

Craig McBeth (33), from Winewall, was one of approximately 70 people to take part in this year’s exciting Italian Job Mini car rally to raise awareness and funds for children’s charity Variety.

Following a non-stop 26-hour trek in his Mini Cooper 1991, Craig and his co-driver Aaron Leverton, spent a week exploring the fascinating sites of the classic 1969 film “The Italian Job”.

Among other activities, the pair were also able to enjoy a trip to the F1 racing circuit at Imola, take in windy roads in the Gaggio Montano region, indulge at a black tie dinner, and talk to Ducati owners about the wine-making process at the Casa Pilota vineyard. They made their return to England on Friday.

Craig, the editor of “love:mini” magazine, said: “The rally was fantastic. My role was to help promote the event.

“On one of the days, Rome’s centre had been closed for us to drive round — it was amazing.”

Craig was meant to be completing the 1,200 mile mission with his Bury friend Emma Williams. But the dad to Holly (5) and Anekin (3) was forced to put out a last-minute Facebook plea, after Emma had to change her plans at the last minute.

Craig continued: “I had to see if anybody wanted to come in a space of an hour.

“I ended up getting a response from Aaron, from Oxford. I picked him up at 3am in the morning, and we got to Italy at 5am the next day.”

The Italian Job Mini car rally was launched back in 1990 for drivers over 21, who own a Mini or a classic car from the iconic Michael Caine movie. It is estimated that this year’s event will raise over £60,000 to help disabled and disadvantaged youngsters. Visit