Paddy Hopkirk receives New Years Honours from the Queen.

31 December 2015

Thanks to the website we have received the news today of the great New Years honour bestowed on cousin Paddy by the Queen of England. Their article is as follows:

Legendary former rally driver Paddy Hopkirk vows MBE honour won't change him.  (An MBE commonly refers to Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, a grade within the British order of chivalry.)

Eighty-two year old Mr. Hopkirk, from Penn
has been recognised for services to Motoring and Young People.

Paddy Hopkirk 1964 Mini

(This is a photo of Paddy with car he drove to victory in 1964 in the Monte Carlo Road Rally, defeating the more powerful Porches, Mercedes, etc.This famous car is located at the Heritage Motor Centre in Gaydon, UK)

Legendary ex-rally driver and husband of former High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire Paddy Hopkirk has received an MBE but has vowed not to let the honour change him. Eighty-two-year-old Mr Hopkirk, from Penn, and patron of the former High Wycombe motoring charity Skidz, has been recognised on the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list for services to Motoring and Young People. Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Mr Hopkirk - known to all as Paddy - is most well known for winning the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally, a result which catapulted both him and his Mini Cooper into worldwide fame. It is said the giant killing win - which saw his team beat Mercedes and Porsche teams - launched the Mini into stardom. His racing career carried on through for the next 30 years, before becoming one of the first inducted into the Rally Hall of Fame in 2010. In more recent years, along with his work as patron of Skidz, Mr Hopkirk has backed a county wide campaign for mature driver safety. A current brand ambassador for MINI, he is married to Jennifer, who was High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire in 2005, and has three children. Speaking about his MBE he said: “First of all I’m not sure what it is exactly for. I’m just very honoured and I appreciate the people who have wrote in. I was very, very surprised.” Mr Hopkirk said that he now has to write thank you letters to all of the people who nominated him for the MBE. “It’s just come out of the blue,” he said. “They certainly managed to keep it quiet. Nobody knows about it, except the people that wrote the letters. “I don’t know what it means, although certainly I’m not going to get up myself. It won’t change my life. It’s just very nice to get.” He added: “I’m very honoured and flattered and thrilled, of course I am. It’s a nice New Year’s eve present.”

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This page last updated on 31 December 2015