PETROLHEADS celebrated six decades of motoring history closely linked to Oxford with an exhibition which was launched yesterday.

The display has been organised by car enthusiast Tanya Field, who started work at the Cowley plant in 1988 as an apprentice technician.

The 10 cars – mostly Minis – are parked in Templars Square Shopping Centre in Cowley so shoppers can browse as they go from shop to shop.

On the Mini’s popularity, Mrs Field said: “They’ve become part of the British pysche. Loads of people have got Mini memories – both from the old ones and now the new ones.

“They’ve produced three and a half million of the new ones. They’ve captured people’s hearts and imaginations.”

On whether the old-style Minis might be deemed too uncomfortable for today’s car market, she said: “Because I’ve driven them all my life, you just get used to it. I don’t think of them as comfortable or uncomfortable: I think of them as fun! You do feel low; you feel really connected to the road.”

It was the fourth consecutive year that Mrs Field, who has herself won prizes for her treasured collection of Minis, has organised the showcase. In the summer, she will stage a show soley celebrating cars built in Oxford.

Two of the cars on show yesterday were built in Oxford and the others were put together at the Longbridge plant in Birmingham.

The local models were the most modern in the collection, built after the Mini brand was bought by BMW in 2000. They included a test car used by workers at Cowley,

EPT, as it is known because of the final three letters of its registration plate, is being used as part of a long-term quality testing programme.

Built in April 2016, it has already covered 135,000 miles.

Other cars at the show included an island blue and snowberry white Mini Cooper which was first made in 1968. Owner Peter Farrell has restored it to its former glory after buying it in 2007, completing renovation work its previous owner had planned.

Fellow Mini fan Graeme Parsons, from Garsington, was given his Rover Mini City 1000 E for free after a neighbour was unable to drive it because of ill health in 2011.

He said: “After 28 years on the road it’s fair to say the Mini is showing its age in places. I do, however, intend to fully restore the car in the future.”

The exhibition continues from 8am until 6pm from today until Saturday.