HomeCar CultureMini Electric turns into holiday light machine

Mini Electric turns into holiday light machine

‘Nico’ Martin expands his tour from hometown to various UK locations


Three years ago, Nicholas “Nico” Martin decided to share some holiday cheer with his local community in Bracknell, UK, by wrapping his Mini in fairy lights.

A year ago, with things including many holiday light displays shut down by the coronavirus pandemic, Martin realized his lit-up car could deliver some cheer while also raising awareness and money for two of his favorite charities, the MS Trust and Duchenne UK

Not only did he raise more than £5,000, but he also caught the attention of Mini and the BMW Group UK and recently launched his 2021 tour to various locations in the UK in a Mini Electric wrapped by Italian lighting company Twinkly in 2,000 smart LED lights. The tour will raise money for Martin’s favorite charities as well as for the Alzheimer’s Society.

holiday, Mini Electric turns into holiday light machine, ClassicCars.com Journal
Smart LED light array can be changed to a variety of displays

I just knew last year I had an opportunity to cheer people up and also to raise funds for the MS Trust and Duchenne UK,” Martin is quoted in a news release from the BMW Group UK. 

“Both charities mean a lot to me — unfortunately my mother was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis six years ago, and in 2019 I was asked to take the Festive Mini to surprise an incredible young boy, Marcus Rooks, who was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. When I saw his face light up with so much joy and excitement, I realized that I had created something truly special. Ever since meeting him and learning about his condition, I’ve wanted to support him in any way I can.”

This year he’s adding the Alzheimer’s Society to his list of charities and is expanding his tour thanks to support from Mini UK and Twinkly.

“The Mini Electric is even more exciting to drive and means all my trips on the tour are environmentally friendly and the app-controlled Twinkly lights with their amazing customizable animations really give the car a bit of extra magic,” he said. 

Mini UK director David George termed Martin’s effort “a wonderful idea that will bring people together, make them smile, and also raise funds for some amazing charities.”

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


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