Believe It or Not!
A Million Swarovski Crystals + 12 Miles of Yarn + One Small Hole in the Roof
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A Million Swarovski Crystals + 12 Miles of Yarn + One Small Hole in the Roof

“Don’t scratch my million pound motor!”

Ripley’s Believe it or Not! scales all new heights as a bright red knitted Ferrari enters the popular attraction, while a classic Swarovski-covered Mini-Cooper exits all through the roof of the 5-story building

An American Icon

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s an amazing crystal encrusted Mini Cooper flying high over Piccadilly Circus on the way out of top attraction Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! London.

The ‘American Icon’ Mini, worth a cool £1 million, was delicately inched out through a smoke duct in the roof of the famous Trocadero building – the first incredible stage of a 5,000-mile journey to its new home at the Ripley’s Believe it or Not! in Baltimore, Md., USA.

Westminster Council gave special permission for the streets around Piccadilly Circus to be closed in the early hours of Saturday morning so a giant crane could be put in place for the intricate lift.

The unique car is covered in more than one million coloured Swarovski gems arranged to create pictures of iconic American landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty and Mount Rushmore.

With only inches to spare on either side of the narrow gap the car was lifted out vertically (rear first). Ripley’s staff inside had earlier spent the day shifting other quirky exhibits out of the way (including a two-headed lamb and the skeleton of a now extinct cave bear) to ensure the Mini could be driven to its exit point safely.

12 Amazing Miles of Yarn!

Even though the American Icon is heading across the Atlantic to the U.S., car fanatics in Britain will have a new, amazing and unbelievable vehicle in which to marvel – a life-sized hand knitted Ferrari, made from 12 miles of yarn.

“The American Icon Mini Cooper is one of Ripley’s most prized possessions, so the pressure was really on to get it out without a scratch,” explained Tim O’Brien, a vice president with the Orlando, Fla. – based Ripley Entertainment Inc.

“As the global leader in the weird, bizarre and unusual, we are constantly striving to keep our attractions fresh, fun and family-friendly. You can see by what we did here today that we will go to any and all heights to keep our attractions teeming with new and exciting exhibits!”

Fast Facts


  • The knitted Ferrari was created by British artist Lauren Porter.
  • It comes complete with detailing and a hand embroidered horse logo on the hood and took 10 months to create.
  • The body of the Ferrari is made from 250 squares of garter stitching, knitted together over a steel frame.


  • The “American Icon” Mini – Cooper features over one million handcrafted Swarovski crystals in 50 different shades, representing the 50 different states.
  • Each stone was meticulously placed over a period of six months.
  • The Swarovski crystal Mini-Cooper is worth well over £1 million.

Want More Photos?

For a more expansive selection of photos and for a variety of downloadable broadcast video of this amazing event, go to the special online newsroom set up specifically for this event. Please sign in and use the password mini.  Be advised this site is only live through Feb. 11, 2012.

About Ripley’s Believe It or Not! London

With more than 700 amazing artefacts on display over five floors, the attraction celebrates the weird, wonderful and bizarre in all its forms. With everything you can imagine (and plenty more you can’t), Ripley’s Believe It or Not! London is a family day out that’s definitely out of the ordinary. For additional information call +44 (0)20 3238 0022 or visit

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