Sonora Run - Sunday June 9, 2024

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Former MINI Design Chief Gert Hildebrand Interview (Pt. 1)

MotoringFile had the opportunity to do a final exit interview with Mr. Hildebrand as he leaves MINI. Read the first part of the interview for a bit of history and the inside scoop on how the different MINI models have come about, including the color scheme for the GP.

This Will Scare The Piss Out Of You

[Source: via Jalopnik]

Spareless Trailer Logs Miles

[Source: Streetfire.net via Ridelust]

Could You Go Pull The Car Around And Feed The Cats?

I'll be out in a minute.

[Source: Tere @ Justacarguyswife]

MINI Countryman's 2010 Euro Crash Test

The Countryman was awarded a 5-star rating - the highest crashworthiness rating possible. Here is video of the tests:

MINI Countryman Crash Tests 2010

[Source: mefeedia]

The Tush Turner! For Drivers Who Can't Get Off Their Butt!!!

For a limited time only get Tush Turners for two asses and a Windshield Wonder for only three easy ten dollar payments. CALL NOW!

[Source: Tush Turner via Consumerist via Gizmodo]

What Do Women Want?

skiddmark discusses what different types of women look for in an automobile - from the "Aspiring BMW Doll" (MINI) to the "Intellectual Sex Kitten" (Ford S-Max) and explains why.

Add Nüburgring Nordschleife To Your Rims

Add this set of Nordschleife self-adhesive decals to your rims to honor the "the legendary old north circuit of the Nürburgring racetrack." Three decal color combinations are available "Black/White, White/Black and Red/White."

They cost 20 EURO, about $26.50 US, per set, and can be purchased here.

[Source: autoevolution]

MINI Countryman Now In Stock In Northern California

Niello MINI, East Bay MINI and MINI of Concord all report that they now have the MINI Countryman in stock and on their lots.

When He's Got To Go He Really Goes!

[Source: hupdaddy @ YouTube]

Mini Tire Changes - A Family Affair

Watch as the Racines of MINI Mania perform a four tire change on Don and Pat Racine's autocross Mini courtesy of Dennis Racine:

[Source: YouTube via Don Racine @ NorthAmericanMotoring.com]

Racing In The Dental Chair

[Source: YouTube via AutoSpies]

The Expensive Hideously Gold-Coated Tata

This is about the ugliest blinged out car we've ever seen. Presenting a gold pimped Tata Nana created to celebrate the 5,000th anniversary of Indian jewelry. The vehicle called the "Goldplus Nano" will be made out of pure gold with thirteen designs that were selected in a contest from public submissions. We suggest melting it down and using the gold cash value to feed the people of Bangalore, India where the vehicle will be produced.

Really, do we need an ugly gold-coated economy car?

[Source: AutoGuide.com]

Not A Winter Car

Nonetheless, the 914 looks like fun and does make you long for summer.

[Source: Jalopnik]

Car Sex Is Not For The Young

British online car retailer Autoquake.com surveyed UK drivers about their doing the nasty habits in their cars and came away with some interesting statistics. Over 54% had engaged in sex in a car. Only 13 percent between the ages of 18 and 24 years old enjoyed the experience, but, a solid 39% over the age of 55 thought it was great. Our conclusion is that the 18 to 24 year olds have never had the opportunity to experience the back seat of a capacious minivan, station wagon, truck camper shell or luxury boat.

[Source: via autoevolution]

The Profit Of Doom And Gloom

[Photo Credit: The Washington Times]
This is John Hofmeister, a former President of Shell Oil Company. Recently, as reported at autoevolution and elsewhere, he predicted that gas prices would hit $5.00/gallon in the US in 2012. Now, there may be market trends and statistics to back him up, however, this is the same guy who in 2008, according to The Washington Times, called for gas rationing as chief executive of his then newly found company "Citizens for Affordable Energy, Inc." Of course, the repentant oil man's comment comes just as he starts his campaign to sell his new book "Why We Hate The Oil Companies." Only $16.80 with free Supersaver shipping at Amazon.com.

We Likey!!!

mullenmini has posted a gallery of beautiful photos of his right hand drive MCS JCW over at totalMINI.com.

A Wealth Of Stupidity On Mulholland Drive

Los Angeles' Mulholland Drive has long been known as a place where car hoons test their vehicles against the canyons and switchbacks of the Santa Monica/Malibu Mountains. However, it is dangerous to drivers, onlookers and, potentially, to your wallet. If you want to race find a track and have it. Don't be an amateur a-hole like these drivers, and that includes the out of control MINI driver that you will see in this footage:

[Source: via Carscoop]

The Odd Vespa Crochet Bike With Sidecar

Of course, the neat crochet covers may not be the first thing to grab your attention. The video (from which the still was pulled) is to sell Insight Clothing. Frankly, we didn't see much in the way of clothing in the video:

[Source: via Ridelust]

You Can't Get There From Here

Southern California took a big hit from last weekend's snow and rainstorms. Laguna Beach got flooded and mudded, but, it was not the only place to slip and slide. For example, check out this photo of now closed Highway 330 heading toward the mountain town of Big Bear.

The CHP might want to park a little further up the highway.

[Source: KTLA via Jalopnik]

Never Push A Car With Engine On And Tranny Engaged

We Californians rarely have to deal with snow-encumbered vehicles or blizzard weather in urban settings like they have experienced this year in Europe and in the Eastern US. Yet, it seems to us that, if you do live in one of those areas and have the coin for a top of the line BMW SUV, you should at least know what to do if you get stuck in the white stuff. Here's what can happen if you don't:

[Source: via Jalopnik]

Mercedes S-Class Snow Job

Really, it is all snow! There is no car under there.

[Source: via Aautoblog.nl via AutoMotto]

One Man War On Speed Traps

Kudos to Lance Mitchell. The Lakeway, Texas resident was so sick of speed traps in his town that he co-founded SpeedTrapAhead.org and has taken to the streets to warn other motorists about nearby speed traps. If Mitchell spots a speed trap, he goes back to a spot ahead of the trap and dons a bright orange "Speed Trap Ahead" t-shirt to alert motorists of the waiting radar. The local police are not amused and fined and jailed him. However, after a four hour trial he was found not guilty on all charges.

[Source: autoevolution]

You May Have An Alternator Problem If . . .

Howstuffworks discusses the "Top 5 Signs Of Alternator Problems:"

1. Broken or Loose Connections
2. A Dead Battery
3. Sight, Sound and Smell
4. Dim Lights
5. Warning Light

MINI White Blanket

Hope it is not a convertible.  You might consider a garage next time.

[Source; gca3n @ totalMINI.com]

Carjacked By A Bear

[Source: Break via Ridelust]

DIY Snow Tires For Your Bicycle

Check out this clever idea to avoid buying snow tires for your bicycle - just zip tie them for instant grip in snow and ice.

[Source: Dutch Bike Co via LikeCool via Gizmodo]

Watch Your Car On January 1

autoevolution reports that, according to a study by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), more cars are stolen on New Years Day than on any other day of the year. Fortunately, MINIs do not seem to be a top priority for car thieves. The most stolen models, at least as of 2009, were 1994 Honda Accords, 1995 Honda Civics, 1991 Toyota Camrys, 1997 Ford F-150's and 2004 Dodge Rams.

Did You Park Out Front On The Street?

Yeah, why?

[Source: YouTube via Ridelust]

There Goes The Commute: I-680 To Get A Makeover In 2011

The Contra Costa Times reports that in 2011 Caltrans will start a $49.8 million project to rehabilitate Interstate 680 in southern Walnut Creek and the San Ramon Valley. The project also will extend the I-680 carpool lane from Rudgear Road in Alamo to Livorna Road in Walnut Creek. In San Ramon and some Danville areas, crews will remove the old concrete slabs and replace them with premade ones.
Ramps, bridges and overpasses also will be improved. So, all in all, get ready for greater traffic, detours and massive delays as Bay Cities Paving and Grading Inc. of Concord, the winning lowest bidder, gets to work.

MotoringFile Reviews The Countryman ALL4 In Urban Snow

MotoringFile took the MINI Countryman ALL4 out into the snow and ice of Minneapolis, Minnesota. You can read all about it. Its verdict:
. . . if you have winters anything like we have here in Minnesota, the Countryman All4 may be your ultimate MINI. It’s immensely comfortable, capable, powerful and practical. While the All4 system won’t shave seconds at the race track, it let me own the streets of Minneapolis that snowy night in a way that inspired utter confidence and actually made winter driving really fun. In my value math, that experience is more than worth the cost and an extra bit of weight. Add a real set of snow tires and a manual transmission, and it’d only be that much more brilliant. I’ve always appreciated the Countryman in concept, but now I’m definitely a believer. I want one. I really want one.

Is There A Muffler Man Near You?

[Photo Credit: Hooniverse]
According to Wikipedia Muffler Men are:
Muffler Man (or Muffler Men) is a term used to describe large molded fiberglass sculptures that are placed as advertising icons, roadside attractions or for decorative purposes, predominantly in the United States. Standing approximately 20 feet tall, the first figure was a Paul Bunyan character designed to hold his axe. [1] Derivatives of that figure were widely used to hold full-sized car mufflers, tires, or other items promoting various roadside businesses. International Fiberglass of Venice, California constructed most Muffler Men.

Muffler Men have made appearances as characters in the comic strip "Zippy the Pinhead" by Bill Griffith, often in conversation with Zippy.

Tell us, do you know of one near you?

Even Cars.com Makes Mistakes

Cars.com video reviewed almost 220 vehicles this year. They did not get completed with only one take. Here's cars.com's 2010 blooper reel.

Care For A Lifesaver?

[Source: via Just a Car Guy]

Don't Drive Distracted

You'll see why at about the 1:20 mark. Imagine if the driver had been fiddling with a phone, text or even the radio.

[Source: YouTube via That Will Buff Out]

European Urban Ice Skating Ballet

Now playing on the East Coast of the United States!

[Source: YouTube via autoblog]

MINI Cooper S Diesel Coming In March

According to Jon at totalMINI.com March 2011 MINI model updates will include an S Diesel for the Hatchback, Clubman, Countryman and the Convertible. Unfortunately it is unlikely it will make it to the US this coming year.

BMW Motorbike Versus Bobsled

Now, this is completely insane!

[Source: via BMWBlog]

Bitter GPS Programmers

[Source: Wulffmorgenthaler via Gizmodo]

It's The "Streetworker"

German aftermarket manufacturer Schmidt Revolution has created the Schmidt Revolution MINI Clubman Cooper S Streetworker. It is fitted with 18-inch Cirrus alloy wheels; a matte blue foil body and a contrasting matte black roof finish; a Streetec air suspension system that lowers the car by 60 mm or increase the ride height by 40 mm over the stock Cooper S; and gets a power increase to 200 hp and 250 Nm of maximum torque from an engine performance kit.

[Source: Carscoop via Rev Mods]

Make Anything Look Cool With Carbon Fiber

Including this Carbon Fiber Toilet Seat from Carbon Fiber Gear. Will it make you go faster?

[Source: via Car Advice]

Merry Christmas From The Prez

Merry Christmas everyone! Thanks for another great year with NorCal MINIs. I'll be stepping down as prez at the end of the month and Randy will be taking over next year. I'll be the officer at large to keep the transition smooth. Late next year Tami and I will be heading off to the Pacific Northwest to play with our grandkids. We have some good officers on board to keep things going so give them your support and ideas. 

Remember it's your club so contribute your thoughts. We are looking forward to next year.

See you next run! 

Larry and Tami Paquette

Merry Xmas To All

Gert Hildebrand, the retiring head of MINI Design sent this Holiday Card that includes a depiction of the MINI Paceman Concept to MotoringFile and we thought we would share it with you.

Have a very Merry Christmas, stay alert, and keep the rubber side down.

Luke! Go Grab The Wookie! Hurry!

[Source: imgur.com]

What Brake Pedal Feel Will Tell You

HowStuffWorks discusses how brakes feel and what it means:

  • Pedal goes to the floor -- no pressure in the master cylinder; system could have a leak. 

  • Pedal is soft and goes further than normal -- brake fluid leak somewhere in the system

  • Pedal feels gritty -- brake pads are worn to the metal and grinding on the rotors 

  • Pedal is extremely hard and brakes don't work -- brake booster isn't working properly

  • Leave Drifting To The Pros

    Here's why:

    [Source: Ridelust]

    2011 Miss Tuning Calendar Just In Time For Christmas

    To see what every month next year will look like on the 2011 Miss Tuning Calendar click on over to modifiedcars.com.

    If It's That Cold Just Stay Home!

    Minus 54 degrees C? That's like -65.2 degrees F in dog years!

    [Source: That Will Buff Out]

    Oh Sure, That Will Work


    [Source: Just a Car Guy]

    Playing Freeway Peek-a-boo At 50 MPH

    Dude, that is insane. We can tell you're from the "hood." You don't have to show us!

    [Source: metacafe]

    The Only Things Flat In This Ad Are The Seats

    Watch as sultry professional pool player Jeanette Lee plays with some balls in the back of a Ford Explorer.

    [Source: via Ridelust]

    MINI Connected - A New Standard Of Automotive Connectivity

    MINI Space examines MINI Connected, the app from MINI that you can download to your iPhone for free, which provides in-car social networking, RSS feed Facebook and Twitter connectivity, navigation, a driving efficiency analyser, webradio, music, and MINI's "Dynamic Music" that tailors the music to your driving style.

    To see a clever demonstration of the technology check out this MINI video:

    NORAD And Google Will Allow You To Track Santa's Progress

    While we don't believe Santa Claus will be driving this prototype Ferrari sleigh displayed by Ridelust, starting tomorrow, December 24 at 2:00am EST, you can visit www.noradsanta.org to follow Santa's journey. According to the official Google Blog here are the methods you can use to watch St. Nick's progress:

    • See Santa on a Google Map: On your home computer or laptop, visit www.noradsanta.org and choose your preferred language. You’ll see a large Google Map on the page displaying Santa’s current location and his next stop. Click the video icons to watch “Santa Cam” videos, and click the gift icons to learn more about each city.
    • Watch Santa fly with the Google Earth Plug-in: From www.noradsanta.org, click on the link Track Santa in Google Earth. You'll see Santa steering his sleigh right on the webpage. If you don't have the Google Earth plug-in, you can get ready by downloading it ahead of time.
    • Get real-time information about Santa’s location: Use Google’s Realtime Search to get updates from social networks, news and micro-blogs like Twitter at @noradsanta, and keep up with news about his journey on [the official Google Blog] Facebook page.

    This Beauty Is In The Running For Mini Magazine Mini of the Year

    This gorgeous Riley Elf owned by Red Riley @ NorthAmericanMotoring.com is one of ten finalists for UK's Mini Magazine Mini of the Year.

    Nope, Can't Do That In A New Car

    The National Motorists Association lists six things you would now be hard-pressed to do in a new car and tells you why. They are:

    1. Burnouts
    2. Smoking
    3. Rest your left arm on the top of the driver’s side door
    4. Pick a custom steering wheel
    5. Parking brake bootleg turns
    6. Fine-tune the radio station

    Fifth Gear's Review Of The MINI Countryman

    Here's what the popular British TV Show had to say:

    [Source: via BMWBlog]

    What Can You Do At Nurburgring In The Winter?

    Race quads!

    [Source: YouTube via Ridelust]

    Railsliding Skateboards Is Easy, But, Try It With A Subaru

    [Source: via Jalopnik]

    How To Zombie-proof Your Car For The Coming Apocalypse

    [Source: mightycarmods @ YouTube]

    2011 MINIs Get Sirius

    Siriusxm satellite radio with a one year free subscription to the Sirius Everything Package will now come standard on all 2011 MINIs.

    [Source: autoevolution]

    This Has Got To Be A Joke, Right?

    [Source: via Jalopnik]

    MINI Double Decker London Lifestyle Bus In Milan

    From Wednesday, December 22 to Friday, December 24, 2010, MINI will have this specially modified double decker London bus at the Corso Vercelli shopping district in Milan, Italy. The bus is full of toys and includes a shop for MINI's Lifestyle accessories and will be open from 10 am to 9 pm each day.

    [Source: Carscoop]