WHAT'S COMING UP?

Gualala - Ft Bragg - Glass Beach Run Details

August's run is a joint run with our friends in Silicon Valley Club, co-hosted by James Schenck (SVM) & Simon Tidesley (NorCal MINI...

NorCal MINIs' Friday Upcoming Event Reminders

Rallye Mount-Diablo
As a warm up to MTTS 2010 a separate event, the 2010 MINI of Concord Rallye Mount-Diablo takes place this Sunday, August 1, 2010. Starting at 10:30 a.m. MINI of Concord will hold the "Rallye Mount-Diablo," a "Poker Run with Casino Fun" as a pre-MTTS 2010 rally kickoff! Arrive between 10:30-11:00 a.m. at MINI of Concord and you will get a map for a round trip drive with 5 stops to/from Mt. Diablo- where you can collect 1 playing card per stop. The objective will be to finish the run with the best playing poker hand and win $200 (Ties split the pot)! There will also be a "casino," carnival games, food and drink, contests, decorations and dozens of prizes.



NorCal MINIs' Marine Mammal Center Tour And Run
On Saturday, August 21, 2010, NorCal MINIs will get an exclusive behind the scenes tour of the Marine Mammal Center. Tickets are sold out for the tour but you can still go on the run and join us for lunch after the tour at the Pelican Inn.

We will meet promptly at 10:00 a.m. on the west lawn of Crissy Field, San Francisco, CA, and travel over the Golden Gate Bridge and through the Marin Headlands to the Marine Mammal Center for the tour.

NORCAL MINIS WILL COLLECT NEW, USED, OLD AND RATTY TOWELS FOR DONATION TO THE MARINE MAMMAL CENTER.  MAKE SURE YOU BRING YOUR TOWEL DONATIONS WITH YOU.

NorCal MINIs' Avenue Of The Giants Overnight
We have been planning another stellar NorCal MINIs' Overnight for September 11, -12, 2010.  We will motor to Shelter Cove, CA to stay overnight at an incredible oceanfront inn and then, on Sunday, tour the Avenue Of The Giants. We should all get a chance to drive through a tree!

Don't miss this great event.  Reservation information will be posted next week.  This will be one to remember.

Anyone Have The Balls To Play On This Table?

Built from a 1965 VW Micro Bus, the vehicle was chopped and shortened so that it would offer a normal size pool table.

[Source: autoevolution]

It Might Take A While

[Source: imgaz.tumblr.com]

How Long Do Brake Pads Last?

How Stuff Works explains the physics of brake pads and the elements that affect how fast they wear out.

Hmmm. We Thought Porsche Drivers Were Bigger Pricks

[Source: That Will Buff Out]

AutoCar Drives And Reviews The MINI Cooper Countryman S ALL4

BMW Blog summarizes AutoCar of the UK's review of MINI Cooper Countryman S ALL4. Its conclusion:
. . . while the styling has split opinion, there’s no denying that this car does answer questions that the Clubman totally ignored.

It’s not a perfect family car, by any means. And in dimensions at least, it’s not a Mini. But we can see why the Countryman will have appeal.

This Truck's Bumper Stickers Tell It Like It Is

[Source: That Will Buff Out]

Be Careful - Deer Are Out In Force

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), deer-related accidents cause an estimated $1.1 billion in vehicle damage every year. Jalopnik offers some tips on how to avoid them.

The Ultimate Nightmare Track Novice



[Source: YouTube]

Women Drive Men To Distraction Every Summer

Statistics from UK car insurance company Sheilas’ Wheels, show that 29% of male drivers admit to being distracted by short skirts and low-cut tops in the Summer weather, leading to a record number of accidents on the road. In 2009 male drivers made 16.4% more insurance claims during the Summer than in any other month.

[Source: Breakdown Cover]

ProDrive Wants A British Driver For the Countryman WRC

Autocar reports that Prodrive boss David Richards wants a British driver for the Countryman WRC. Richards said:
MINI doesn’t really seem to have a preference on driver choice or where they’re from, but I’ve always had a patriotic streak in me and it’s well documented that Prodrive has had success with British drivers before. It’d certainly have appeal if we were to take a third British driver to a world title, and in a British car.”

[Source: via MotoringFile]

New NHTSA 5 Star Rating Criteria For Crash Tests

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)will begin crash testing of new models under stricter conditions imposed by the revised 5 star rating system. The results under the new tests will not be compared with the results from previous tests due to the changed criteria. No MINI products are presently on the crash test schedule.

[Source: autoevolution]

Add Tires And A Rappelling Rope And You're Good To Go

[Source: That Will Buff Out]

Massive MINI Countryman Photo Gallery

MotoringFile has posted a gallery of over 400 photographs of the MINI Countryman.

Can't You Wait Until I'm Done Examining The Engine?

This is what happens when, on a funny car, a stud breaks loose in the supercharger cracking the case, lifting the injector, and causing the throttle body to open. Boy, is that guy fortunate. It must have been the most harrowing 2 seconds of his life.




[Source: via CarDomain Blog]

The Marginal Benefits Of Nitrogen Inflated Tires

Ridelust analyzes this rip off and concludes:
. . . nitrogen does nothing to improve ride quality or fuel economy, and won’t prevent false tire warning lights any better than plain old air will. The key to getting a smooth ride, maximum fuel economy and no tire pressure warning lights is simple: regularly check your tire pressure when your tires are cold.

Nitrogen is a larger molecule than oxygen, so it does seep from tires at a slower rate than air. How much? About three times slower, which means your tires will stay properly inflated three times longer. If it’s a major inconvenience for you to check tire pressure, then by all means step up to nitrogen if you can get it cheap. If you have to pay more than a few bucks per tire, it’s just not worth it.

Why do race teams use the stuff instead of air? In racing, tire pressure is absolutely critical, and nitrogen filled tires don’t change pressure with heat as much as air filled tires do. When you’re talking about tenths of a second being worth thousands of dollars, the cost of a tank of nitrogen is just part of doing business.

Hawaiian Delicacy On Wheels

[Source: You Drive What?]

Michel Sallenbach Races The #46 Octane MINI

On July 17, 2010 Michel Sallenbach drove the #46 Octane MINI in the Toronto Indy Motor Race. Sallenbach equipped #46 with an in-car camera. Here is in-car video from the race -



Toronto 46 Sat July 17-Sallenbach race from Octane Motorsport on Vimeo.

What If Frogger Wasn't A Game?


[Source: xkcd]

Way Motor Works Buys Texas Speedwerks

Way Motor Works of Atlanta, GA, a well known retailer of MINI parts and performance upgrades, has purchased Texas Speedwerks, another retailer and manufacturer of MINI parts and performance upgrades. Way Motor Works indicates that it will soon re-start production of Texas Speedwerks parts. In the interim Way Motor Works is offering the remaining Texas Speedwerks inventory at very attractive prices.

Meet Up Location For Marine Mammal Center Tour And Run

On Saturday, August 21, 2010, NorCal MINIs will get an exclusive behind the scenes tour of the Marine Mammal CenterTickets are sold out for the tour but you can still go on the run and join us for lunch after the tour at the Pelican Inn.

We will meet promptly at 10:00 a.m. on the west lawn of Crissy Field, San Francisco, CA, and travel over the Golden Gate Bridge and through the Marin Headlands to the Marine Mammal Center for the tour.

NORCAL MINIS WILL COLLECT NEW, USED, OLD AND RATTY TOWELS FOR DONATION TO THE MARINE MAMMAL CENTER.  MAKE SURE YOU BRING YOUR TOWEL DONATIONS WITH YOU.

Flaming Out

Isn't the paint job redundant?

[Source: Reddit via Jalopnik]

A Chance To Pose Questions To MINIUSA's Product Manager

In light of the forthcoming release of the Countryman and Coupe MotoringFile is offering readers an opportunity to pose questions about MINI to Vinnie Kung, MINIUSA's Product Manager. Post your questions in the comments section at this MotoringFile post between now and Friday and the best questions will be asked of Kung in a sit-down interview.

The Best School Field Trip Ever


[Source: icanhasinternets]

Everything You Wanted To Know About Antifreeze

Over at CarJunky.com, Jay Buckley, technical training manager for Honeywell Consumer Products Group, answers the most frequently asked questions about antifreeze use in automobiles.

This Car Must Have Been Out Drinking Last Night

[Source: You Drive What?]

Avoid Car Theft. Drive A Pink Car

According to a study in the Netherlands between 2004 and 2008 black cars were the most often stolen vehicles. Following close behind was gray/silver automobiles. Not one of the 109 pink cars in the study was stolen. The conclusion is pink cars deter auto theft. Of course, you have to drive a pink car to take advantage of this phenomena.

[Source: Family Home Security]

He Owns 7,000 Rare Cars

The Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, owns 7,000 of world’s rarest cars worth $5,000,000,000 including 604 Rolls Royces, 574 Mercedes-Benzes, 452 Ferraris, 382 Bentleys, 209 BMWs, 179 Jaguars, 134 Koenigseggs, 21 Lamborghinis, 11 Aston Martins, and 1 SSC. The Sultan keeps them in five secret airplane hangars. Think he has trouble figuring out what he wants to drive when he gets up in the morning?

[Source: Gtspirit / Topspeed via AutoMotto]

What Do We Want In Our Cars?

A study by CNW Market Research found that women and men have different priorities with respect to cars. Women base their purchases on rear visibility, cost, front visibility, remote side mirrors and side air bags, in that order. Men. on the other hand, base their purchases on styling, horsepower, engine design, front visibility and the vehicle's sound system.

[Source: AOL Autos via Autoblog][ Photo Credit: SI.com]

Ever Just Want To Start Over?

[Source: flickr]

It's Official - Prodrive Built MINI Countryman To Compete In 2011 WRC Series

MINI has confirmed that a Prodrive Built MINI Countryman will compete inb part of the 2011 WRC series in preparation for a full year of WRC Series competition in 2012. Here is an excerpt from MINI's press release:
The powerful heart of the racing car is a 1.6-litre, four-cylinder turbo-charged engine from BMW Motorsport. The car complies with the new Super2000 regulations put in place by the International Automobile Federation (FIA), which stipulate the use of turbo engines with 1,600 cc displacement and four-wheel drive combined with an increased emphasis on road relevant technologies. The result is a significant 25 per cent reduction in overall costs. The first test drive for the MINI Countryman WRC, which will also be available to customer teams, is planned for autumn 2010.
[Source: via AutoGuide.com]

Heifer Bug

Don't Have A Cow - Bring The Freshness Home.

[Source: You Drive What?]

Library Of Classic British Motoring Prints

Check out Motorgraphs which has available classic British motor industry and motor sport prints from 1896 forward. We could spend hours on their website.

Better Than Living On Easy Street


[Source: via Jalopnik]

Isetta Hot Rod

[Source: http://pedjaaaaa.tumblr.com/ via Just A Car Guy]
http://pedjaaaaa.tumblr.com/

Might Want To Stay Out Of This Truck's Blindspot

Try passing this truck on a two lane road.

[Source: flickr]

Record Parallel Parking

Watch as these Kiwis set the Guinness World Record for the tightest parallel parking stunt.




[Source: via ZerCustoms]

BMW Group Partners With The USOC

BMW Group will be the Official Mobility Partner of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) from now through 2016. Every BMW and MINI dealer will fly an Olympic flag to celebrate this long-term commitment starting July 28, 2010. BMW Group will also be the Official Mobility Partner of four National Governing Bodies (NGBs): USA Bobsled & Skeleton, US Speedskating, USA Swimming and USA Track & Field. This is an honor that BMW Group purchased in exchange for a $25 million payment to the USOC.

[Source: MotoringFile]

Would You Let Your Wife Drive This Minivan?

[Source: You Drive What?]

Get Out Of Photo Red Light Tickets In CA For Free For Now

The Orange County Superior Court Appellate Division’s decision People v. Khaled has been certified for publication which means that photo red light tickets should be dismissed unless the camera photographs are properly authenticated and a proper foundation is presented in court.  Until the prosecution and red light companies can get their ducks in order a citation of People v. Khaled should result in dismissal of the photo ticket.

[Source: via The Truth About Cars]

MINI Countryman Launched In London

Go here for a video of the London launch party courtesy of MotoringFile.

Famous Former Tagger Artist Paints A MINI

Eduardo Kobra is a former Brazilian tagger who became a great Brazilian graffiti artist. He participated in MINI Art Nights and produced the MINI that he is standing next to in this photograph.

[Source: MINI Space]

MINI Connected Launch Pushed Back

According to MotoringFile MINI will push back the 2011 launch of MINI Connected in the USA a few weeks in order to improve the software. MINI Connected. Here's what MotoringFile says MINI Connected will be able to do:
[It] . . . allows your iPhone to Connected the outside world to your MINI. The option adds a new 6.5” hi-resolution screen (the same as on the 2011 Nav system), Comfort Bluetooth (6NE) with Smartphone prep (6NF), a Combox control box (interface the iPhone with the car), Voice recognition (620), and a joystick controller to access all features just as the MINI Navigation uses. Currently, only the iPhone is supported, but the Android and Blackberry Smartphones are being planned as well for a later launch.

Also, you can disconnect your iPhone or iPod from the cable and still listen to your music via Bluetooth wirelessly. This means you can literally walk away from the car and control your music with your iPhone from 20 feet away. And with the new system, the only cable you need is the standard iPhone cable that came from Apple.

Diving deeper into MINI Connected’s online functions, let’s take a look at what can come through to your car. A audio feature called Webradio allows you to search for radio stations around the world by country, genre and so forth. From there just select the station and it’s streamed into the car.

You can also access RSS feeds (like MotoringFile’s for instance) with MINI Connected. Simply select playback and voice recognition will read out the text to you and continue on beyond what you see, playing back the entire article. While stopped, you can also read the whole news article.

The much maligned Mission Control is also a part of MINI Connected and features over 3,500 sayings. You can pick and choose what you want to hear and adjust the “enthusiasm level” by selecting your driving theme. In addition, the upgraded system will have a “MINIMALISM” Analyzer that gives you real-time hints for optimum fuel efficiency. Perhaps the most important feature of Mission Control? You can turn it off.

Another new feature is Dynamic Music. It allows you to choose from several beats and based on your driving conditions, can increase or decrease the intensity and rhythm, allowing you to literally create your own track while driving.

Also incorporated is Google Local Search. Here, you can search for common items such as restaurants, fuel stations and even post offices by location, type and even business name. When a result is found you can select it and if they have a phone number and address listed online, Google will display it right in your car.

And if you are a Facebook and Twitter fan, you can read recent posts just like the news feeds where limited text is shown while driving, but can be played back to you thanks to text-to-voice technology. If you are stopped, then you can read more. If you need to respond, MINI Connected can help you post with pre-populated responses based on information that it knows. For instance, you can simply choose from several sentences that will include things like temperature and vehicle speed. And if you have NAV, MINI Connected can even include your destination and current location. You could post something like this with just one twist and one click- “Hey guys, it’s 3:00 PM and I’m in my MINI driving Southbound to Main Street on this warm 74 degree day.”

Lastly, there’s option 7L5, MINI Connected with Navigation that also features Real Time Traffic Information. The new NAV system uses an internal solid state memory so DVDs are not needed. Maps can be updated through a USB port in the glovebox. Best part? It’s going to be only $1,750, which is cheaper than last year, but adds everything mentioned above with MINI Connected.

BYU Bans Student's Motorized Couch

BYU doesn't want it on campus but we want one to ride around town!




[Source: via Gizmodo]

Is This What The MINI Canyon Will Look Like?

MotoringFile posts AutoExpress' unofficial rendering of the MINI Canyon, a three door variant of the Countryman,

Speaking Of Billboards


[Source: picchore.com]

Can You Explain This MINI Billboard?

Seems to us MINI would want everyone to know that a new dealer was coming to San Diego. Don't they want to tell everyone?

[Source: UKPylot's Mini Blog]

Fit For A Queen And Her Panties

Queen Elizabeth II's 1984 Daimler Double Six long wheelbase sedan will be offered by RM Auctions on Augist 12-14, 2010 at the annual Sports and Classics of Monterey auction in California. Rather than the Daimler’s customary split rear seating arrangement, a wider bench-seat allowed the Queen's dogs to have better space and comfort.

[Source: The New York Times]

Paved Illusions

Check out the gallery of 3D street art at smashingapps.com. These 2D paintings look like they have real depth. The illusions must give pedestrians and drivers pause.

MINI Countryman To Enter 2011 Rally Italy?

Autoblog reports a rumor that Prodrive and MINI will enter the WRC with a modded MINI Countryman for the 2011 Rally Italy.

See You At The Summer Picnic

We won't be posting today. We will be getting ready for tomorrow's NorCal MINIs' Day In The Delta Summer Picnic at Brannan Island State Recreation Area.

MotoringFile Reviews The MINI Mayfair Cooper S

Gabe writes that the Aisin 6 speed automatic transmission "sucks a little bit of the soul out of an incredibly fun car." He thought that "the Camden feels a bit superior in look and technology" and that "the radio interface continues to annoy and frankly confuse." You can check out the entire review and a nice photo gallery of the Mayfair at MotoringFile.

Sure, The French Think They Can Walk On Water

Hmmm. Maybe they have the balls to do it.

[Source: Mr. Horse @ Flickr via Autopia]

NORCAL MINIS CALENDAR & OTHER EVENTS