Friday, October 29, 2010

NorCal MINIs' Friday Upcoming Event Reminders

NorCal MINIs' Capitol Old Town Railroad Museum Run - November 6, 2010


SIGN UP NOW!!!!

Join NorCal MINIs as we run through the Delta to Old Town Sacramento and visit the California State Railroad Museum, saunter through Old Town and break bread at Joe's Crab Shack on Saturday, November 6, 2010. This event is open to everyone whether or not they are a NorCal MINIs' member.

Since fall is here, and winter is not that far away, on this run NorCal MINIs will be collecting coats, sweaters, jackets and sweatshirts for One Warm Coat. The goal of One Warm Coat is simple:
. . . to provide any Person in need with a warm coat free of charge.
Coats, sweaters, jackets and sweatshirts do not have to be new but should be in decent condition and clean. Please bring your donations with you on November 6, 2010 so we can help local people in need of warmth this winter especially during these trying times.

Members, RSVP TO your email invitation or email us at info@norcalminis.com to tell us you are coming.

SAVE THE DATE: Saturday, December 11, 2010 - NorCal MINIs' Annual Holiday Party

Don't plan anything for the evening of Saturday December 11, 2010. That is when NorCal MINIs will hold it annual Holiday Party. Put the date on your calendar! More information will be posted soon!

Have A Safe And Happy Halloween



AND GO GIANTS!!!!!


[Source: JustinGTP @ NorthAmericanMotoring.com]

The Answer My Friend Is Blowing In The Wind

How strong is jet wash - you know, the exhaust from a jet airplane? Well, look here -




And here -




[Source: via Jalopnik]

No Recall For You

BMW has recalled 130,000 turbo-powered vehicles over defective fuel pumps, but, the recall does not include any MINIs.

According to Jalopnik, dozens of MINI owners on forums such as North American Motoring have reported failing high-pressure fuel pumps in turbo-engined Cooper S models. Yet, MINI has no plans for a recall (although in July, MINI announced an extension on the warranty on the high-pressure pumps to 10 years or 120,000 miles on 2007-2009 Mini Cooper S vehicles.) MINI maintains the N14 engine in the Cooper S uses a different fuel pump than the one under recall by BMW and that the warranty extension "is sufficient"

 Jalopnik reports that many dealers have claimed there is no defect and that the problems stem for "bad fuel."

The Ultimate Halloween Super Car

Check out Robosteel's alien supercar. Designed by Indian designer Toonrama, it is made of recycled steel and based on the complex designs and structures of south Indian temples and the Kirtimukha sculptures that are positioned at the entrances of these temples.

[Source: AutoMotto]

That Ain't No Trans-Am!

Why would a MINI want to be a Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am from 1977?

[Source: You Drive What?]

Be Careful Out There This Weekend

Allstate Insurance Company's research says, in California, the number of people hit by cars jumps 25% on Halloween versus the rest of October. Watch what you drink, where you drive and where you walk.

[Source: The Auto Channel]

This Your Favorite Scariest Vehicle?

Hooniverse wants you to tell them about your favorite scaremobile.

Halloween Boo! Vehicles

Ridelust chooses the ten scariest looking cars of all time.

Rangers Might Be Needing This Article Right About Now

Cars.com's KickingTires blog advises what to do when disaster strikes - like when tires seem to be coming off.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Countryman Center Rail Attachment Prototypes

Earlier this year MINI ran a Product Design Competition with the object to design uses and attachments for the MINI Countryman Center Rail. At the recent Paris Motor Show, MINI exhibited the winning ideas as prototypes. You can check out the prototypes at BMWBlog.

What Do You Get When You Drop A 1,200 lb Pumpkin On A Pontiac?

Don't know what you get but it looks like this -




[Source: YouTube via Gizmodo]

MINI Of SF Starts A Holiday Food Drive

Photo Credit: USAutoParts
Starting November 1st through November 19th, MINI of San Francisco will be hosting a holiday food drive with San Francisco Food Bank. Barrels and donation boxes are located in the customer areas.

[Source: MINI Of SF facebook page]

Power Pole Strike

Hitting an electric power pole can be very dangerous as this amazing video shows. Night can be turned into day. Fortunately there were no major injuries from this crash in rural Cottonwood Heights, Utah.



[Source: YouTube via Gizmodo]

Wait A Minute! Was That A Real MINI Transformer?



[Source: YouTube via R35P3CT DA M1N1 @ NorthAmericanMotoring.com]

Ever Have A Bird Hit Your Car And Leave A Mark?

Some bird strikes are harder than others.

[Source: Imgur.com via Hooniverse]

Automobile Reviews The 2011 MINI Cooper Clubman

Automobile Magazine drives the 2011 MINI Cooper Clubman and concludes:
Now that a full four-door Countryman is available in the Mini lineup, the Cooper Clubman becomes the odd man out. What you gain in functionality you lose in joie de vivre. In a car that looks like a carnival ride, practical considerations such as luggage space and accessibility are not the point. But, if you're truly hooked on Mini mindset and you really need more seats for club crawling, the Clubman is your cost-effective, conversation-starting way to go.

Whole New Meaning To The Phrase "Drop Shipped"

That has got to hurt.

[Source: http://prova275.tumblr.com/post/826046537/easy-fix-2 via Just A Car Guy]

A MINI Cooper Diesel Gets A London Traffic Advantage

MotoringFile reports that the city of London, which charging certain kinds of vehicles a Congestion Charge of as much as £10 a day to be in certain areas of the city, starting January 2011 will exempt the MINI One D and Cooper D (but not the Cooper S Diesel) from the charges due to their low fuel consumption and emissions figures.

That Bison Must Feel Like The Rangers After Game 1

You are driving down the highway and see this scene in front of you. What would you do?

[Source: via Jalopnik]

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Talking Countryman WRC With The Head Of MINI Brand Management

BMWBlog landed an exclusive interview with Dr. Wolfgang Armbrecht, Senior Vice President Brand Management at MINI, to discuss the MINI WRC and the future for MINI in the rally world. Here is just one interesting tidbit from the interview:
BMWBLOG: We know that in Motorsports technical failures can happen, so we assume there will be more than one car in the championship.

Dr. Wolfgang Armbrecht: Sure, sure. And at the end there won’t be only this racing car, but also customer related cars. These are on the table too because we want to share the excitement with as many customers as possible. That is why we will also have customer-related rally cars.

Dude, Did You See That Pregnant Pteradactyl?

[Source: That Will Buff Out via Ridelust]

Soap Box Derby Racing In The Rain

Jalopnik has an excellent article on the All American Soap Box Derby's South Placer Soap Box Derby competition in Lincoln, CA that was run in the rain last weekend.

Ten Import Classics For Less Than $20,000

Ridelust has posted a list of ten import classic cars, including the original Mini, that you can snag today for less than a cool $20K.

Spain Is Making Hookers More Visible To Drivers

So prostitutes won't be as much of a distraction for traffic, (you know how difficult it is to see one when your driving since they blend in so well) officials in Els Alamus, near Barcelona, Spain, are strictly requiring prostitutes to either wear fluorescent vests or face a fine.
"In the past couple of months the prostitutes have been fined for two reasons: for not wearing the reflective jacket and for creating danger on the public highway,"
a spokesman for the regional police force, the Mossos d'Esquadra, was quoted as saying.

[Source: autoevolution]

Basement Race Tracks

When we were little kids we would set up a slot car track in the basement usually until Mom reclaimed the space and had us clean it up. However, check out this basement slot car racetrack by James Harlan with 145 foot lap length, 19 turns and 2.5 feet of elevation change. Mom didn't have him pick it up that's for sure!




[Source: via Ridelust]

Hey Norway. Up For A MINI Run?

This is Trollstigen, Norway, a road any MINI owner would dream of driving,  listed as one of Woman's Day's "10 Awe-Inspiring Roads Around The World." Have any of you MINI owners run this road?

Grid Girls Of The Korean Grand Prix 2010

Hello ladies! worldcarfans.com has a photo gallery of the grid girls from the Korean Grand Prix 2010, made possible through a journalist's love hotel.

Dates Set For UK MINI Challenge 2011

[Photo Credit: ZCars.com.au]
The UK MINI Challenge dates for 2011 have been announced.

Silverstone GP Arena - 16th April
Oulton Park International - 14th May
Brands Hatch Indy - 4th & 5th June
Brands Hatch GP - 30th & 31st July
Donington Park - 20th & 21st Aug
Anglesey International - 24th & 25th Sept
Snetterton 300 - 22th & 23th Oct.

[Source: via NeilAndHisMini @ totalMini.com]

Kelly Blue Book To Be Bought By AutoTrader.com

There goes "The Trusted Resource."

AutoTrader.com announced that it will purchase Kelly Blue Book. According to the New York Times the transaction is worth "$500 million to $1 billion.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Audi A1 Versus MINI Cooper

Auto Express reviews the new Audi A1 and compares it to the MINI Cooper. Which is better? Neither. Auto Express decides it wants to drive the MINI but own the A1  Go here to check out the video to find out why.

[Source: via ZerCustoms]

Carve A Michelin Man Pumpkin

Okay motorheads, Halloween is upon us. Grace your walkway with the "spooky" face of Bibendum, the "Michelin Man," on a pumpkin. You can download the stencil here from the Michelin Man's Facebook page.

[Source: via Jalopnik]

All He Really Wanted Was A Wood Dashboard

Wonder if, instead of heated seats, it has a sauna button.

[Source: The Fireball Tim Blog via CarDomain Blog]

ElMINIation!

Check out this video of a new competition created by two Swedish MINI owners that they call "ElMINIation." Here's how it works:

Two MINIs are started in opposite directions on identical cone track courses and then return (on the same cone track) and stop in a marked square approximately ten meters apart. The drivers then switch tracks. The winner in each heat gets ten points and the loser five points. There is a one point penalty for hitting a cone. Check it out -




[Source: via Fredrick @ totalMINI.com]

Say Hey To Goldie Hawn And Kurt Russel

Here's a photo of them in their new MCS - of course, Goldie is driving!

[Source: Celebrity Cars Blog]

May Be Better Not To Take The Freeway

[Source: That Will Buff Out]

Dr. Mario Thiessen Discusses The Countryman WRC

Dr. Mario Thiessen is the Director of Motorsport for BMW and rarely grants interviews. BMWBlog was fortunate enough to get ten minutes with him on the morning of the 2010 Petit Le Mans. Dr. Thiessen spoke of the Countryman WRC and other engine related BMW matters. Check out BMWBlog for the  transcript of the short, exclusive interview.

Road Trip Anyone? Monte Carlo Or Bust

On Thursday October 26, 2010, from 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm, watch a little internet television over at itv.com channel 1. itv.com will air the first episode of "Monte Carlo or Bust," In this show three couples hit the road on a mad-cap jaunt from London to Monte Carlo. Paired up to embark on this travel adventure are Jack Dee and Ade Edmondson, in a VW camper van, Jodie Kidd and Julian Clary, in a Bentley convertible and Penny Smith and Rory McGrath, in a union jack bedecked Mini Cooper.

Here, in part, is what itv.com says about the series:
As their journeys unfold taking in the stunning French countryside, winding around breath-taking mountains and cruising along the coastal roads the couples are tasked with collecting a total of three items that best represent the head, heart and stomach of each of the regions they are passing through.

The intrepid explorers are followed as they each find their own route through France and at the
end of each stage of their journey they are judged on what they have learned and collected along the way. The overall winners are revealed in the stunning setting of Monte Carlo in Monaco.

Changing Clothes In A MINI

Own a car cover for your MINI? CruzinChris at North American Motoring shows how to change your clothes on the road in your MINI.

NorCal MINIs Chooses Events For 2011

On Saturday, Octrober 23, 2010, NorCal MINIs held its Annual Membership Breakfast Planning Meeting to tally the votes for this years events and to choose a fifth Director for the NorCal MINIs Board of Directors. The results are in!

Welcome New Board Member Tara Moore!


Congratulations to new Board Member Tara Moore. We look forward to the direction she can provide to the Club.

2011 NorCal MINI Events


Get ready for a stellar year of NorCal MINIs' events. Here are the winning events for 2011:

1. Winchester Mystery House to Santa Cruz Mystery Spot Run;
2. A's vs. Giants at AT&T Park (GO GIANTS!);
3. Ft. Bragg Skunk Train Overnight;
4. Down In Monterey Run;
5. Mt. Lassen Overnight;
6. Pinnacles National Monument Run;
7. Penn Valley BBQ Contest and Rodeo Run;
8. Rio Vista Western Railway Museum Run;
9. Lake Berryessa/Turtle Rock Bar Run.

Don't forget these other events in which NorCal MINIs will participate:

1. Keith's Run;
2. AMVIV8;
3. MINI Meet West;
4. Summer Picnic;
5. North Meets South; and
6. 2011 Holiday Party.

These are just the official events. If you don't see one you want make one of your own! If you can help us plan one of these events drop us an email at info@norcalminis.com. Your input is always welcome.

Details and dates for these events will be forthcoming. Check back often!

Friday, October 22, 2010

NorCal MINIs' Friday Upcoming Event Reminders

NorCal MINIs' Annual Membership Planning Meeting 

Come to breakfast tomorrow, Saturday, October 23, 2010, for the annual general NorCal MINIs' Membership Meeting at 9:00 a.m. at Vic's All Star Kitchen at 201 Main Street, 3A, Pleasanton, CA to plan and vote on NorCal MINIs' events and runs for 2011.

ON-LINE VOTING ENDS AT MIDNIGHT TONIGHT, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2010. IF YOU DO NOT VOTE BY MIDNIGHT YOU MAY ONLY VOTE IN PERSON AT THE MEETING ON SATURDAY.

ADVISORY: Sharon Stevens reports that signs are up on Main St. in Pleasanton that it will be closed from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday. Give yourself additional time to find a parking space and to get to Vic's due to this closure.

Members who will be attending breakfast please RSVP by responding to your member email invitation or by emailing us at info@norcalminis.com . Only the first 30 people who sign up can be guaranteed a place at the NorCal MINIs' table under the group reservation. Please also note that the restaurant will only provide a single check per table.

NorCal MINIs' Capitol Old Town Railroad Museum Run

Join NorCal MINIs as we run through the Delta to Old Town Sacramento and visit the California State Railroad Museum, saunter through Old Town and break bread at Joe's Crab Shack on Saturday, November 6, 2010. This event is open to everyone whether or not they are a NorCal MINIs' member.

Since fall is here, and winter is not that far away, on this run NorCal MINIs will be collecting coats, sweaters, jackets and sweatshirts for One Warm Coat. The goal of One Warm Coat is simple:
. . . to provide any Person in need with a warm coat free of charge.
Coats, sweaters, jackets and sweatshirts do not have to be new but should be in decent condition and clean. Please bring your donations with you on November 6, 2010 so we can help local people in need of warmth this winter especially during these trying times.

Members, RSVP TO your email invitation that will be sent following the Annual Meeting. Non-members, email us at info@norcalminis.com to tell us you are coming.

SAVE THE DATE: Saturday, December 11, 2010 - NorCal MINIs' Annual Holiday Party

Don't plan anything for the evening of Saturday December 11, 2010. That is when NorCal MINIs will hold it annual Holiday Party. Put the date on your calendar! More information will be posted soon!

Watch ProDrive Make And Test The MINI Countryman WRC



[Source: via MotoringFile]

Put Him In The Circus!!!

And, get him some shoes!




[Source: via CarDomain Blog]

More Joint Development By BMW and PSA

InAutoNews reports that "The BMW Group and PSA Peugeot Citroën intend to expand their cooperation by including hybrid components for front-wheel-drive vehicles."

Apparently, the components are to be used in front-wheel-drive vehicles with electrified drive trains with a view toward standardizing key elements of these systems.

Broken Promise Of Tubular, Air Conditioned Highways

In this 1958 video Disney told us that, by the 21st Century, we would have "tubular, air conditioned highways" and the "sun powered electro suspension car." It got those things wrong. But, check out all of the things Disney got (kind of) right.




[Source: via Carscoop]

Ladies, A Car Rally Just For You

Next March will mark the 21st Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles, a nine-day race over the sand dunes of North Africa with only compass, ruler, time piece and outdated paper maps open only to two woman teams. Check out the video for more information -




[Source: via autoblog]

Cars.com Chimes In With Its 2011 MINI Countryman Review

Joe Wiesenfelder reviews the 2011 MINI Countryman for Cars.com. He concludes
As for the Countryman's performance, it doesn't quite live up to the expectations set by the cars, partly because its steering needs work. The greater question is how the Countryman compares with other small, sporty crossovers. Well, there aren't too many. I've yet to drive the Outlander Sport and the Juke, and though I've heard the latter has good dynamics, you might chalk that up to its smaller size. Though the little-known Tiguan is larger overall than the Countryman, I've always found it to be a lot of fun in base form, thanks to its gutsy turbocharged 2.0-liter and six-speed manual. Its solid feel and German heritage might also appeal to anyone who's considering the German-owned English Mini.

No, Really? That's Not Jackie Chan?

Ordinarily we do not post horrific traffic accidents, however, this one from China is absolutely incredible. Watch as the scooter driver hits a pick-up truck at high speed, somersaults over it, lands on his feet, and returns unscathed to mourn the shrapnel that was once his bike. Sign this guy up immediately as a movie stunt double. According to Carscoop (via Gizmodo and Jalopnik), it is all real and was captured on this CCTV video -


Slip Stitch, Yarn Over, Skip

Check out the crocheted 1959 Morris Minor by artist Olek in her installation, "Knitting is for Pus****"




[Source: autoblog]

Room "Service" For Reporters At The F1 Korean Grand Prix

According to Jalopnik, due to a paucity of hotel rooms in Seoul for the upcoming Korean Grand Prix, Formula 1 booked journalists and some race teams into Korea's famous "love hotel" rooms. There have been complaints of used condoms under beds and dildo-vending machines.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

MINI Getaway Stockholm 2010

Forget the beautiful blondes and male Swedish ski instructors, head over to Stockholm to participate in MINI Getaway Stockholm 2010 and you could possibly win a Countryman. If you don't you'll still have the blondes and ski instructors.




[Source: via hodder @ MINI2.com]

"Come Here MINI - Here MINI MINI MINI, Come"

A group of German scientists have developed "MadeInGermany (MIG)," a system that allows you to command via GPS enabled phone or computer your driverless vehicle to navigate its way to you along the shortest path. The system allows the car to drive itself aided by sensors that read the road for obstacles via a 3D image of the street that permits detection of oncoming traffic. It also has the ability to respond to traffic lights so it abides by the highway code.

[Source: 0-60 Mag via AutoMotto]

MINI E's Getting Love In The USA

USA Today reports on US MINI E drivers and finds that many are hooked on the vehicle.

Saudis In Audis



[Source: via Jalopnik]

Raising A Trailer To Store The MINI

randap @ totalMINI.com of France constructed an inexpensive, but ingenious, hoist to elevate his  bike trailer in order to fit his MINI in his one car garage. Here are his videos:


Take A Cold Shower After This BMW M3 Commercial



[Source: via Ridelust]

A Two Cylinder MINI May Be The Future

Dr. Klaus Draeger, member of the board of management in charge of development at BMW AG, hinted to German magazine Auto, Motor und Sport that a two-cylinder, 1.0 liter power plant for the future BMW front drive platforms that BMW will share with MINI may be in the offing instead of utilizing expensive hybrid technology to keep emissions down.

[Source: via worldcarfans.com]

Never Park Close To The Train Tracks

Here's what could happen if you do -




[Source: Streetfire.net via CarDomain Blog]

Automobile Magazine Drives The 2011 MINI Cooper S Countryman

Automobile Magazine, after driving the 2011 MINI Cooper S Countryman, is slightly disappointed. It says:
While the driving position is perfect for the mission, the initial steering response off the straight and narrow is encouraging, and the S edition's turbo engine is steeped in spirit, there are lapses in the Countryman's driving dynamics.
It concludes:
Ultimately, the satisfaction to be reaped from the Mini Countryman depends on your frame of reference. Moving down from a larger crossover or over from a Subaru Forester or Toyota RAV4, it's sure to feel fresh and lively, particularly in turbocharged CooperS trim. But graduating to the Countryman after a stint in any Mini Cooper hardtop or convertible, the joy of four doors and increased cabin space will soon be diminished by life's harshest reality: growing up is hard to do.

Women Don't Play With Dipsticks Often Enough

[Graphic Credit: via FreeRepublic.com]
According to research by Autoquake.com, the UK’s largest online used car retailer, more than one-in-ten female drivers (12%) never check their car’s oil level and twice as many women (14%) as men (7%) admit to never checking their tire pressures while almost one-in-five say they never check the tread-depth.

[Source: The Auto Channel]