Friday, July 29, 2011

NorCal MINIs Friday Reminders

Join NorCal MINIs

2011 NorCal MINIs' annual Membership is only $25.00/family.  Use the Paypal Button to join us in 2011:












NorCal MINIs Fort Bragg Skunk Train Overnight


NorCal MINIs Fort Bragg Skunk Train Overnight is scheduled for Sat., August 13 through Sun., August 14, 2011 when we will run up the Coast and take the Skunk Train to a catered BBQ in the redwoods. For complete information on this run go here. The overnight is open to all but spaces are limited so book early.

Members, please RSVP to your email invitations. Non-members, please follow the instructions here and email us at info@norcalminis.com to tell us you are coming.







The Devil's Backbone With SCMM

September 8 through 11, 2011 SoCal MINI Maniacs (SCMM) will hold its Devil's Backbone Run and NorCal MINIs members are invited to join in! Reports are that REME, Shasta MINIs, Sin City MINIs, Sierra Nevada MINIs and Dynamic MINI Collective club members will also join the run.

SCMM says,
The three-night trip will cover some of the most beautiful and historic parts of California’s Gold Country and Eastern Sierra Nevada mountain range. The first night’s stay will be in Oakhurst, followed by Murphys the second night, and then Mammoth Lakes for our final night. Our route will take us along Highway 49, where California’s Gold Rush took place 162 years ago. Some of the original mining-town buildings are still in use today and walking down these streets is like stepping back into the wild west days. Our overnight in Murphys will include an optional Sammy Hagar
concert at the Ironstone Vineyard Amphitheater. The next morning we’ll cross the Sierra Nevada over breathtaking Monitor Pass on our way to Mammoth Lakes for the final evening of festivities
For more information and discount hotel codes for the event check out the SCMM Newsletter (page 9). NorCal MINIs Members Richard and Sharon Stevens have already signed up to go and will leave from the Bay Area. Contact them if you would like to caravan.

It looks to be a great event and we hope many of you can attend.

Squirrel Plays Chicken With A Racing Lamborghini





[Source: socalspeedzone@YouTube]

MotorAuthority Reviews The 2011 MINI Cooper Clubman


Viknesh Vijayenthiran in his review of the 2011 MINI Cooper Clubman for MotorAuthority says:
We strongly recommend you get a turbo model--Clubman S or Clubman JCW--as the increased level of performance is very noticeable and simply so much fun. The same can be said for the difference between the standard manual transmission and available auto.
He then refers the reader to TheCarConnection for a thorough review. TheCarConnection gave the Clubman an overall rating of 8 out of a possible 10.

Lose Your Licence And You're Screwed


The Australian Motor Accident Commission commissioned a series of clever video public service announcements  for its campaign "Lose Your Licence and You're Screwed" of some of the consequences of losing your driver's license in order to promote safe driving. Here are a three of them via The Car Connection:








CoverEFX Gives The R53 A Little Love


German tuning house CoverEFX has a new package for the MINI Cooper S Mk1 (R53) that includes, on the outside, a flat gunmetal grey vinyl wrap for the body contrasted by an orange colored roof and front fenders as well as the glossy black trim for the aero package and body trim; smoked out lights; and 17-inch multispoke alloy wheels in black with an orange rim. The MINI's 1.6-liter turbocharged engine is boosted to 240-horsepower are sits on a lowered sports suspension. The total cost of the package is about $11,400 US.

[Source: Carscoop]

Manual Up


MINI has the highest manual take rate percentage of any auto brand that is not strictly a sports car manufacturer. According to MarketingDaily:
Thomas Salkowsky, manager of Mini brand marketing, says that in spite of an increasingly clutch-free world, about 34% of buyers of the Clubman, the Mini Cooper convertible and the hard top buy the manual version, and that even for the AWD version of the Countryman, Mini's answer for a crossover, the manual take rate is about 30%. In New England, according to Salkowsky, it's a 50/50 split between auto and manual, and even in highway-bound L.A. it's about 15%. That's a huge percentage, given the national average. AOL Auto's editor, Kirk Seaman, wrote last year that back in 1985 22.4% of all vehicles sold in the U.S. came with a manual transmission. By 2007, it was 7.7%. AOL Autos says last year it was about 5.5%.
To capitalize on this lead in manual transmission sales MINI has recently launched a new marketing campaign - "Manualhood." The campaign touts rowing your own gears complete with car stickers that tell passers-by that the vehicle has a stick. There will also be posters and car toppers; a "Manualhood" Motoring Manual; a phone number, 855-Manual-Up (as in "man up") with a humorous message about what it means to be in the 'hood; and MINI dealerships will have a manual-shift car set aside for test drives with "Manual Up" signage.

Nine Countries In A MINI On One Tank Of Fuel


The Sydney Morning Herald grabbed a MINI Cooper D in Brennero, Italy and traveled through Italy, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Germany, France, Luxembourg, Belguim and Denmark all on one tank of diesel.

Read about the adventure here at stuff.co.nz.

MINIs Rip Up First Leg Of Rally Finland


After day one and three stages of Rally Finland Dani Sordo (ES) and Carlos de Barrio (ES) of the MINI WRC Team sat sixth overall in the number 37 MINI John Cooper Works WRC while Kris Meeke (GB) and Paul Nagle (IR) were ninth in number 52. The Brazilian WRT Rally Team using a MINI John Cooper Works WRC driven by Daniel Oliveira was in 38th place.

Frenchman Sebastien Loeb (Citroen) is leading the rally with a 2.8s. difference over his team-mate and countryman Sebastien Ogier (Citroen).

[Sources: Motorsport.com/Motorsport.com]

MCS Called "A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing"


Jung Seung-hyun writes for the Korean JoongAng Daily after a test drive of the MINI Cooper S. He concludes, in part:
On the highway, the MINI Cooper S’ sports button was useful, as it made the vehicle more powerful. Reaching over 180 kilometers per hour (111.8 miles per hour) was easily done, but the vehicle was a bit hesitant to go north of 190. Still, the MINI was a satisfying drive, fast or slow.

The current two door MINI Cooper lineup, which includes the MINI Cooper SE, MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S, ranges from 30.5 million won ($29,000) to 40.1 million won. If you’re looking for more excitement in your drive, the MINI may be a good pick for you. And as the MINI slogan goes, “Please do not tease or annoy the MINI.”

Welcome New Member Ryan Gangemi And RGMW


Say hello to Ryan Gangemi, one our newest NorCal MINIs members. Ryan is President of Ryan Gangemi Motorworks (RGMW) located at 1905 Dry Creek Rd., No. 7, Auburn, CA 95602, Tel. No. (530) 305-2499. RGMW has a certified BMW Master Technician, ASE Master Technician and licensed Smog Tech. They only work on BMWs and MINIs. Services include everything from engine swaps, complete maintenance and repair, mobile glass repair to mobile paintless dent repair. RGMW also preps cars for racing and sells racing parts. It also offers free vehicle inspections to first time customers.

We are pleased to announce that NorCal MINIs Members will a receive 15% discount off labor at RGMW. Details will be available in the NorCal MINIs Google Group.  Thank you Ryan and RGMW!


Thursday, July 28, 2011

MINI Countryman Has APEAL


[Photo Credit: Auto Atlantic MINI]
BMW Group PressClub USA has issued a press release that advises that J.D. Power in its latest customer survey – the Automotive Performance and Layout Study (APEAL) – that assesses satisfaction levels among North American new car buyers, gave the BMW 5 Series range, BMW X3, BMW Z4 and MINI Countryman first place in their respective vehicle segments. The MINI Cooper hatchback came in second in its segment.


A Visit To The AC Schnitzer Factory


GTSpirit visited the AC Schnitzer Factory, the world's largest BMW and MINI tuner as well as a worldwide leading supplier for special BMW and MINI parts. On AC Schnitzer's premises are dealerships for BMW, MINI, Ranger Rover, Opel, Harley Davidson and BMW motorcycles; an enormous workshop, paint shop, washing street, dyno and a photo studio.There is also a in-house gourmet restaurant “kohlibri” above the main office.

During GTSpirit's visit the fastest MINI Cooper JCW, called the Eagle, was displayed in the main showroom. It is powered by the same engine as the John Cooper Works and is able to accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in just 5.8 seconds with a top speed of 250km/h. A new ECU, modified turbo, intercooler, and a stainless steel exhaust system with racing catalyst provide the additional power. AC Schnitzer also fitted a sport clutch, a limited slip differential, a lightweight ion battery, a racing suspension and anti-roll bars. The aerodynamics package includes a new bonnet, boot lid, rear diffuser, new wings, new doors, and a rear spoiler all made from carbon fiber reducing the weight of the car.


Washing Cars For Vladimir Putin


Known as "Putin's Army" is a group of self-proclaimed "young and beautiful" Russian girls who will do just about anything to get Valdimir Putin back into the Kremlin next year including cleaning cars dressed in bikinis and eight-inch heels in front of Moscow's State University building on July 21, 2011.

Earlier this month, Putin's Army used the social network to call upon "young, smart and beautiful girls" to join their legion and show their love and support to Vladimir Putin by tearing up their shirts.






[Source: via Carscoop]

Third Generation MINI To Debut At MINI United 2012


MotoringFile reports that the third Generation MINI (known internally as the F56) will debut late next summer at MINI United.

More Of Blake Lively In A MINI

Website popsugar caught Gossip Girl actress Lively zipping around town behind the wheel of a MINI Cooper in Los Angeles yesterday filming Oliver Stone's Savages wearing a two piece top.

RSR Motorsport Finish 1 and 2 in ST class of the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge


RSR Motorsport took first and second in the ST class of Saturday’s GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race. It is the first double podium for RSR Motorsport.

Owen Trinkler and Sarah Cattaneo drove the No. 198 RSR Motorsport MINI Cooper S to victory. It is the first series victory for Cattaneo. Chris Puskar and Tom Dyer finished second in the No. 197 RSR Motorsport MINI Cooper S. The race was Dyer’s first time behind the wheel of a MINI.

With one round left in the season, Cattaneo and Trinkler have moved into third in the team championship points, just nine points out of first. You can see the double podium for RSR Motorsport during the race broadcast on SPEED on Saturday, July 30, at 3:00 p.m. E.T.

[Source: PaddockTalk]


East Bay MINI Sponsors Heritage High School Theatre Club




This notice recently appeared on East Bay MINI's Facebook wall photos

A Good Look At Kristen Stewart In Her Modded MINI


Kristen Stewart is one of the actresses in the film Breaking Dawn Twilight Saga and has been a fixture in the Twilight Vampire series. Facecarsx.com has a nice gallery of photos of Ms. Stewart and her modded black MINI. Based on the photos it looks like she has had the MINI lowered, de-badged and fitted with a one ball exhaust and carbon fibre hood.



First MINI WRC Team Shakedown At Rally Finland Done


Carlos del Barrio, Paul Nagle, Dani Sordo and Kris Meeke successfully completed the MINI WRC Team's first shakedown runs at Rally Finland and say they are now ready to take on the first three special stages of the rally.

[Source: via MotoringFile]

Dangerous Blonde


Insanity! Two tons of Suburban driven hands free while licking an ice cream cone and talking on a cell phone. My God woman! - you just reinforce stereotypes about blondes. Where are the police when you need them?

[Source: via That Will Buff Out]

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

NorCal MINIs Exclusive: Coupe Caught In California


NorCal MINIs received this spy photo of a new MINI Cooper S Coupe from a reliable confidential source who advises that it was recently taken in Ontario, California.

MINIs In The Mountains Starts In Eight Days


examiner.com reports on the upcoming Sixth Annual MINIs In The Mountains (MITM), a MINI Cooper car rally in Winter Park, CO that starts Thursday, Aug. 4 and goes through Sunday, Aug. 7, 2011. MITM is hosted by Winter Park Resort and MINI5280, the Colorado MINI Cooper car club. More than 200 MINI Coopers and nearly 300 participants are expected from across the United States. examiner.com writes, in part:
Event highlights include the MINI Cooper Cruise down Highway 40 in Winter Park starting at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug., 4, ending with a live concert at Hideaway Park. On Friday, Aug. 5, the first MINI of Loveland Auto-X will take place in the Vintage Hotel parking lot using the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the BMW Car Club of America’s equipment.

On Saturday, Aug. 6, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., PEAK Eurosport presents the NUF! Car Show in The Village at Winter Park, where over 30 MINIs will be on display to the public, including a few classic Mini Coopers. Here’s the full schedule, and for more information go to www.minisinthemountains.com

The Inside Of An Engine From An Oil Droplet's Perspective


To be specific, from the perspective of a droplet of intelligent Mobil One oil in a Mercedes Benz engine.





[Source: via Ridelust]

The Auto Channel Reviews The 2011 Mini Cooper S Countryman ALL4


The Auto Channel gives its top five reasons for buying the 2011 MCS Countryman ALL4:
1. Fun small SUV
2. Mini-ness in a bigger package
3. Solid performance
4. Go-kart handling
5. Solidly built
Reviewer John Heilig concludes:
My wife wouldn’t let me buy an original Mini (wisely). She also wouldn’t let me buy an MG 1600. She might let me buy a Countryman, but I think she’d still opt for something larger.

A Woman's Perspective On The MCS Convertible


303 Magazine of the Ralph Shomp MINI dealership in Denver, CO has launched a new automobile blog – A Woman’s Perspective by Alissa Barry. The subject of the first review is the MINI Cooper S Convertible. Among Barry's conclusions:
Bottom Line: Got stuff to do? It’s great for getting there in a hurry, but not created to stuff a bunch of things in the trunk. Perfect, happy vehicle for a single female with little baggage.

Zoom Factor: A convenient choice for women who like to put the hammer down.

Why Your GPS Won't Work At Mach 2 Or Above 60,000 Feet


[Photo Credit: GPS Wire]
Gizmodo provides the factual reasons why GPS doesn't work at Mach 2 or at an altitude above 60,000 feet. Apparently, you can thank the communists. Gizmodo says, citing Wikipedia:
The CoCOM, or Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls, was established in the early years of the Cold War to put an arms embargo on Eastern Bloc countries. After GPS was developed by the Defense Department, COCOM limits were put in place so that the government could be sure the technology wouldn't end up in commie-guided missiles.
Of course, the Cold War is over. That your GPS stops functioning when you're moving that fast or that high (which is to say not often) is because it's a relic of a bygone age.


Blake Lively Does "Savages" MINI Cooper Scene


Twenty-three year old actress Blake Lively, known for her work in the movie "Gossip Girls" working on a scene for her new movie "Savages" was spotted in Los Angeles dropping a blue robe and then sitting behind the wheel of a Chili Red MINI Cooper Convertible.

[Source: Just Jared]

MINI Makes List Of Best Cars For People Who Can't Park


Automobile Magazine chose the MINI Cooper as one of its choices in the "Small, Maneuverable Cars" category. The total list is twelve different cars and, in addition to "Small, Maneuverable Cars" list cars that have "Advanced Camera Systems," "Cars That Park Themselves" and those that "Cheat: Get The Valet To Do It." About the MINI Cooper the article author Jake Holmes writes:
Today's Mini Cooper builds on the heritage of the tiny, front-wheel-drive car that began with the British-built Mini back in 1959. This small hatch offers a compelling combination of engaging driving dynamics, retro-fun styling, and cutesy add-ons (like Union Jack mirror housings and rally stripes). Slightly larger than the similarly retro Fiat 500, the Mini Cooper is nonetheless ideal for constrained parking spots thanks to its 146.6-inch length and 66.3-inch width.

The Mini Cooper hardtop and convertible provide seating for four people, but the rear seats are quite small. Still, the chic Mini has gained favor with hip commuters, while weekend racers have gravitated to the more powerful S and John Cooper Works models. With a 35.1-foot turning circle and compact dimensions, the Cooper will easily slot into the tightest of parking spaces and look good while doing so.

Save Fuel By Keeping The Top Up


egmCarTech reports on a USA Today article that states that:
In a recent study conducted by Kelsey Mays of Cars.com, she used a 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK350 to find out what the real difference was in fuel economy. Normally, the car gets 31.7 mpg, but with the top down, the car lost 4.4 miles per gallon, an overall 14% decrease occurred.
The loss of gas mileage is due to too much wind. As the article concludes:
Despite many attempts by automakers, so far none have succeeded in wind reduction. Maybe they aren’t thinking far enough outside the box, or maybe it is simply impossible to avoid.

MINI Space Reports On MOTD


MINI Space discusses MINIs on The Dragon (MoTD) which is now in its ninth year. MoTD travels US Highway 129 in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the Southeastern United States. The Highway sports 318 curves over the course of 11 miles of two lane road.  Dozens of  events are planned for MINIs throughout MoTD.  MINI Space reports that, this year, the MoTD attracted a record "832 MINIacs in 543 MINIs".

Garmin GPS Goes To The Dark Side


You can now download Darth Vader to your Garmin GPS to give you directions such as “Go straight on, the Emperor awaits.” You can download Vader from the Garmin website for $12.99. The bundle includes TIE fighter vehicle icon to display on your Garmin map screen as you drive on your far, far away commute.

Darth Vader joins SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, and Squirrely the Squirrell as available voices for the Garmin GPS.

[Source: Consumer Reports via AutoGuide.com]

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

First Special Rally Finlandia Stage Starts Thursday


MINI Motorsport discusses the "meticulous preparation" undertaken by the MINI WRC for the Rally Finland. The article also explains the complexities and difficulties that will encountered along the rally route:
The technical department of the MINI WRC Team has done a good job of ensuring that [drivers] Dani [Sordo] and Kris [Meeke] have two well-prepared cars. No easy task, particularly in Finland. The Rally Finland has certain perils that make a complex technical set-up of the car essential. On the one hand, the many jumps demand harder suspensions with a larger spring travel. On the other hand, the car should lie as low as possible in the corners and have good balance in order to be able to use maximum traction.

"Not many teams have found the right combination for Finland in the past," says Finland expert and Mini legend Rauno Aaltonen. In order to find the right formula for Finland, Aaltonen is working closely with the MINI WRC Team and will be available in a consultant capacity during the rally.

Another challenge is the rally's profile, which features a combination of fast sections, some tight corners and many spectacular jumps. In addition, six new special stages are planned for this year. For this reason, the organisers have scheduled three days for the route inspection and co-drivers Carlos
[del Barrio] and Paul [Nagle] met on-site last Friday to evaluate the key sections of the 1355-kilometre rally.

Countryman Teaser Took Camo Tape Over The Top


Before the MINI Countryman was formally introduced MINI teased the vehicle with this video about which Albert Austria at edmund's inside line recently wrote
. . . most of you have seen BMW's wild camo tape on their prototype test cars that prevent photographers and the public from figuring out the styling. Well, sister company Mini took this idea when the Countryman was introduced and ran with it -- all the way to the insane asylum.


Savage On Wheels Reviews The 2011 MINI Cooper


Mark Savage, writing for the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, reviews the 2011 MINI Cooper.

Goodbye Elliot And Thanks


On July 21, 2011, at 95 years old, Elliot Handler, the inventor Hot Wheels cars, died. In nearly 43 years there have been more than 10,000 designs of Hot Wheels cars.

[Source: AutoWeek]

Party Time With The Countryman S


Mark Takahashi at edmund's inside line used their long term MINI Countryman S tester topick up a keg and some cheese and tells how the Countryman S performs these party prep errands.

Persian Gulf BMW and MINI Sales Jump 29%


gulfnews.com reports:
Dubai: AGMC, the official BMW Group importer in Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah, has sold a total of 2,014 BMW and Mini cars in the first half of this year, marking a 29 per cent increase over the same period last year.
The MINI hatch and Countryman accounted for most of the MINI sales.

From A Posh Pittsburgh Neighborhood


Taken in front of a Pittsburgh MINI dealership. That's the way to go to school!

(Excuse me, driver, Mom packed me a sack lunch. Can you pass the Grey Poupon?)

[Source: That Will Buff Out]

Is This The 2014 MINI Hybrid?


MINI News of MINILosAngeles.com claims that the accompanying photo is a spy shot of the 2014 MINI Cooper Hybrid. It writes:
The 2014 MINI Cooper is a hybrid vehicle unlike any other. The front wheels are connected to a gas motor, while the rear wheels run on a completely unattached electric motor. The car switches from gas to electric depending on the speed of the car and the driving conditions. This fascinating hybridization movement is thanks to a one-of-a-kind partnership between parent company BMW and the European car maker, PSA Peugot Citroen. Together, these two superstars of car engineering have created a new generation of affordable hybrid cars, specifically designed for the MINI Cooper line.
The article further claims that the MINI Hybrid will not be just one car but a series - "Different versions are expected to be seen, ranging from the typical MINI Cooper to the Countryman."

Can't Touch This: Electronic Road Sign Hacked In Portland



A sign on the Morrison Bridge over the Willamette River in Portland, OR was hacked to warn first to "Stop" and then that it is "Hammertime." Authorities were unable to change the sign back and had to call the contractor to fix the sign even though Jalopnik, which published this story, also published detailed directions on how to hack the sign.

Ten Next Generation MINIs And Five BMWs To Be Based on UKL1 Platform

Rampant reports today that the next generation platform, the Mk3 MINI family, will grow to encompass 10 individual models and will become fully integrated into the BMW family. Autocar.co.uk has this photo gallery of what these vehicles might look like. These new MINIs will be based on a brand-new BMW-engineered platform called UKL1 which sports a front-wheel drive architecture in two wheelbase lengths and is based on a MacPherson strut front suspension and BMW’s Z-axle rear end. Most will be powered by a new range of advanced BMW three-cylinder engines. The UKL1 platform also accommodates all wheel drive. Thus, other AWD MINIs, besides the Countryman and Paceman, are likely. With 10 Mini models planned and as many as five BMW models in the medium term, UKL1 will become BMW’s biggest-selling vehicle range. An electric hybrid MINI is also anticipated as one of the ten new MINIs.

[Sources: Autocar.co.uk/INAUTONEWS/MotorAuthority/IndianCarsBikes]

Monday, July 25, 2011

Learn How To Care For Your Convertible Top






[Source: via autoMedia.com]

MINI Convertible Called "Jolly Good Fun"


Steve Sturgis for the Philadelphia Inquirer at Philly.com provides his likes and dislikes with regard to the 2011 MINI Cooper Convertible and concludes:
When I have my midlife crisis, I'm going to have it in one of these.

Steve Nash Is A Parking Prick In A Prius


Enjoy this video of Phoenix Suns' point guard Steve Nash that points out how competitive this professional basketball player really is.




[Source: via egmCarTech]

Inside Line's Favorite 2011 MINI Countryman Photo Caption Last Week



MINI WRC Team Set For Rally Finlandia


Girlracer reports that the MINI WRC Team is ready to take on Rally Finlandia on the 28th/29th/30th July. Dani Sordo (ES) and Carlos del Barrio (ES) will again be driving the number 37 MINI, while Kris Meeke (GB) and Paul Nagle (IR) will be in the number 52 car. The article quotes both Sordo and Meeke. Sordo said:
“Finland is a really nice rally and what I would call typical of the sort you would expect in a World Rally Championship. I think I have done it about five times and always enjoy it. I also like the fact there are always lots of spectators, and I think maybe the most on any rally in the championship. It is an exciting rally to do as the roads are fast, we have lots of crests and there are big jumps. You really have to concentrate on all the stages as you are driving flat out, and in many ways it is like being on a race circuit. I was really happy after our test last week in Finland, as the car felt good, so I am going there with a lot of confidence for our performance in this rally.”
Meeke said:
“I have been to Finland twice before, but never in a WRC car. You have to treat this rally with respect, as it is most specific with regards to knowledge and I don’t have that knowledge, so I am going to treat it with caution. On some events you can make the pace notes and then drive a hundred per cent, but not here as there is a third dimension with the jumps. However, I am rally-hungry and can’t wait to get back after the long gap since Sardinia. The three day test we did last week went well, and I had a good feeling coming away from it. At the end of the day, that is what this year is all about, getting to know the car and the events.”

MINI Adorns Checkpoint MINI Berlin


A MINI with the flag of Berlin adorns a MINI Cooper that is affixed to the wall at "Checkpoint MINI Berlin." Virtual Globetrotting has an expanded zoomable view of the billboard.

Sonic Seating 2011 MINI Countryman Sound System


Irvine MINI Cooper News reviews the 2011 MINI Countryman Premium Sonic Seating sound system and loves the speakers but is less than enthused about MINI Connect.

Do You Know The History Of The Goodyear Tire Company?

It is fascinating!








Rumors Swirl About A MINI Traveller


Sister sites BMW Blog and MotoringFile both report rumors about aSpacebox/Progressive Activity Vehicle concept that has been floating around MINI since 2009 being actually being green-lighted and tentatively named the "Traveller." Indications are the car will be based on the front wheel drive BMW Compactive Sport Tourer or ‘FAST’. The idea behind the vehicle is increased practicality and flexibility for a customer who would have had to to move to another brand because they’ve simply run out of space.It is to be the most utility oriented of all of MINI’s upcoming products based off of the UKL1 platform. The vehicle is expected to go on sale sometime in 2014 or 2015.

2011 Aloha Rally Da’ Kine


Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2011 Aloha Rally by MINI of Concord in association with NorCal MINIs. Though MINI of Concord's rally route was a little difficult and obscure it provided for the best Where TF am I moments of the day! Those that got as far as Checkpoint 2 danced it up as you can see in this short film:


video


Send your Aloha Rally photo and video links to info@norcalminis.com.  We will continue to post them this week and they will be permanently on display in the Photo Gallery.

Special thank yous go out to NorCal MINIs' members Meredith, Randall, Scott, Tara, Richard, Sharon, Robert, Jessica, Mike, Irene and Chuck for helping man two of the rally checkpoints and to MINI of Concord for planning and underwriting the Rally.




Friday, July 22, 2011

NorCal MINIs Friday Reminders

Join NorCal MINIs

2011 NorCal MINIs' annual Membership is only $25.00/family.  Use the Paypal Button to join us in 2011:













Aloha Road Rally And Luau 

On Sunday, July 24, 2011, starting at 9:00 a.m. with a continental breakfast and games at the BMW Concord Collision Center located at 1321 Galaxy Way Ste. B, Concord, CA MINI of Concord, in association with NorCal MINIs, will hold the Aloha Road Rally 2011, our third annual summer rally with MINI of Concord. The Road Rally portion will last approximately 2 ½ hours and is punctuated by five fun rally checkpoints. All car types are welcome not just MINIs. There will be Hawaiian games and fun, limbo challenges, Polynesian dancers and much, much more. Door and Raffle prizes include:








A Two Night Capitola Getaway
$1,000 MINI Accessory Gift Certificate
And MORE!!


The rally will culminate with an authentic Hawaiian BBQ/Luau at MINI of Concord's showroom.

Admission and food are completely FREE if you bring a nonperishable food item which MINI of Concord and NorCal MINIs will donate to the Contra Costa Food Bank. In addition, the First 100 Cars on Rally Day Receive a Commemorative MINI of Concord Aloha Rally Decal Sticker!

Please RSVP to Sean Ross at (925) 682-3577 Ext 175 to tell him you will be there so we can make sure there is plenty of food and fun for all.

Ft. Bragg - Skunk Train Overnight


NorCal MINIs Fort Bragg Skunk Train Overnight is scheduled for Sat., August 13 through Sun., August 14, 2011 when we will run up the Coast and take the Skunk Train to a catered BBQ in the redwoods. For complete information on this run go here. The overnight is open to all but spaces are limited so book early.

Members, please RSVP to your email invitations. Non-members, please follow the instructions here and email us at info@norcalminis.com to tell us you are coming.







The Devil's Backbone With SCMM


September 8 through 11, 2011 SoCal MINI Maniacs (SCMM) will hold its Devil's Backbone Run and NorCal MINIs members are invited to join in! Reports are that REME, Shasta MINIs, Sin City MINIs, Sierra Nevada MINIs and Dynamic MINI Collective club members will also join the run.

SCMM says,
The three-night trip will cover some of the most beautiful and historic parts of California’s Gold Country and Eastern Sierra Nevada mountain range. The first night’s stay will be in Oakhurst, followed by Murphys the second night, and then Mammoth Lakes for our final night. Our route will take us along Highway 49, where California’s Gold Rush took place 162 years ago. Some of the original mining-town buildings are still in use today and walking down these streets is like stepping back into the wild west days. Our overnight in Murphys will include an optional Sammy Hagar
concert at the Ironstone Vineyard Amphitheater. The next morning we’ll cross the Sierra Nevada over breathtaking Monitor Pass on our way to Mammoth Lakes for the final evening of festivities
For more information and discount hotel codes for the event check out the SCMM Newsletter (page 9). NorCal MINIs Members Richard and Sharon Stevens have already signed up to go and will leave from the Bay Area. Contact them if you would like to caravan.

It looks to be a great event and we hope many of you can attend.