Wednesday, August 31, 2011

NorCal MINIs' End Of Summer Picnic BBQ and Backroads Run

Join NorCal MINIs for our End Of Summer Picnic, BBQ and Contra Costa County Backroads Run on Saturday, September 24, 2011. 

We will first run through the backroads of Contra Costa County and end up at the Bull Valley Staging Area at the Carquinez Straits Regional Shoreline for a picnic and BBQ. The cost to participate is $10.00/person. We ask that attendees bring their own drinks and a dessert to share. We will provide Kinder's BBQ and accouterments.

Bring the kids and your fishing gear and bait for salmon, stripers, sturgeon, black bass and other delta species since we will be right at the Eckley Pier where you do not need a fishing license to fish!

Bring all those music CD's that you have already ripped and want to get rid of.  We will have a mass CD trade at the picnic.

We will post a meet up location for the Contra Costa Backroads run to the Bull Valley Staging Area a week on or before Sept. 17.. We expect the meetup to be at about 10:00 a.m. If you can't make the run just come directly to the Bull Valley Staging Area around noon.

Please use the Paypal Button to pay for this incredibly fun way to end the summer with NorCal MINIs. 

We hope to see everyone there. Don't miss it!


The CravenSpeed Electric MINI. Hoo Wee!

Burn some rubber baby!




[Source: CravenSpeed]

Up Close In London With The $1M Swarovski Crystal MINI





[Source: lambofanX@YouTube]

BMW To Launch The MINI In India


Photo Credit: via http://www.automotivescycle.com/category/mini-cooper/ 
Rushlane reports The BMW Group is planning on launching the MINI in the Indian luxury car market in the coming two or three years. India accounted for being Asia's third largest auto market with an increasing demand for luxury vehicles. BMW for the last two years has had over 40%.share of the Indian luxury car market.

"The Italian Job" Movie Trivia


AMC airs Story Notes about the Mini cult classic "The Italian Job" and provides enough movie trivia about the movie to fill a van for driving in the Swiss Alps.

Mini Made The 60's "Swing"


South African site iol Motoring recounts the history of the Mini as "The car that made the 60's swing."

 It bases this premise on a rather nice and concise history of the Mini.

Two Wheeling It In A Garbage Truck





[Source: via autoblog]

The MINI Legacy At Targa Newfoundland


MINI Canada marks its ninth Targa Newfoundland when this year it runs a red MINI Cooper Works Challenge car at the 10th annual Targa Newfoundland international rally. SpecialStage discusses MINI Canada's history and legacy in the event. The 10th annual Targa Newfoundland will start in St. John’s on Saturday, September 10, 2011.

Engine Choices For The MINI Coupe


INAUTONEWS writes:
A few engine options will be available for the new Mini Coupe, like the 122 HP and 160 Nm for the Cooper Coupe, the 184 HP and 240 Nm for the Cooper S Coupe, the Mini JCW Coupe’s 211 HP and 260 Nm of torque and the oil burner Cooper SD Coupe 143 HP and 305 Nm, all of them being connected to a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission, while the Cooper S Coupe and the Cooper SD Coupe will also come with a new self-adjusting clutch.

MINI Countryman Cooper D ALL4 Long Term Test Report


Darren Wilson, for the UK's Auto Express, provides his final report on the MINI Countryman Cooper D ALL4 D after nine months of daily use. Wilson says
"I’m gutted about having to wave goodbye to the MINI, as it has been a fantastic car for my family."
Read more at Auto Express to find out what's behind Wilson's angst.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

MINI-E Greets Engadget's NYC Reader Meetup


Last Thursday engadget, a techie website, held its New York City Reader Meetup with addresses by engadget editors and displays of the latest and greatest from AT&T, Samsung, HTC, RIM and Motorola at Guastavino's, located on 59th Street in Manhattan. Out front was parked a MINI-E!

Classic Mini Driver Seeks More Drivers For Classic Minis


Phil Cooper writes for the U.K's ClassicCarsForSale about his lifelong love affairs with Mini Coopers. He does a great job of discussing the various types and his experience. His goal is to get more people into owning and maintaining classic Minis. It is a "must read" for anyone contemplating a classic Mini.

MINI WRC More Of A Tarmac Car


With Sardo's podium and Meeke's showing at Rally Germany, after a lack of success at more technical primarily off road rallies, MINI analyzes the WRC Team's progress and the cars in light of the better going on the blacktop of Germany.

Mini Called A "Category-Killing Car"


Jalopnik asked its readers what ten vehicles were "category-killing cars" and asked them to tell it why.. These are cars that define a category. The Mini came in third. Here's why according to Jalopnik:
The Mini defined small cars, not just because of its physical size, but because of its packaging. "Transversely-mounted four cylinder engine that drives the front wheels" could be the description of any one of a dozen cars on the road today, a full 52 years after the Mini's launch in 1959. It may not have been the first to do it, but it was certainly the first to make it a success.

So, There's The Beef!


Photo Credit: Mike McGrath@edmund's inside line

Winding Road Compares MCS Countryman ALL4 To Nissan Juke AWD



Seyth Miersma at Winding Road pits the MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4 and the Nissan Juke AWD and favors the Juke. He says, in part:
In the end, this turns out to be a remarkably close contest. And, as usual, your take on the comparison would depend largely on your values and desires as a car shopper. We say that Mini wins in terms of powertrain (just barely, and only because of its available manual) but the Juke wins for handling, giving the dynamic portion of the comparison solidly to the Nissan. Meanwhile the Juke gives up ground for utility (smaller backseat really hurts it) and overall refinement, but is still significantly less expensive than the Countryman. So, if you’re feeling lavish and want to live well, the Mini is the mini-crossover for you.
Now, given that we’re Winding Road, and we care about the driving experience most of all, it’s easy for us to give the enthusiast nod to the more fun, cheaper, and admittedly strange looking Nissan. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, for sure, but the wooly Countryman Effect is a bridge too far, for drivers.

Leave You Car Alone In A Flood

The car is already toast and in the Deep South you really don't want to be pushing that car in knee deep water!

[Photo Credit: Bibin@freepostia]

MINI Challenge Germany Takes Its Summer Break

Just because MINI Challenge Germany has taken its summer break with last year's winner Hendrik Vieth in the lead you don't have to take a break. Here are the highlights from the first six races this year courtesy of MINI Motorsport:


Make Your Car Dog Safe


An improperly tethered dog can become fatal for owner and pup.  Think about it. A 30 lbs dog in the rear seat becomes three quarters of a ton of foot lbs of force hurdling around the cabin interior.  cars.com's KickingTires blog provides this video on keeping you and your dog safe in your car.


MotoringFile Pleads For Help With The Countryman Rail


The good, bad and the ugly of the Countryman rail system are discussed in this MotoringFile article that asks private enterprise to make the damn thing more useful.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Did You See The Coupe?

If you couldn't make it to MINI Of Concord on Friday or Saturday, you can still take a look at their Facebook wall photos of the new Coupe - the fastest stock MINI ever made and coming soon to a dealer near you.

If you want to see it in person you still have that opportunity at East Bay MINI on September 2 and 3, 2011.  Just follow these instructions to RSVP:

RSVP: click "attending" on East Bay MINI's Facebook page or call 925-251-7061 


Paceman Approved For Production

Car and Driver reports that the MINI Paceman, in essence a three door Countryman, has been approved for production and will be built at Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria, alongside the Countryman and share its architecture and powertrain. The Paceman name may still be changed. The first ones are expected to hit dealers in 2013 or 2014.

Pimping The MINI Coupe

Check out MINI's Coupe commercial campaign:




[Source: via ZerCustoms]

What If The MINI Had Been Made By GM?


Would you get a limited edition MINI Cooper Bel Air?

[Photo Credit: Goodbye Mailbox]

Aloha Rally Netted Over 200 Lbs Of Food


The Summer Aloha Rally presented by MINI of Concord in association with NorCal MINIs netted over 200 lbs of food for the Contra Costa Food Bank!

Posh Garages To Store Your Vehicle


CarID's Car Accessories blog presents more than 40 over the top garages including this one housing a MINI Cooper S!

Autos.ca Reviews 2002-2006 MINIs As Used Cars



Although Autos.ca loves the looks, handling and performance of the 2002-2006 MINIs, based on its research and a questionable interpretation of complaint posts on NorthAmericanMotoring.com, it feels most of the 2002-2006 MINIs have terrible build quality and suffer from manufacturing problems.

Here Comes The Limited Edition "Highgate"



A special edition MINI convertible called the "Highgate" is now scheduled for release according to MotoringFile. It will feature a new exterior color – Ice Chocolate Metallic, and an interior finished in Chocolate leather with contrasting white stitching.

Drive It Like You Stole It You Probably Didn't


CBS Moneywatch tells us that your MINI Clubman is not likely to be pinched. Citing a Highway Loss Data Institute study, it determined that the MINI Clubman is one of the ten least likely vehicles to be stolen.

zAutos Reviews The 2011 MINI Cooper Countryman


zAutos proclaims that the 2011 MINI Cooper Countryman:
Even with its expanded interior room, the 2011 MINI Cooper Countryman seats only four, limiting its appeal for those with larger families. For its target audience, however, the Countryman delivers solid performance and enhanced comfort for less than its competition in the compact crossover marketplace.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Gone Fishin'


NorCal MINIs' blogger and friends will be up on the McCloud River and Burney Creek annoying the trout through Sunday, August 27, 2011 and will resume posting on Monday, August 28, 2011. While we are away don't forget these upcoming great events:















Join NorCal MINIs

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











East Bay MINI Service Clinic With MINI Coupe Sneak Preview

East Bay MINI is holding a MINI Service Clinic from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p..m. on Thursday, September 1, 2011 at its service center located at 4350 Rosewood Dr., Pleasanton, CA. East Bay MINI will provide BBQ food and attendees can ask questions about their car's navi operation, controls and features. In addition technicians will provide a free "world class" vehicle condition report. Attendees will also receive a special discount for future service visits. As if that was not enough, East Bay MINI will have the all new MINI Coupe on display for a sneak peek. If this sounds good to you, please tell East Bay MINI that you will attend by leaving an RSVP on East Bay MINI's Facebook Event Page or by calling Patti at 925-251-7061.


  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.


 NorCal MINIs' End Of Summer Picnic




Join NorCal MINIs for our End Of Summer Picnic, BBQ and Contra Costa County Backroads Run on Saturday, September 24, 2011. 

We will first run through the backroads of Contra Costa County and end up at the Bull Valley Staging Area at the Carquinez Straits Regional Shoreline for a picnic and BBQ. The cost to participate is $10.00/person. We ask that attendees bring their own drinks and a dessert to share. We will provide Kinder's BBQ and accouterments.
Bring the kids and your fishing gear and bait for salmon, stripers, sturgeon, black bass and other delta species since we will be right at the Eckley Pier where you do not need a fishing license to fish!

Bring all those music CD's that you have already ripped and want to get rid of.  We will have a mass CD trade at the picnic.  We will post a meet up location for the Contra Costa Backroads run to the Bull Valley Staging Area soon. We expect the meetup to be at about 10:00 a.m. Please use the Paypal Button to pay for this incredibly fun way to end the summer with NorCal MINIs. We hope to see everyone there. Don't miss it!


Mini MINI For Baby


Does Junior want to drive a MINI just like Mommy and Daddy?  If so, consider the CFG MINI Cooper. The officially licensed Mini MINI goes up to 2.5 mph and is recommended for children ages 3 and up. It is available for $189.99 with free shipping from sportlands.net. Check it out!

Looking For Lacy


In Lansing, Michigan U.S. Navy petty officer Jamie Brill was driving his MINI on Interstate 96 with her two dogs, Koko and Lacy when ashe approached the Williamston-Dansville exit late in the afternoon of Aug. 11. As the traffic in front of her slowed to a stop she tried to apply her brakes but got her foot tangled in the pedals and sharply veered to the left to avoid a collision with the car in front of her. She rolled her MINI four times on the shoulder. Emergency workerscut off one of the Mini Cooper's doors in order to extract her from the car and rush her to the Hospital where she spent 24 hours due to pressure from the seat belt caused an irregularity in her hear, severe cuts and bruises. Koko, thanks to "an incredible EMT," got an ambulance rid to a vet clinic and underwent surgery for a dislocated hip and broken leg. However, Lacy the Great Dane fled the scene and remains at large. Please, if you are anywhere near Lansing, Michigan and happen upon Lacy call (360) 320-3292.

[Source: LSJ.com]

The MCS Hatchback Challenger Edition?

We and GraphiteMark@totalMiNI.com know that MINI made a a Countryman Challenger edition, but we both were unaware of the hatchback Challenger Edition. Is this for real?





According to TheBod@totalMINI.com it was "a special for Australia and then a few were available at the odd [B]ritish dealership . . .for an extra AU$2500 over [the] regular MINI JCW . . . "

Countryman Bomber Toggles And Ambient Lighting Lauded


Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer at edmunds inside line, expounds on the virtues of the Countryman's toggle switches and interior lighting, during his turn at the long-term testing of the vehicle.

New MINI "Beat The Street" Fashion Collection


MINI has added to their "Lifestyle Collection" the “Beat the Street” clothing line, which features multiple British details like the Union Jack and badges on outfits suited for casual, business or clubbing wear.

See photos of the entire collection at autoevolution.

That's Why They Call Them Bugs


[Source: You Drive What?]

MINI Cooper Clubman Airport Baggage Carousel Advertisement


[Source: Uphaa.com]

Zero To Sixty In 1.8 Seconds


That is what this converted to electric power 1972 Datsun 1200, called the "White Zombie," clocked to become the world's second fastest car. It covers a quarter of a mile in less than 10 seconds via a 500 hp engine custom built by American mechanic, John Wayland. but only has a top speed of 90 mph. It still embarrasses most Maserati and Ferrari-owning traffic stop drag racers according to AutoMotto. Watch it in a drag race scorch a Maserati by 5 seconds:


Greatest Chase Scene In Last 25 Years? Minis In "The Italian Job"


Enid Glasgow writes for Ezine Articles that
In the last twenty-five years, the greatest and most intricate of car chase scenes was in the movie, The Italian Job. This movie employs the use of the Mini Cooper S in chase scenes that will knock your socks off. Driving down brick stairways, careening off buildings, and avoiding head-on collisions, there is never a dull moment. The whole scene is just shy of fifteen minutes. You come out of that theater hoping to find a Mini Cooper S in your parking space. Now wouldn't that be fun?
Of course,
Enid Glasgow is an auto enthusiast who feels big when she'd driving her Mini Cooper.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Come To NorCal MINIs' End Of Summer Picnic


Join NorCal MINIs for our End Of Summer Picnic, BBQ and Contra Costa County Backroads Run on Saturday, September 24, 2011. 

We will first run through the backroads of Contra Costa County and end up at the Bull Valley Staging Area at the Carquinez Straits Regional Shoreline for a picnic and BBQ. The cost to participate is $10.00/person. We ask that attendees bring their own drinks and a dessert to share. We will provide Kinder's BBQ and accouterments.

Bring the kids and your fishing gear and bait for salmon, stripers, sturgeon, black bass and other delta species since we will be right at the Eckley Pier where you do not need a fishing license to fish!

Bring all those music CD's that you have already ripped and want to get rid of.  We will have a mass CD trade at the picnic.

 We will post a meet up location for the Contra Costa Backroads run to the Bull Valley Staging Area soon. We expect the meetup to be at about 10:00 a.m.

Please use the Paypal Button to pay for this incredibly fun way to end the summer with NorCal MINIs. We hope to see everyone there. Don't miss it!



Thank God She Was Arrested

What type of mother puts her 8 month old in a stroller in the bed of a pickup truck?




[Source: via That Will Buff Out]

MINI Art Car At Perth Motor Show


Check out this MINI Countryman art car displayed at the Perth Motor Show in West Australia. Urban artist Jon Ismailovski will complete the last five hours of work on the MINI Countryman at the MINI at the Show Live in the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre this weekend.

[Source: thewest.com.au]

Looking To Buy A 2001-2007 MINI?

Keith Adams at AROnline has posted a very British buying guide to help you out.
















 [Hat tip to Mab01uk@NorthAmericanMotoring.com]

Senior Off-Roader


Looks like a late 1920's Alzheimer Octogenarian to us. 

[Source: Just A Car Gal]

Will The Insurance Company Fix Or Total My MINI


.minimalist@NorthAmericanMotoring.com posts these pictures aqd asks whether his 2003 MINI Cooper S, which was hit by a semi, will be fixed or totaled by his insurer.

Dude, its totaled! You don't want them to fix that.  We feel your pain.


A True German Powered British Car For Sale


Check out this insanely modded immaculate1973 Triumph TR6 that sports a BMW M engine and 5-speed transmission among its amazements. It is for sale on Craigslist in Overland Park, Kansas with a $40K asking price.
[Source: Bring A Trailer]