Sonora Run - Sunday June 9, 2024

Your Host(s) for the Event: Paige Lane Route: https://maps.app.goo.gl/tGNYaz7VcvVDeXPLA Download the map for off-line use  - in case we lose...

MINI Cooper Convertible Vs. Fiat Abarth 595 Vs. Citroen DS3

The BMW Power Blog by autoevolution discusses Auto Motor und Sport's comparison that resulted in the MINI being the ultimate winner.

Castrol MINI John Cooper Works Team Races In The Streets Of Durban

3D Car Shows reports the Castrol MINI John Cooper Works team of Gavin Cronje and Lee Thompson,  at Zwartkops Raceway in Gauteng, won all three Bridgestone South African Production Car Championship class T races and set a new lap record. It also raced Father's Day Weekend in round five on the streets of Durban, South Africa.

MINI Countryman Wins An Off Road Magazine 2013 Reader's Poll Award

MotoringFile posts MINI's self-congatulatory press release that the MINI Countryman won a Off Road Magazine's 213 Reader's Poll Award and came in second in the subcompact category.

WhatCar? Compares The Fiat 500 And MINI Cooper

WhatCar? pits the Fiat 500 against the MINI Cooper and opts for the MINI.  Read the article to find out why!

Car Magazine Reviews The 2013 MINI Paceman Cooper S

The U.K.'s Car Magazine reviews the 2013 MINI Paceman Cooper S.  It gives it three out of five stars and this verdict:
Make your mind up on the Paceman on account of its compromised packaging and you’ll never see why such a car exists, but for those who crave that Mini style with the extra space and attitude of a crossover, the Paceman Cooper S fits the bill. If you really like the looks, you’ll be glad to know the pricey Paceman handles with aplomb too – but that’s a feature you can enjoy without going crazy with the options list – and without choosing such an overgrown, overweight Mini in the first place.

MINI Assembling Countryman ALL4 In Malaysia

The BMW Blog by autoevolution advises MINI will now assemble the Countryman in ALL4 in Malaysia:
Now, MINI is building its 4-door model, the Countryman in Malaysia. The first one was just delivered to the BMW Group Maysia Assembly Facilities within the Inokom production complex in Kulim, Kedah.

“The move to assemble the new MINI Countryman in the country provides the opportunity for the transfer of superior quality assembly line technology, practices and standards to Malaysia,” said Dr. Gerhard Pils, CEO of BMW Group Malaysia.

26 Crazy Customized Vehicles

Business Insider provides an article written by Liz O'Connor, published by SFGate, on "The 26 Craziest Custom Vehicles In The World," including the pictured "tricked out stretch Mini Cooper S [that] has 6 passenger seats, 4 doors, 6 wheels and a Jacuzzi . . . ."

MINI Cooper S Paceman ALL4 Does Well In Mudfest 2013

Tom's Hardware helped test 23 SUV's as part of Mudfest 2013. The MINI entry, the MINI Cooper S Paceman ALL4, did surprisingly well:
The Mini ALL4 all-wheel drive system is active full-time, sporting front and rear torque distribution capabilities. It performed competently on the watered-down autocross course and made it through the dirt course, too. There were no signs of under or oversteer with the Paceman’s ALL4 system. Just plenty of grip to go around. It surprised us a bit, but the Paceman is a joy to drive. It's just lacking in the cargo department for a weekend camping trip with the family.

Emme Hall Reviews The 2013 MINI Cooper Cabriolet For RoadflyTV

[Source: roadflytv @ YouTube]

Frankfurt Or Los Angeles?

Although other sources indicate the F56 2014 MINI Cooper will debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the United Kingdom's AutoExpress provides new spy photos and asserts the debut may not occur until the Los Angeles International Auto Show this November.

London Fire Brigade Adds Five MINI Countryman ALL4 "Firetrucks"

United Kingdom website Business Car Manager reports on the London Fire Brigade's addition of five MINI Countryman ALL4 "firetrucks."  The decision to add them to the Brigade was based on the need for a vehicle to get through traffic and crowds.

MINI To Sponsor Malta's Sliema Street Art Festival

The TimesofMalta.com says MINI will sponsor Malta's Sliema Street Art Festival which will include a number of Classic Minis courtesy of the Malta Mini Owners Club.

"John Cooper Works GP: The Most Extreme MINI Cooper"

Under this title Christopher Jackson writes about the MINI JCW GP2 for fyidriving.com. Jackson waxes,
. . . it’s delightful and rich, like cheesecake and espresso at the same time . . . .

Wonder If They Named Their MINI "Thumper"

[Source: Agustin Meloni @ YouTube]

Lift A Pint To This Countryman

The company car of the Saint Arnold Brewery of Houston, Texas.

[Source: pmsummer @ northamericanmotoring.com]

Can You Believe Fox News?

In a Fox News.com "Test Drive" Fox News Reporter Gary Gastelu asserts the 2013 MINI John Cooper Works Paceman ALL4 is the best looking of all of the MINIs and is the "1970's Cadillac Eldorado Coupe" of the MINI line-up.

Indy MINI Driving School Will Offer Adult Classes

According to MotoringFile Miles Ahead MINI Driving School at the Indianapolis Speedway will now offer driving courses for adults:

"The full-day adult course is $995, including the use of the JCW Hardtop . . . . So no wearing the tires off your own car. Course activities include:

Precision braking
Cornering and skid control
Timed sector runs
Instructor-driven hot laps
The timed sector runs aspect of the training is especially interesting. You get to compete against the clock and against your fellow students on the track.

Available dates for the adult full-day classes run from June 15th through November 3rd of 2013. Half-day teen classes are also available from June 22nd through October 26th."

Road Rallying The R56

[Source: BehindSteeringWheel @ YouTube]

Mustang Thumps MINI Cooper In Two Heat Race

[Source: PowerWheelsVideos @ YouTube]

A Little Michal Kosciuszco From Rally Argentina 2013

[Source: Ellocovcp @ YouTube]


On The Tarmac: MINI Challenge Races At MINI Brands Hatch Festival

mab01uk @ North American Motoring.com posts a nice variety of photos from the start of the MINI Challenge races at the MINI Brands Hatch Festival. Go check out the MINI Paceman Safety Car!

MINI Run In Luxembourg

[Source: Rudy Renk @ YouTube]

An Expensive Wool Sweater

The Sioux City Journal.com reports one of Hawarden, Iowa's Howard Van Engen's sheep got loose and was struck and killed by Jose Barrera-Vargas in his 2003 Mini Cooper. Mr. Barrera-Vargas was not injured. The MINI sustained $2,000 in damage.

The sheep did not survive.

Going Apesh*t Over A Traffic Ticket

[Source: NewsMaestro @ YouTube]

Niall O'Dowd Has An Awesome MINI Cooper S

And ilovebassuk does some beautiful videography.

Dirty Deeds To Be Done Dirt Cheap At Brands Hatch MINI Festival

United Kingdom's News Shopper reports Rock Hall Of Member, AC/DC's Brian Johnson, is set to race at the Brand's Hatch MINI Festival in a classic Mini alongside celebrity chef James Martin.

Will MINI Countryman Diesel Be Powered By A 2.0 Liter BMW Engine?

BigBlogg spied one in the engine bay of a MINI Countryman.  MotoringFile reported on what BigBlogg saw and AutoGuide.com reports on the MotoringFile article.

Brands Hatch MINI Festival To Celebrate 50 Years Of The Mini Cooper S

This year the Brands Hatch Mini Festival will commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the MINI Cooper S. Sports Car Illustrated advises in its article about this year's festival:
All the generations will be represented at the MINI Festival at Brands Hatch to compete in a handicap race and find the sportiest MINI Cooper S from five decades. There will also be a display of current and historical racing and rally vehicles - including the Monte Carlo winner of 1964 and the MINI ALL4 Racing in which Stéphane Peterhansel won the Dakar Rally this year.

Let's Drag: MINI Cooper S Does The Quarter Mile

[Source: Hiram Miranda @ YouTube]

Terranova's First MINI ALL4 Racing Team Debut At Desafío Ruta 40

Orlando Terranova, according to MINI Motorsport, will race for the MINI ALL4 Racing Team at Desafío Ruta 40 in Argentina, Terranova's home country. Terranova was the first Argentine countryman to win a Dakar Rally stage day victory.  Terranova will also compete in the 2014 Dakar Rally for MINI ALL4 Racing.

BMWBlog Recounts Ten Years Of MINI Diesel

BMWBlog sets forth the ten year history of the MINI Diesel, a history that does not include the United States for some unfathomable reason that BMW has obscured by doublespeak.

MINI: A Friend For Life

Soccer Star's Maradonian MINI

Roma soccer player Daniel Osvaldo, who is from Argentina. is seen here in his Maradonian themed MINI that displays the number 10 and Maradonia cruising through the Italian capital.

[Source: soccerly]

Playing In The Parking Lot

MINI's official event driver scaring up some fun before a MINI party in India.

[Source: vijay singh @ YouTube]

MINI Increases Prices For All 2014 Models

automotive.com posts the new prices and points out,
The 2013 Mini Cooper hardtop will be sold alongside the 2014 models until the all-new version bows as a late-2014 model. It starts at $19,700, as it had in previously. But destination and handling has gone up by $95 to $795 for all models, making the cost of entry into a new Mini Cooper hardtop just a hair under $20,500 all-in.

All other models but the Mini Countryman and Mini Paceman retained their pricing from last year, with exception of the $95 destination fee increase. The two crossovers went up an additional $100 in their prices, from base Cooper all the way through John Cooper Works performance versions. The Mini Countryman and Paceman add standard heated mirrors and washer jets, though.

Hors Norme

MINI France is also running the MINI "Not Normal" Marketing Campaign.

Let's Drag! A MINI Cooper S Versus A Nissan 370Z

[Source: brett3xmvpfavre4 @ YouTube]

A Stellar Sports Coupe For Less Than $25K

The New York Daily News, in an article by Nick Kurczewski, lists the 2013 MINI Coupe as one of six affordable, under $25,000 new, sports coupes worth owning.

Shell And The Van Gogh Museum Sign Agreement And A MINI Is There

The Van Gogh Museum has announced on its website:
Shell Netherlands is a partner in the Van Gogh at work exhibition, which will mark the reopening of the Van Gogh Museum on 1 May 2013. The agreement was sealed by Director of the Van Gogh Museum, Axel Rüger, and Dick Benschop, President-Director of Shell Netherlands. Together with the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE), Shell has been engaged in a research project into Vincent van Gogh’s way of working since 2005: Van Gogh’s studio practice. The Van Gogh at work exhibition, which concludes the project, shows the artist’s development based on 200 works by Van Gogh and his contemporaries.
MINI was apparently in on the post signing celebration as the photo of the handshake between representatives of Shell Netherlands and the Van Gogh Museum depict a pretty cool looking Van Gogh Museum MINI!

Update On NORCAL MINIS' Gold Country Picnic


Meetup at 10:00 a.m. at 800 Ikea Court, West Sacramento, CA.  A group will leave the Burger King at 190 Pittman Rd., Fairfield, CA at 9:00 a.m. to caravan to the Meetup and you are welcome to join in. An additional group will caravan from Sunnyvale, CA.  Check the open NORCAL MINIS' facebook group for details.

Please note that the Club will only provide water as a beverage so please bring your own beverages.   This is a pack it in pack it out park.

Here is the run map to the picnic. Please bring your FRS radios:

View Larger Map

Pack a picnic lunch or food to share. Free lunch of hamburgers and hot dogs for all 2013 NORCAL MINIS' Members. Be sure to wear your orange lanyard and name tag!

Non-members lunch $10/person. Not a member?   Use this Paypal Button to purchase your lunch! -

Members please respond to your email invitations.  Non-Members please RSVP to info@norcalminis.com. This is a public run.

For more information visit the 6/22/13 NORCAL MINIS' Summer Picnic dedicated webpage.

Pictorial On Disappearing U.S. Roadside Rest Areas

The Atlantic Cities has a wonderful article on Ryann Ford's photography of the quickly disappearing unique roadside rest areas of the United States.

Has Your MINI Key Stop Working?

flashback @ North American Motoring.com's remote key stop operating. He believed the battery was dead in the key, the rubber cover over the actuators had worn through or some other destructive process had occurred. He did not want to pay $200.00 - $450.00 for a new key from MINI. He found:

Mini Key Hospital
C/O Bruce Hart

According to flashback,

I sent him a destroyed key. He received the key and after a one day turnaround time he returned the key with a new clamshell cover complete with a chrome MINI emblem, a new battery and it functions perfectly. All the electronics, chips, switches and metal key shank have been installed in a new clamshell cover and the shank is very secure. It appears to be top notch work. Even the metal part of the key appears to have been cleaned and lightly polished. Total cost for my key..... $35.00 including the shipping!!!
So if your key has been diagnosed with a terminal illnessYou might want to get a second opinion
Give Dr. Hart a call at the MINI Key Hospital.

MINI Countryman And Paceman Derailed; Countryman Loses Rear Buckets

According to Cars.com Kicking Tires blogger David Thomas writing for USA Today:
The rail is gone come later this summer when the 2014 models of both cars go on sale. The last 2013s will be built in July.

The four-seater Countryman with rear bucket seats will no longer be an option. The previously optional rear bench, which seats three passengers, is now standard and the only configuration offered for Mini's small SUV.

The Paceman remains a four-seater, with the rear-seat middle area taken up by a cupholder with iPod holder and 12-volt outlet.

A fixed cupholder is added to the Countryman's back of the center console for rear passengers; it also has a 12-volt outlet but no additional storage. . . .
Both models also see a $100 bump in prices across trim levels and add standard heated side mirrors and washer jets.

2014 MINI May Be Revealed At Frankfurt Motor Show

Indian Autos Blog posts spy photos and asserts MINI will debut the next generation 2014 MINI Cooper at this September's Frankfurt Motor Show.

autoblog Reviews The 2013 MINI JCW GP

autoblog writer Stephen J. Ewing reviews the 2013 MINI John Cooper Works GP and concludes:
I love Minis, and despite the ark-worthy rainy season that plagued my test in Detroit, I still maintain that the GP is the best-driving example from the brand I've ever tested. The problem, however, is that it isn't that much better than the already-enjoyable Cooper S, and you give up a lot in the way of refinement and functionality from a daily-driver standpoint if you live in an area with roads like mine. California? The ownership picture, as well as the weather, is probably altogether sunnier. Either way, as a second car, this thing is a sweetheart, and I have no doubt that Mini will sell every last one of the 2,000 it produces. Even so, it's a good thing I have those memories from Puerto Rico – that way there's at least a huge helping of sugar to salve the harsh taste left in my mouth after eight days at home.

Spike Strips Mean Nothing When You Have Go-Kart Handling!

[Source: Haroldo Couto @ YouTube]

MINI John Cooper Works Days

[Source: WideMagazine @ YouTube]

MINI To Sponsor 2013 John Lennon Bermuda Peace Day Concert

Bermuda's Bernews reports
that MINI will be one of the sponsors of the upcoming John Lennon Bermuda Peace Day Concert at the Botanical Gardens on September 21.

The 2nd Annual concert will celebrate World Peace Day by honouring the music of John Lennon and Bob Marley with performances by local and international artists.

No MINI Cooper Countryman Or Paceman ALL4 In The U.S.

edmunds reports, although available in Europe, there will be no ALL4 drive available on the base MINI Cooper Countryman and Paceman and asked MINI why?:
"Given the unique driving conditions and driver expectations in the U.S., Mini will not offer ALL4 Cooper engine models in the U.S. for either the Countryman or Paceman," wrote Yvonne Malmgren, in response to an Edmunds query on Monday.

ALL4 will only be available as an option for the Cooper S and is standard on John Cooper Works models, as has been the case since their respective launches, Malmgren noted.

"Mini At Maximum Price"

Autonet.ca reviewed the 2013 MINI Countryman ALL4 and BMW Power blog at autoevolution discusses the review that found that the only fault with the vehicle was the price for what the vehicle has to offer.

Josh Gollin's First U.K. MINI Challenge

Here, in rounds 1 through 4 of the 2013 Snetterton 300.

[Source: Josh Gollin @ YouTube]

Additional Info On The 2014 MINI F56

Braminator @ North American Motoring.com has re-posted a MotoringFile rundown of some of the options that will be available in the new F56 including two new exterior colors, Volcanic Orange and Iced Chocolate Metallic; new lighting, LED Headlights with cornering light; a parking assistance package with backup camera; an updated cruise control with braking function; a head up display for the windshield; intelligent emergency calling; several different MINI Connected packages; and electronic damper control.

A MINI Clubvan's Circuitous Route Back From IMM 2013

AROnline recounts Keith Adams long winding one day journey returning to the United Kingdom in his 2013 MINI Clubvan from International Mini Meet 2013 which had occurred in Mugello, Italy.

MINI Quashes Rumor - No Chinese Made MINIs

Gasgoo.com reports that, contrary to prior news reports, BMW has announced, despite its manufacturing expansion in China, it has no plans to produce Chinese MINIs in China.

MCS TwinPower Turbo Engine Wins Best In Class 2013

BMW Blog reports that International Engine Of The Year Awards were granted to the 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology fitted in models including the BMW 1 Series, BMW 3 Series and BMW 5 Series and, for the third year in a row, to the 1.6-litre four-cylinder MINI TwinPower Turbo engine from the MINI Cooper S.