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...

Patrick Phillips - Member Profile

I live in Petaluma, CA which is a car town. If it’s not a truck or normal commuter car then it's mostly American classics, custom rods & muscle. Drove SUVs most my life, didn’t really even notice Minis that much until…

Last summer of 2019. Drove our Jeep up to Oregon to visit family. Long drive so we break it up into two days, stopping in Dunsmuir, CA. Stayed at this cool hotel that’s actually made up of train cabooses. The Railway Inn or something like that. I know many of you reading this know of this place because… there were Minis everywhere! I guess NorCal Minis or a similar club had stopped there as well. So I started checking out the Minis, and took lots of photos. Some cars that really stood out:

Daddy’s Little Monster with Harley Quinn graphics on the bonnet.

A blue Clubman with cool skull graphics on the A-pillars & wheel caps.

An orangish-yellow S with license plates that read “DB KUPR”.

Frankly, all the Minis were cool. I mean, REALLY cool. What the hell was happening? Why was I suddenly attracted to these very interesting little cars? Why couldn’t I stop thinking about them, or taking their damn picture? After the trip back from Oregon, I started looking at options for our second car. Set my Craigslist search filter from 1955 to 1975 hoping to catch an American classic that had been restored & in good shape. Maybe a 70s Bronco, or a Chevelle, or maybe even a Caddy. But soon, I found my fingers setting the search filter for…

Minis! There they were again! Burrowing into my brain, intoxicating me with their whimsical swagger & charm! So I gave in to the obsession, this mad Mini crush. I had 3 rules in my new search; low miles, low price but high performance. A very tough target to hit. But, after a few test drives of other Minis, the universe was kind enough to allow me to find a 2010 Clubman John Cooper Works on Craigslist. I had done enough research to know what the JCW package means. A nice man named Max in San Rafael was selling his. Six-speed manual transmission, beautiful black paint with a hint of colored sparkle, alloy wheels, sport exhaust, a low & aggressive stance, the entire clutch recently replaced & something called “walnut blasting” done to the manifold. And only 51K miles. I went to see it, and it was love at first sight. True Mini love. 

Max & I reached a reasonable number to purchase the car. I’m forever grateful to Max for letting me buy the coolest and funnest car to drive that I have ever owned. I love everything about it. The engineering, the simplicity, the interior themes & styling, the big performance crammed into such a little car. The way it sips gas compared to SUVs! I’m new to the Mini space, but I get it. I get it, and I’m so very grateful. 

This current pandemic is real, and it’s a very hard reality. Condolences to those who’ve lost loved ones, or who have fallen ill. My sincere hopes for your recovery, and for those you know who are trying to recover. My thoughts & prayers are with everyone here. Stay safe, and stay sane. Hope to motor with you soon.

Patrick Phillips
Petaluma, CA