FUN IN THE SUN. THE MINI MEET IN THE USA.
Did you acquire a Classic Mini to just look at it? Of course you didn't! Start it up and join us for group drives on the best windy and twisty roads. Straight after the M-showroom meetup on sunday, and after dropping off my gf at suntec, i headed off to Kallang Macs for a mini meetup of. The British Mini Club was established in , with many thousands of members the We pride ourselves in combining classic heritage with a modern future.
Article Continued Below Then freedom. I learned to swear under the hood of that car, and learned what it was like to be part of a special fraternity. We Mini drivers would wave and flash our lights as we passed each other. Forty years later I find my self once again driving a classic Mini over similar roads, but this time in far away Lithuania.
So pure, so direct. My little cube with a wheel at each corner follows every input with an immediacy no modern car can touch.
Up ahead I see another old Mini heading my way. Travel was provided by the manufacturer. For more Toronto Star automotive coverage, go to thestar. InBritain threatened to invade Egypt in a bid to secure the vital oil trade route through the Suez Canal. During the standoff, Britain was starved for petrol.
This guy knew how to do small. His goal was to create a car capable of 70 mph, 50 mpg and carrying a family of four and their luggage. The result turned the automotive world on its head. Or more to the point, sideways.
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To get maximum space efficiency, Issigonis turned the engine sideways, put it directly on top of the gearbox and had it driving the front wheels — a configuration adopted by nearly every compact car since. With tiny inch wheels at each corner, the car had surprising interior room.
While Issigonis had designed the car to be nothing more than an efficient appliance for the masses, it ended up becoming so much more. First off, it was incredibly cute. Second, its radical design had the unexpected bonus of bestowing this shopping trolly with incredible handling. To answer the call for more performance, Formula 1 team owner John Cooper came on board. A large number of members are, of course, proud owners of classic Minis, but there are also many who have a new MINI.
Every year, the club organises a meet — always at a new venue, sometimes in a different state and occasionally even in another country.
International Mini Meet
The members travel from all over to enjoy a few fun-packed days together. Inthe event took place in Santa Rosa, California, situated one hour north of San Francisco in the midst of the magnificent Sonoma wine-growing region. The central location was ideal for showing off all the fabulous cars to a large number of spectators.
Cardboard under the engines to catch the odd drip is as much part of the event as good music and high spirits. The weather was also just right for the occasion, of course, with blue skies and plenty of sunshine — a typical California day, in other words. All the Minis were classified by age and type, and club members were able to vote for their personal favourites. The winners were announced a few days later at the grand finale. Get ready to rumble.
The opening day may have been a relatively sedate affair, but that all changed on day two: One was a traditional slalom, where the aim was simply to set the fastest time. Each driver had several runs to give them ample opportunity to perfect their style and cornering technique. It was the race-spec machines that demonstrated just what the Mini is capable of, but the bread-and-butter production models also acquitted themselves admirably.
The driver was blindfolded and then guided through the course by their co-driver shouting instructions. And at one point, the drivers even had to get out and top up wine glasses! There was no hard-fought battle here, just a lot of laughs.
Not surprisingly, it was all an instant hit with the galleries as well. Minis are happiest out on the open road.
The third and final day kicked off with the highlight of the programme — the rally.