BY ZAK GOULD
Well what a fantastic long weekend, and a very well organised Nationals by TMOC.
I found myself opting for the 10am meet up at Bombay petrol station. With a great group ready to roll ,with just one more to arrive Stephen and family in the rover red rocket. At this stage the SPi was running well and both Stephen and the red rocket weren’t in limp mode. There was a grand applause on his arrival.
A great smooth run with all cars staying together in a train with some outstanding Mini colours. As I was tail end Charlie going through Karangahake Gorge I had a fantastic View of Minis winding through it.
We all stopped at the Waikino hotel and Richard got us a lined up for the perfect photo shoot, whilst onlookers cheered. Then we lined up for a Le Mans running start photo, passing traffic must have thought we were bonkers. And off we went!Stephen blew an ankle and went straight into limp mode, and had to hand the driving over to Rachel to get them to Tauranga.
(Throughout the weekend both Stephen and the Red Rover went in and out of limp mode even breaking down in front of a bus, I believe. We never knew if either were going to make it to each event and what state they would be in, but with luck they made it, and got all the home ok too.)
A Bit further on we all stopped for an afternoon bite to eat and coffee, then off again for a straight forward arrival to the Armitage hotel Tauranga, along with many Minis arriving from around the country.
Great to catch up, see all the cars and put a face to people on the internet Mini sites. People started washing their Minis ready for tomorrow's early start show and shine!
I had other ideas. I caught sight of Alasdair Willis hand washing his beauty 998 Cooper, knowing well a Scotsman wouldn’t take much convincing to go for a pint at the Mount! (None at all really). So we loaded into my Mini and off we went for a welcoming hazy pale ale or two in the sun.
Then back to the Armitage hotel to meet more people and some good old talk and banter. Me and Alasdair headed downtown for another beer and a grand curry. A fantastic night was had!
The question was would the weather play ball in the morning, well yes it did; a near perfect day with a little wind.
A very organised show and shine with over 220 Minis, so much to look at and people to talk to! Fantastic to see everyone’s Minis, projects and hear their stories.
The fact we Aucklanders hadn’t seen sun for such a long time most of us forget to bring sun lotion or hats.
After the Show and Shine we were set for the Scatter Run starting at 1:30pm. Definitely a two people per car for this event, so I teed up with Alasdair who wanted to take his 998 Cooper for a blast.
Off we went, for me it was a fantastic experience in a real classic Mini, very rarely did the RPM drop below 4500, and point to point we went flat tack yeah! We scored 75 points with some long hauls to get the big numbers, and a really good winding section of road with big smiles, not bad going for a small bore Cooper Mini I thought, great effort.
We caught up to the Orange delight (Adam's Mini) broken down with a fan blade in many bits! His dad was coming to the rescue, so we abandoned him as it was time to get those points in before the 4pm cut off! We went back and it was time to clean up for the 60th Birthday party.
But firstly a few of us met up for a quick walk into town for a bite to eat and a pint, Grant looked like a well done beetroot at the end of the sunny day LOL (Editor: I'll get you for this, Zak.) he only needed to add blue and white for the themed Mini 60th birthday party and quiz night (with some very hard questions) but lots of fun!
After the quiz it was off to the front bar to watch the All Blacks beat the English... NOT! Enough said about that.
An easy start to Sunday morning, before my midday start funkhana! And what fun that was, it was great watching the Reed family having a parents v kids challenge, an inspiration seeing the whole family getting involved in everything Mini.
Marisa and Brandon did a super job with Marisa the driver, and not long just got her driving license, a fine job!
Me and Stephen teed up for this one, first practice in my Mini, in great fashion tipped the water circle over which caused a great laugh, and next we figured out how to make the light go on without the horn even more laughter!
Second round was in Stephens red rover! And this time we were on form with a five mm gap at each mirror on the rolling gap machine, best of they said!
A thoroughly enjoyed nationals by all.
A very special club night, with Trent Dixon revealing his almost finished race car: a monster RWD Mini with a Honda H22A VTEC under the... roof?
It's not quite finished, it has yet to finalise the wiring, computer, and be tuned on the dyno, but it's very impressive already.
Watch out for its shakedown run at Hampton Downs during the Club's track day on 17th November.
by Tony Maulder
Celebrating 60 years of Mini, held at the British Motor Museum at Gaydon near Oxford on Sunday 4th of August 2019.
The Metro & Mini show was a one day event and had probably over 1000 Minis attending. It had display areas, and parking for visiting minis as well as entry to the Museum. I arrived in the rear car park for non minis, next to the Jaguar test track.
Entering the show my first port of call was the Cooper Register tent, as I belong to the UK Cooper Register. The stand had pride of place near the entrance to the Museum. Talking to one of the register members, he said he had read about me in the Cooper World magazine and made quite a fuss over me by introducing me to the club officials. A 1963 Monte Carlo Cooper was on the club stand as well as a Downton Cooper S , and a cut down 6 cylinder jag engined Mini and a rare MK III Cooper S with a sunroof. An absolutely magnificent display of club members Minis .
A stand next to us was the 59 Register which had a display of 30 or so 1959 Minis . Next to them were the woody vans, Then a group of Metros. Opposite them were a group of kit cars including a Unipower Mini in the central pride of place by the main vehicle entrance to the show. Beside the Unipower were the show and shine cars, including a very well restored red and black 1071 Austin Cooper S.
The Action Arena was between the show Minis and the Cooper Register display. This is were the Italian Job stunt drivers performed. The police chasing the three Coopers, then they chased the bus, and then the stunt driver weaved a Moke between them and did a lap in a Mini up on two wheels
All to soon the fine and sunny day was over, and I was off to the nearby Malt Shovel Inn, for a pub meal and local beer, need I say more.
Oxford Mini Factory Tour tomorrow, and then head off along the M4 towards Bristol For the International Mini Meet the next weekend.
by Tony Maulder
IMM and Mini 60th birthday were held at Washpool Farm, Easter Compton, near Bristol in the UK, from the 8th to 12th of August.
Bristol is known for the Severn Bridge to Wales, the iron steam ship Great Britain, the Clifton Suspension bridge, the first Concord aircraft that flew (50 years ago) and the large international yearly balloon festival, which was on over the IMM weekend.
I turned up on the first morning, when the campsite opened, to the sight of over a thousand Minis queued up in a paddock to pay the £100 to enter theMini Meet. Many of the Minis were towing small caravans. Great to wander around and watch the muddy Minis driving in and out of the Farm.
Minis were well represented at the food outlets, as ice cream vans, barbecues, pizza ovens and food stalls
There was an Italian Job display, bus, police car, even a van with its doors still on ! and the three Coopers. Many clubs had displays, the Mokes, the Clubmans 50th and even Mr Bean wandering around in his Mini with his little puppy doll. Many clubs had camped together in the various fields and had displays there.
This was the 4th Mini 60 celebration I attended in the UK. Unfortunately it was disrupted a bit by the squally weather over the weekend, which even closed one side of the nearby Severn Bridge.
Jo Wooding had a great Mini experience on the way to Caffeine and Classics:
Lee, Brook, Ryan and myself (Jo) met at Greenlane Mc Donalds carpark ready to convoy to Caffeine.
A fire truck pulled in and 4 firemen got out. 3 went to have food and 1 stayed back and headed for our Minis. He spoke to us all about our Minis, the years and the difference between Japanese market and NZ new and UK new. He spoke of growing up with an uncle who owned a Mini and he taught him to work on them. He owned a Mini as a teen in UK. He talked to me about my Rover Mini and the oil leak clearly visible. He told me his surname was Morris so he named his son Cooper John Morris. His son is 8 and loves the car he is named after. We talked about Caffeine and Classics and Brook informed him it was not only Minis but all sorts of classics. He then told us about his brother in law who owns a Porsche 911 and bought it as a teen 35 years ago. He had spent over $100,000 on keeping it going and is now in the middle of a repaint (it was red) when all the exterior lights were pulled off they found blue layer under the red and a muddy light brown under that. Funny enough the repaint colour he chose was the same muddy brown so he is happy it’s going back to original. Mr Morris stayed and chatted to us the entire time his buddies were eating their breakfast. Now missing food to talk about Minis... well that's passion right there. I love it when random strangers tell me their stories about Minis, so cool to see them get excited about seeing one, or in this case 4.
By Jo Wooding
Photos: Ryan Horton, Dave Bates, Zak Gould,
Report by Darren Clark
18 Cars (17 minis and 1 Toyota Camry) met and left Sir Barry Curtis Park for the run to Kaiaua on a fine and sunny day.
First stop was coffee at Maraetai, followed by a oil check from Richard on his mini. Co incidentally, it was also Richard’s birthday too. Happy Birthday Richard! Hopefully, older and wiser about front spoilers and dipsticks!!
We were lucky enough to have Andrew from Sky View Photography come along with us for the day so next stop was the headland just around the corner from Maraetai where we all parked up, and Andrew got some great drone footage (videos and photos are on the Mini Club Facebook page). Off to KawaKawa Bay for a quick regroup and a toilet stop for some. We had been warned that the coast road was quite rugged, but, there had been a considerable amount of repair work done on the majority of the road which made it quite passable. There was, however, a small unsealed section which had to be carefully negotiated and no mini related injuries occurred. There were a few fantastic winding roads which gave all minis a chance to blow out the cobwebs and for some, test driver skills as well!
Arriving at Kaiaua, there was a considerable wait for fish and chips due to a couple of Motorcycle clubs arriving there before us, but, after a long wait, food arrived and was consumed rather rapidly. Some members went off to Miranda for a soak in the hotpools, while most decided to head back home.
Steve’s car decided that it wanted to stay in Kaiaua, care of a fuel pump that decided to throw a tantrum. Luckily, he had a client living across the road so we were able to push the mini across to the clients house and Steve bunked in with Zak, then Richard for the trip home.
A great day was had by everyone who attended with some great scenery, great roads for driving, and great food. Thanks to Steve for his organising the day! Awesome stuff!
The return of club Quiz Night was well received, with good attendance and only a few grumbles when the questions got too esoteric. Zak's special guest round on Mini trivia was very entertaining and informative.