Monday, October 13, 2008

Chauffer-driven Clubmans Launch in Dubai

[Ed. note: I've been suggesting this for months!]


"Jumeirah Emirates Towers recognises that 'time' is the new luxury for the business traveller and the MINIs are an ideal, flexible and compact solution for this premium service, avoiding precious time wasted on finding taxis or parking spaces...

Photo courtesy

As a hotel guest of Jumeirah Emirates Towers, take pleasure in a complimentary chauffeur driven transfer service in dynamic silver coloured MINI Cooper S Clubmans. The hotel offers this service 24 hours daily and includes DIFC drop offs and pick-ups on request. So sit back and relax while we take you places..."

Read the full story at:

Related Links:

Saturday, October 11, 2008



A 2007 MINI Cooper S, piloted by Craig Wilcox of Blue Springs, Missouri, claimed first place in G Stock at the 36th Tire Rack(R) SCCA Solo National Championship at Heartland Park in Topeka, Kansas. The four-day contest of precision driving — an exhilarating face-off that pushes the driver’s ability and the car’s handling characteristics to their limits on an autocross course — attracted more than 1,000 entrants competing in 32 classes.

MINI USA rewarded Wilcox for his first-place win with a $1000 purse through its MINI Motorsport Awards Program which honors its proud racing heritage and celebrates the accomplishments of MINI entrants in U.S. motorsport competition. In the past Wilcox has been the recipient of several such awards....

...“I have received so much support form MINI USA, without it, competing around the country would not have been possible for me,” said Wilcox. “I am now on my 5th MINI Cooper S in as many years, and am definitely appreciative of all the support that MINI USA has given me through the MINI Motorsport Awards Program.”..."

Read the full story at

Related Links:

Monday, September 08, 2008

How Many People Can Fit Into A MINI COOPER?

I'm pretty confident this Guiness World Records attempt is legit. (Captured from a spanish-language* TV show)...

*(Someone help me out with that, wouldja?)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

MINI vs Killer Shopping Carts

Ah, the latest MINI promo from BSSP...

**UPDATE** The following embed is from But I still give credit to for being one of the first sites to post it w/o requiring a login.

Related Links:

Monday, August 18, 2008

Jason Calacanis Drives a MINI

When most speak of dot-com millionaire Jason Calacanis, they speak of his well-earned arrogance, astute business sense, and entrepreneurial vigor. When the auto enthusiast speaks of Calacanis, its because he's on the short list for a Telsa Roadster.

Jason Calacanis on the MINI Cooper: "it makes a good dog-car"

So imagine my surprise when in the midst of the witty banter during Leo LaPorte's "This Week in Tech" (Episode #155), pressed about his current personal fleet, Jason Calacanis proudly mentions his Telsa Roadster (of which he anxiously awaits delivery), a Corvette C6, a Mercedes GL550... and then he says, "oh- and I got a MINI Cooper".

[insert record scratch]

Personally, I think its way cooler that the Big JC sports the MINI on occasion, than that one guy from American Idol.

Related Links:

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Hamann Release MINI Cooper Performance Upgrades

Hamann known for taking high-end cars (mostly BMWs and Porches) and making them even more high end with performance and visual enhancements has been giving the "new" MINI the Hamann treatment since their re-introduction in 2007.

In early 2007, Hamann,was quick to produce an aerodynamics styling kit for the new second generation R56 Mini, but took over a year and a half to complete the program with engine performance upgrades mainly consisting of reprogrammed ECUs.

Nonetheless, the Bosch Motrotnic ignition control unit has be remapped, and the 1.6-liter turbo engine in the Cooper S, which normally produces 175 hp / 128 kW, has been increased to 204 hp/ 150 kW at 5,500 r.p.m. and torque of 300 Nm at 1,600 – 5,000 rpm.

However, Hamann offers an even more powerful kit for the Cooper S. Called SPORTKIT CS 230, it adds on top of the ECU upgrade with an improved intercooler and sport muffler making 230hp / 169 kW at 6,050 r.p.m. and 330 Nm torque at 3,860 r.p.m. As a result, top speed increases to 238 km/h and 0-100 km/h increase by at least 0.5 seconds.

For the Cooper D which normally has 110 hp, it now makes 26hp / 20 kW more for a total of 136 hp / 100 kW at 4,000 r.p.m. and a maximum torque of a huge 300 Nm at 1,750 – 2,000 r.p.m.
As seen on

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"Keys and Car Stolen as Mum and I Slept"

[Ed. note: I read stories like this one every day... For some reason I am compelled to post this one.]

By Gina Marden,

"A YOUNG woman has been left devastated after burglars stole her car after breaking into her home.

Sherri Saunders, 20, saved up for three years for the 2002 Mini Cooper S which she only enjoyed for three weeks before it was taken.

The shop assistant and model had been saving since passing her driving test. Her dad, Paul, discovered the car was missing from their driveway when he returned from work.

Sherri, 20, of Pound Lane, Bowers Gifford, said: “I was in shock at first and then what happened started to kick in a couple of days later.”

Her dad Paul, 48, added: “I just feel destroyed for her. She’s been crying every day. It’s so unfair.”

Paul is offering £1,000 for information given to police which leads to the return of the car..."

[the part that makes me laugh, sort of]

"...Detectives are still looking for the Mini, which was grey with a black roof and black stripes on the bonnet which continue on to the bumper."
Gee- that narrows it down!

Read the complete article at

Sunday, July 13, 2008

MTTS-LA: Totally Unofficial Hotel Recommendations

[Updated, Monday, July 14, 2008, 01:59 PM]

Since a big group of friends from out of town are coming up for MINI TAKES THE STATES-LOS ANGELES, I tried to get some reliable information about hotel accomodations in the Pasadena area. And, since I'm writing it down, I figure I may as well post it for others who may be in a similar situation of not having a clue where to stay aside from the Hilton.

Please note these are not my personal suggestions, as I have not been to any of these establishments. Think of it more as a "starting point" for your own research. :)

I will update this post as more information becomes available. Feel free to use the comment feature to add your own recommendations or "warnings"!

"The List"-- along with comments from people I trust to give me decent info (in no particular order):

Holiday Inn Express
full breakfasts, nice amenties. good rates

The Hilton - 168 S. Los Robles Avenue

The Westin - 191 N. Los Robles Avenue
(closest hotel to Rose Bowl) (California Pizza Kitchen and McCormick and Schmicks on the Property)

Courtyard by Marriott - 180 N. Fair Oaks Ave.*
(close to Rose Bowl) (near old town Pasadena, lots of shopping, restaurants nearby, very freeway close - can hop right on the 210)

The Sheraton - 303 East Cordova
near Paseo Colorado (large shopping complex)

The Langham - 1401 South Oak Knoll Avenue
(formerly The Ritz Carlton) very expensive!!

Saga Motor Hotel - 1633 E Colorado Blvd
a good value.

*While I've attempted to keep my own opinion out of this post, I will mention that this particular location was recommended by three different sources.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

MINImus Omnibus: News at a Glance

It's been kinda dead the last few days on Bushfinger MINI- certainly not due to a lack of MINI related news, but moreso a combination of 1) yours truly relocating to new abode (i forgot how much moving sucks), 2) a deluge of over-recycled news (mostly old news to MINIacs), and 3) quite frankly, all the other "big" MINI news, seems to be a tad bit over-covered lately.

photo found on

Here are a few recent bits I find somewhat interesting that may or may not already be posted on 100 other blogs:

LA Times writes: "American drivers should consider themselves lucky -- try $9.85 a gallon in Oslo."

MINI among Mercedes-Benz E320 and Tesla Roadster in "Fuel-Efficient Cars You Actually Want to Drive"
"With the current economic downturn, increasingly high fuel prices and a growing concern for the environment, many of today's drivers are embracing fuel efficient or 'green vehicles. We want to educate consumers on the few vehicles that are not only Earth-friendly, but also stylish and exhilarating to drive."..."

More Clubman Reviews?? nah- I'll skip it.
[If you must, here are about 1,150,000 at]

Truck overturns, Mini-Cooper stays on its wheels after collision
Santa Paula Police are investigating a two-vehicle collision that left a truck overturned - but a Mini-Cooper on its wheels - Friday evening, blocking a busy intersection..."

Clubmans Make Moms Hot
"The mom-reviewers here at have recommendations for (mostly) functional family cars that can make you look and feel as hot as the summer sun..."

"Clubmans Post Up!" unwittingly collects the coolest Clubman photos on the web...

Gas prices in world cities (LA TIMES)

I don't often read, and even more rarely quote the L.A. Times. However in an article I read today, staff writer Marla Dickerson writes: "American drivers should consider themselves lucky -- try $9.85 a gallon in Oslo."

To which I say, I've been saying this all along! The totally intriguing list is shown below. The full story is available on LA at the link below:,1,1883309.story

Gas prices in world cities

City Reg. price in USD/gal.

Oslo 9.85
Paris 9.43
Copenhagen 9.24
Rome 9.03
London 8.96
Berlin 8.68
Hong Kong 8.05
Seoul 7.33
Sao Paulo 6.38
Tokyo 6.30
Singapore 6.13
Nairobi 5.94
Sydney 5.57
Montreal 5.57
Vancouver 5.50
Santiago 5.18
Toronto 4.98
Mumbai 4.94
Bangkok 4.78
Los Angeles 4.57
Johannesburg 4.41
Moscow 3.90
Havana 3.75
Buenos Aires 3.56
Beijing 3.40
Mexico City 2.62
Dubai City 1.70
Cairo 1.24
Kuwait City 0.92
Riyadh 0.47
Tehran 0.41
Caracas 0.12

Sources: AIRINC, Energy Information Administration

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Used Cars Make A Comeback, MINI Dominates

Today discusses the increase in used car values for older, fuel-efficient vehicles. I about lost it when I read:

"...This year's Mini Cooper buyers expecting to find a lower-priced used 2007 Mini were in for a big surprise. They paid, on average, $2300 more for a used Mini in mid-June, a 12% increase over the average transaction price on Jan. 1 of this year..."
Twelve percent? Twelve percent?! Since January?! Well, you know how I am-- I immediately got distracted from the article and had to get an update on the ol' "Kelly Blue Book vs. Payoff" challenge for my own MINI. The results? Wait for it...

Kelly Blue Book, Private Party, Excellent Condition: $21,945*
Current payoff (after 3 years of payments): $15,662.73*

That's right folks by these numbers, not only have I only lost about $6,000 in value after three years of ownership- if I sold it today, I'd make it all back! Yeah, I know I probably missed something in the math there somewhere. Feel free to correct me. Meanwhile, excuse me while I laugh my a** off for a second and do a little dance...

Forbes continues:
"Dominating the list of 15 fuel-efficient used cars making a comeback is the Mini Cooper with four model years, including 2005 ($1,900 average transaction price increase, or 11%); 2006 ($1,600 average transaction price increase, or 10%); and 2004 ($1,050 average transaction price increase, or 7.4%)..."

Yeah, I had to include that part in there too. But in all fairness, its not all about the MINI. Check out the entire article for some jaw-dropping, cork-popping numbers! Well, I guess that depends on what you drive.

*(Figures are for comparison and commentary purposes only.)

Related Links:

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Can a Hornet sting the MINI?

A few articles I ran across today question if the Dodge Hornet (concept) is specifically aimed at taking a piece of the MINI Cooper market.

"We wanted the Hornet to be dynamic, nimble, fun to drive, and have an adaptable space-efficient interior," said Mark Moushegian, Principal Exterior Designer. "At the same time we set out to create a vehicle with a uniquely American character to expand the image and presence of the Dodge brand in Europe and international markets, especially in the entry-level market."

Underhood is a 1.6L 16-valve OHC supercharged I/C four-cylinder engine putting out 127 kW (170 hp)/224 N•m (165 lb.-ft.) of torque @ 4000 rpm.

"Like the exterior, the interior is geared around young rally enthusiasts," said John Sodano, Principal Interior Designer. "Our intention was to maximize the interior volume by pushing all interior surfaces to the perimeter of the vehicle as much as possible. I studied images of space capsule interiors, since they are designed for high efficiency in a limited space. I wanted the Hornet inside to have a functional, 'engineered' look, but with pleasing surfaces and materials."

My two cents? Um, just look at that front end. And the back end. And the interior.

Form your own opinion by reading the articles in full at the links below!

Related Links:

Monday, June 16, 2008

LifeBall MINI Auction Closes at 45,000 EUR

When the eBay auction closed on June 15th, some lucky Austrian fella (or fraulein) became the proud owner of the one-of-a-kind Life Ball MINI 2008 by Agent Provocateur.

Closing at 45,000 Euros (equiv. $69,700 USD), that's a pretty good deal for a custom MINI Cooper Clubman! In addition to the hand-stitched leather interior, custom graphics and paint and of course, bragging rights- proceeds from this auction go toward international AIDS charities, which is a pretty cool statement right there!

The winning bidder will also receive two VIP tickets, including overnight accommodation, for the MINI Challenge Finale on 27 September 2008 at the Salzburgring race track.

Not a bad deal for 70 grand! I would certainly take it over a 7-Series any day!

Related Links:

Friday, June 13, 2008

Video Friday: R56 Autocross...

Found on

"I get good comments like 'that can't be stock!' 'what do you have in that thing?' I'm pretty sure most of those guys think I'm a liar. My answer always is 'look at the ride height, if It wasn't stock would I have it riding so high' ..."

Thursday, June 12, 2008

MINIUSA.COM Visitor Traffic up 90%. Attributes Rising Fuel Prices

filed under "you could see it coming a mile away"...

Auto-blog site, reports that 900,000 people went to in May 2008?!

"Maybe it was the recent introduction of the Clubman, but MINI is saying, nope, it’s high fuel prices that have driven traffic to its website to increase nearly 90%. Last month, more than 900,000 people went to to check out the Cooper lineup. Searches for new Mini Coopers were also up on, nearly 40% in May compared to April 2008."

The article continues on to cite mileage estimates in comparison to other cars in the same class. Friends of "Bushfinger MINI" will recall more realistic, real-world mileage statistics conducted by yours truly!

Read the full article at

Related Links:

Friday, June 06, 2008

Video Friday: Thumb-sized R/C MINI Cooper is one of my favorite sites to look at stuff I'll never buy. I might actually buy this thumb-sized R/C MINI Cooper though!

Related Links:

Video Friday: 2008 JCW Cooper vs. JCW Clubman

Tuesday, June 03, 2008 asks, "Which MINI is best for Suburban Dads?"'s Patrick Olsen compares the 2008 Mini Cooper S, Cooper Clubman and Cooper S Clubman to see which one is the best for a suburban dad.

Related Links:

Monday, June 02, 2008

Clubman, xB, and Smart ForTwo- compared?

Tell me did not just compare the 2008 model MINI Cooper Clubman, Scion xB, and Smart ForTwo?!

How on earth could they? I mean, these models have nothing in common. Well, except for each counting as "Iconic". Or as writers put it,

"Some cars are merely popular, like the Toyota Camry, while others have a rabid following in which the car is more than just a car. The three cars below fall into the latter category, and we're here to see which has the best odds to win over the hearts and minds of its owners."

Okay- I'll accept that. With categories like "Biggest head-turner" and "Cabin aesthetics", this is not your typical comparison. And the results may astound you!

Visit for a complete, and admittingly- quite unique look at three otherwise totally uncomparible 2008 models.

Related Links:

Life Ball 2008 MINI [Video]

Yep, again with the Agent Provocateur MINI... but, it's so hot! Or is it the women?

Here's some heartwarming text to offset any NSFW guilt you may be experiencing:

The Life Ball MINI is traditionally designed by the fashion designer to whom the fashion show at the opening event is dedicated - in 2008 this was the English lingerie label Agent Provocateur. The starting point chosen for the exclusive one-off design was the new MINI Clubman. Agent Provocateur, founded by Serena Rees and her husband Joseph Corre, son of fashion doyenne Vivienne Westwood, is known for its wicked, burlesque collections - and this year’s Life Ball MINIM was designed accordingly.

"We really enjoyed giving the MINI Clubman our unique brand look. The new shape of the MINI is so reminiscent of the old Mini police car that we immediately came up with the idea of giving the interior a makeover in the Agent Provocateur style, so that you’d actually want to be arrested. The classic exterior has been pepped up a little, using the Agent Provocateur signature colours of Pink and Black and finished off with a pink flashing light. Inside there is a truly seductive prison cell which is fitted out with leather loops as manacles that are attached directly to the walls, as well as mirrored windows and metallic prison bars.

"Always under the assumption that the long arm of the law requires plenty of space when questioning a prisoner, we fitted our Agent Provocateur police MINI Van with couch seats in the back and leg restraints for forensic examinations. The quilted leather seats and tailor-made compartments for notebook and pen, the Agent Provocateur MINI police car is the perfect vehicle for finding a criminal’s hidden treasures, don’t you think?" says Joseph Corre, founder of lingerie label Agent Provocateur.

The designer MINI 2008 made its debut in front of 40,000 spectators at this year’s Life Ball in Vienna’s town hall square. Escorted by four models, with Joseph Corre at the wheel and Sophie Ellis Bextor as the front-seat passenger, the Life Ball MINI 2008 opened the fantastic show on Vienna’s town hall square.

Related Links:

Friday, May 30, 2008

Agent Provocateur's hot hot Clubman!

The Agent Provocateur MINI Clubman. Not a totally new topic, and maybe even a bit over-covered (and under-dressed), but hey- still tres chic in my opinion... (click photos for larger view)

(Photos courtesy and

"The Agent Provocateur Clubman was built as the Life Ball 2008 MINI. As in the years before MINI chose a trendy designer to create a unique MINI to be auctioned off on eBay to raise funds for Europe's largest AIDS charity from the 5th of June. The auction ends on Sunday 15th June at"

Visit the any of the 200+ articles for a thorough review, and even more racy photos...

Related links:

Thursday, May 22, 2008


What the what?!?!?! Okay, not exactly...

Specifically, today I read that Motorsport Event Management (MEM), the agency contracted to run the Australian MINI CHALLENGE, has been put up for sale by its current owner.

While one of the fastest growing iterations of the MINI CHALLENGE (they speak English y'know!), the Australian automotive blog site, reports that this sale is actually a result of the MEM owner's desire to focus on his own "multiple racing teams". I'll accept that! (how one finances, "multiple racing teams" is a different story altogether!)

"MINI is confident that any sale of MEM will be to a suitable purchaser who will continue to manage the increasingly popular MINI CHALLENGE series..."
--- BMW Group Australia, MINI National Manager, Justin Hocevar

For the full story check out, one of my new favorite sites!

Related links:

Friday, May 16, 2008

AC Schnitzer's 226-hp MINI Cooper Clubman S

AC Schnitzer does have a pretty good reputation at tuning MINIs. So I don't know why I didn't think I was going to be as excited about AC Schnitzer's tuned MINI Cooper Clubman S as I was.

Some specs:

  • 226-hp
  • 17 or 18-inch alloy wheels
  • spoiler treatments
  • diesel option(s)

And it looks, oh so sweet!

photos borrowed from

The price? Well, if you have to ask... (€ 39.035)

Read the full story at

Saturday, May 10, 2008

MINI of Charleston Team Picks Up Track Record

Found at the Post and Courier (from Charleston, SC):

While unable to claim wins last month in Virginia, the Mini of Charleston racing team did pick up a track record, with Robbie Davis averaging 84.692 miles per hour in a 2005 Mini Cooper S. Davis took two second places in the weekend races at the 3.27 mile Virginia International Raceway in Danville. The track record came on a lap in the Sunday race. The team returns to action in May 17-18 at Summit Point Raceway in Summit Point, W. Va.
Read the full story at:

(oh wait, that was the full story!?)

Related links:

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

MINI Turbo engine to power BMW 1-series?

MotorTrend reports BMW plans to outfit (non-U.S.) 1-Series' with the turbo four-cylinder from the Mini Cooper S. Yeah, we never get the good stuff:

(Image courtesy of
In an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer said the Munich company will include both normal and turbo versions of the 1.6-liter four-cylinder in the next-generation 1 Series, though whether they will be available across the model lineup or just on specific cars remains to be seen. Both the turbo and 118 horsepower base engine are currently available in the second-generation Mini, as well as versions of the Peugeot 207 hatchback, wagon, and hardtop convertible.

Oh yeah, and some jazz about a 7-Series hybrid. But, who can afford a 7-Series in the first place?

Read the full story at (

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

NYT asks, "GP MINI: An instant collectible?"

Within in the last month or so I have seen photos of two out of the 415 U.S. issued GP MINIs crashed on the Internet and a third in real-life (and in real time no less!). Meanwhile, the question of whether the GP MINI, or as it is officially billed, the "Mini Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit" qualifies as a true "collectible" has surfaced not only on a recent episode of White Roof Radio, but just today in an interesting editorial from New York Times writer Richard Chang:

(Photo courtesy:

"When carmakers label something as limited edition, it typically means they’ve added leather and slapped on some chrome badging to spark sales in the middle of a model cycle. For example, you don’t see Ford Mustang Bullitt editions going for anywhere near the $31,075 sticker on eBay (and this is a brand new car).

Could the Mini Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit (its official name) be different?...

In two years, the GP Kit, according to my friend, had become a collector’s item. “People bought them and stored them in their garage,” he said. Really? An instant collectible? I brought this up to Vincent Kung, a Mini product spokesman, who wrote back, “The GP, yes, has been selling for more than sticker. I saw a used former press car for sale at a local dealer at $36,000...”

As always New York Times' online editions are a pretty good read. I encourage you to enjoy the full article and let us know what you think!

New York Times: Mini's Instant Collectible

No MINI COOPERS in Grand Theft Auto IV?

The most anticipated game of 2008, one of the coolest popular cars in the world. You'd think there would be room for the two in one game?

Searching the internets I finally came across this short (maybe fake) clip of the cars to be featured in the latest release for Rockstar Games, "Grand Theft Auto IV, Liberty City"

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Siddhartha Waxes Poetic on New MINI Blog

Many of us in the MINI community know all to well that fellow MINI driver (and now official race car driver), Jerry "Siddhartha" Bradbury has quite a way with words.

(photo courtesy of

Now as a contributing writer to the blog at, Jerry waxes poetic on his experiences as a sponsored driver in the 2008 U.S. Touring Car Championship series. Here's a recent excerpt:

Infineon Raceway, April 11, 2008

It’s quiet tonight under this hill in Sonoma. A few lights gleam and the faint tink-tink-tink of a hammer sounds from some hidden pit area where work continues as it always does on a race car. Bright stars look down on a few early arrivals and the air is redolent of hay and the sea. All through the night the transporters pull in, towing their brightly colored cars. They’ve come from Oregon, Utah, Nevada and all parts of California to become a part of this temporary community, to see old friends, to make new ones, to race. Dawn reveals a small village sprung up over night. There are streets, traffic, pedestrians, wives, sweethearts, kids and dogs. Cars of all descriptions, from daily drivers to factory sponsored racecars have become the focus of attention as they are prepared to go on track. An air of festivity prevails over this day at the races, but an undercurrent of the potential for violence and wreckage is present as well as the tow truck rumbles slowly around the perimeter like a bright red velociraptor, tail high, looking for prey.

Oh yes, and he talks a lot about racing and specs and such too. For a well-written inside look into the world and mind of an up-and-coming track driver, Jerry's contributions to the MINI Mania blog at can't be beat!

Related links:
Plus, I've been begging for a suitable opportunity to say "wax poetic" for a couple days now. :)

Friday, April 18, 2008

MINI Cooper Tops 'Best Affordable Tech Cars'

Today a friend pointed me to a articles that rates the "Best Affordable Tech Cars".

"When a car costs $100,000, you expect a cabin filled with the latest gadgets. The trick is getting good cabin tech in an affordable car, the kind that most people drive. We're very impressed when we see a navigation system in a car that costs less than $30,000. Good stereos make an appearance at many different price ranges. Sure, these cars often won't have all the tech you could want, but a few quality components make them true tech cars."
Of the seven cars that made the list (including the Volvo C30 and Nissan Altima Coupe), yeah- the MINI Cooper grabs the #1 spot with a 9.3 out of 10. Or as CNET put it, "Spectacular"! (But we knew that, didn't we!)

"Good-looking and one of the most fun cars on the road, the 2007 Mini Cooper S is well-engineered throughout. While we were impressed by the audio and handling, these can be made even better with an optional premium speaker system and a limited slip differential."

Visit for the full list and a pretty good video review of the 2007 MINI Cooper.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

MINI Takes The States 2008! Registration now Open!

If you are a new MINI Owner, a non-MINI owner, or just been living under the overpass the last two years, you may be saying "what is 'MINI Takes The States'?" In my own words, it's a four-part, nationwide party sponsored by good ol' MINI USA! In their words...

Two years ago, MINI Takes the States motored coast-to-coast with thousands of MINI Owners and enthusiasts joining up for a legendary motoring extravaganza. This year, though, everyone hoped even more folks could get in on the fun. So MINI owners voted to visit four U.S. cities for four separate weekends of good times, including the chance to drive a MINI on an aggressive autocross course.

Plus, the net proceeds from registration fees are all going to help out a regional MINI Motoring Hearts ™ charitable organization. So mark your calendars for one or more of these unforgettable events, register today and start picking your co-pilots...

Highlights in each city will include:

* MINI Parking Corral at festival grounds
* MINI-Autocross Test Drive
* Live festival entertainment
* Headliner band Saturday night
* The “Bootload of Fun Zone” with activities for all ages
* MINI Vendor Village
* An official MTTS Welcome Kit for each paid attendee
* Friday night Meet & Greet (MINI Owners only)
* Rise and Shine Saturday Rally (MINI Owners only)

And the list goes on! (click here for the rest)...

This event takes place in MIAMI, BOSTON, CHICAGO, and L.A. Now, here's the kicker- EVERYONE IS INVITED – EVEN IF YOU DON’T OWN A MINI!!

Now that's marketing, baby!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

iPhone+MINI Cooper Armrest

Found this cool video and thread on NAM about the iPhone "snap-in" for the MINI OEM armrest.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Hot girls and MINI Coopers!

What more could a person want?

The site is not in english so I can't give you a better setup, but who cares, right! ? (Thanks Rally for the find *and* sharing!)

NOTE: This gallery contains nudity. The link: MINI4U@Teixeira - MINI - SEXY

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Giants champion pimps the MINI Wienermobile

This one is quickly making the rounds throughout the MINI community, but as a NY Giants fan, I couldn't *not* cover it too!

Michael Strahan at the wheel of the Mini Wienermobile.

[adapted from the NY Times article]:

"Mr. Strahan squeezed his 6’5” frame behind the wheel of the new Mini Wienermobile, a smaller, sportier version of Oscar Mayer’s somewhat famous Wienermobile... his knees wedged beneath the dashboard, [he] flashed his broad gap-toothed smile as he eased the car into gear, moving through the cordoned-off lane at about the same speed at which one might walk back to the huddle after an incomplete pass..."

Read the full story on the New York Times website:

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mini Cooper Driver Identified After 80-Foot Plunge

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Orlando police late Thursday morning released the identity of the 37-year-old man who plunged more than 80 feet into a pond when he lost control of his vehicle early Thursday morning. Eyewitnesses said they never even saw 37-year-old Scot A. Morrison's brake lights when he sped off the Universal exit along I-4...

Get the rest of this article, photos, and video:

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Lowered MINI Clubman (Clubmans?)

The MINI Cooper Clubman is officially alive and roaming the streets of the US, and photos of Clubmans (Clubmans?) are finally beginning to surface. Here are a few of the first photos of lowered Clubbies floating around the internet. (click photos for larger versions):

This one- according to the (poster/owner) "xBoXlOvEr", is running H&R Springs and 215/35/18 G-Force BF Goodrich tyres. Which is how you spell tires in Madrid.

Credit/props go to Rally of for the best photoshop of a Clubman I've seen to date! Slammed and shaved, MINI designers and aftermarket tuners, take note!

The John Cooper Works JCW Clubman. Suspension courtesy of John Cooper Works:

AC Schnitzer's drop, as discussed here.

Got pics of lowered Clubman(s)? Send me a link and I'll post 'em here, so watch this thread for more photos of lowered Clubmen! (aaargh- Who chose that name anyway?!?!)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

What happens at AMVIV stays at AMVIV!

"What's an AMVIV?" you say? Why, only the largest gathering of Mini and MINI Cooper enthusiasts this side of the Mississippi! (I kinda made that up, but it's probably true!)

"AMVIV 5": March 27-30, 2008

Officially, AMVIV is "A MINI VACATION IN VEGAS!" Cool cars, cool people, exciting "runs" and related events, located in the heart of "America's Playground", who can resist?!?

As of this posting, there are about 350 cars and over 500 individuals registered for this 3-day event. If you have the time and a MINI you should seriously consider it! If you're in the area and curious what a parking garage full of MINIs looks like, you should pop in!

photo by: gbridger

Aah- don't believe me? Okay, that's cool. Perhaps a couple thousand photos will sway you?! ;)

NOTE: I am not a shill for AMVIV- I'm just ridiculously excited to go for a third year in a row!

My personal AMVIV 2007 Gallery

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Boyd Coddington Dead at 63

[Ed. note: Man, this news breaks my heart, and I haven't even been into cars long enough to truly understand!]

[] Boyd Coddington, the hot-rod innovator whose creations won the coveted Grand National Roadster Show's America's Most Beautiful Roadster (AMBR) trophy a record seven times, died Wednesday morning after a lengthy hospital stay. He was 63.

Photo courtesy

"It is my firm belief that Boyd is the founding father of this street-rod movement," said Gary Meadors of the Goodguys. "From the Boyd cars to the Boyd billet aluminum wheels . . . that whole smooth look that he brought to street rodding is what set him apart. He took our hobby to a whole other level with all the exposure he got in media outside our world. He was a forerunner, and he will be missed."
Get the full story at

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Video: Rally MINI!

Here's a video of a MINI wallowing in its Rally heritage.

[From a MINI USA Press Release, 08/07]*
"...[In] 1960, the MINI for the first time won a rally in its category, the Geneva Rally, with brothers Don and Erle Morley at the wheel....[T]wo years later the MINI was even able to clinch overall victory in rally racing, with Pat Moss, the sister of world-famous Formula 1 driver Stirling Moss, and co-driver Ann Wisdom bringing home the Tulip Rally in the Netherlands.

Another two years later the MINI works team entered the annals of motorsport once and for all: No less than six MINIs showed up for the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally, already the most famous rally in the world. Four of the cars were MINI Coopers developing maximum output of approximately 70 hp from 997 cc in Group 3 trim (close to production standard) and two were MINI Cooper S with maximum output of approximately 90 hp from 1,071 cc in Group 2 trim (improved), together facing more than 290 competitors in the event. Some of the other cars entering the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally had more than twice as much horsepower, such as the 4.7-litre Ford Falcon, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SE, the Volvo 544 “Humpback”, or the Alpine Renault.

In a genuine struggle of David against Goliath, the MINI quickly proved its fortes. With its compact exterior dimensions and broad “stance on the wheels”, as well as its long wheelbase, the MINI excelled through its optimum roadholding and above all its superior grip in bends even at the car’s top speed of 160 km/h or 100 mph..."

*Read the full press release at

Maximum Safety in the MINI Cooper

(You may have recieved this in an eNewsletter recently!)*

Maximum Safety in the MINI Cooper: How a very small car can be a very safe car.

Safety is not a matter of size and mass, but the result of brilliant engineering and design.

The 2008 MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper Clubman are among the safest cars on the road today. Despite its diminutive size, a MINI Cooper is engineered to protect its passengers. Safety in your MINI comes in two forms: Active—the capability to maneuver out of harm’s way, and Passive—systems and structural elements that protect occupants from the forces and consequences of a crash. Every 2008 MINI Cooper excels at both active and passive safety, exceeding government standards for equipment and performance in actual crash testing.

As MINI drivers know, their MINI Coopers are agile, nimble and remarkably capable of performing any maneuver needed with precision. That’s handling! And handling is the key to active safety. Handling provides the ability to drive out of danger and avoid accidents.

Your 2008 MINI Cooper is packed with computers, sensors, systems and mechanical equipment designed expressly for optimal handling. Under normal driving conditions, you are blissfully unaware of most active safety in the MINI. It’s only when the going gets dicey that you experience the amazing abilities of your MINI.

Take braking for instance. It’s the way we slow down, and brake function is normally routine and easily modulated. Sometimes, however, you have to slow quickly or stop suddenly. When you do, MINI is equipped with four-sensor antilock brakes (ABS) that refuse to lock and continue to provide controllable braking power in emergency situations. ABS is assisted by Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, a system that adjusts braking force and response according to load. In other words, your MINI will stop differently depending on who and what is onboard and MINI’s braking forces will be distributed accordingly. Similarly, MINI’s Cornering Brake Control is specially engineered to keep you balanced and in control when carving corners. It, too, uses sensors and selective brake application to maintain stability when cornering.

Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) is yet another vital ABS partner in your MINI. DSC is perhaps the single most important safety system on your MINI besides the seatbelts. It constantly senses steering angles and yaw forces and measures angles to detect a skid. If your MINI starts to drift, DSC steps in and applies corrective braking and, if needed, reduces engine power to prevent a loss of control. Government and industry statistics prove that stability control prevents accidents by allowing drivers to maneuver safely in an emergency driving situation, saving themselves and passengers from a crash and potential injury.

In addition to DSC, your MINI is equipped with Traction Control, a system that prevents the front drive wheels from losing traction. It kicks in during acceleration when any slippage is detected. It allows you to pull out to pass with confidence that power will be transferred efficiently to the pavement.

There are other active safety features on your MINI, several of which you probably never considered as such. For example, consider MINI’s headlamps. MINI has automatic leveling xenon headlamps with specially sculpted prisms that boost light output by 25 percent. When you see more and farther ahead, driving is safer. There are also speed-sensing windshield wipers that operate at the optimum speed for good visibility. Heated window washer nozzles that prevent the fluid from freezing in winter assist them. Examine the warning lights in the MINI’s maxi-speedometer bezel, and you’ll find a flat tire monitor so you will know the instant one of your tires starts getting soft.

If an accident is unavoidable, MINI has your back with an ultra-rigid body engineered to absorb the impact forces of a crash before they get to you. Seatbelts with pre-tensioners are critical since you must be held in a secure position for the optimal operation of airbags. Six airbags are standard consisting of front, side and curtain head airbags for the driver and front passenger. The extra-large curtain airbags (integrated in the roof lining) offer optimum protection from head injuries for the rear passengers.

MINI is all about motoring and doing it safely. You can be confident your MINI is equipped to help you be a good driver who is in control at all times. You can also be confident that, in the unavoidable crash, your MINI is designed and equipped to prevent injury, sacrificing itself in the interests of your safety.

*Published by Assael BMW and MINI

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Street-racing Crash Kills 7

[Ed. note: Well, this sucks....]

[From:] A car plowed into a crowd that had gathered to watch a drag race on a suburban road early Saturday, killing seven people and injuring at least four, police said.

A witness said two cars in the illegal street race sped past just before a car without its lights on came up behind the crowd of about 50.

"There were just bodies everywhere; it was horrible," said Crystal Gaines, 27, whose father was among the dead.

Read the full article at

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Silverado Truck Reaches 1,000,000 Mile Mark

*Yes, that says one meeeleeion miles, and no, that's not a typo! At least not according to the article from local Wisconsin newpaper, Shawano Leader...

Wisconsin man’s dependable pickup hits incredible milestone

(Shawano Leader, Sunday, February 10, 2008)

GRESHAM, Wis. - Frank Oresnik's trusty pickup truck — he calls it "the old girl" — passed the 1 million-mile mark with a camera crew filming the event and a public-radio audience listening in. "I can't tell you how much fun it was," he said. "It was really humbling, all this interest."

Oresnick uses this perspective: He’s had the oil changed more than 300 times. In fact, the oil’s been changed so often, the oil pan drain plug has needed rethreading. Several times.

Dr. Evil would approve.

Full text available at:

[Ed. note: So, technically, since most odometers only go to 100,000 miles before flipping, then his odometer actually read zero, right?]

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Camtasia Captures MINIUSA!

Doing research for something completely unrelated, I found myself amused at the Camtasia website, and the website it chose for its short video demonstration...

Click the link below for a fun little demo*

*not trying to sell you Camtasia

Friday, February 08, 2008


I got pointed to, who features a short vid on Southern California MINI Maniacs!

I'm off to check out what is all about... |

Monday, January 28, 2008

TV Spot: Passport 9500i Radar Detector

"I'll take "Cheesy Late Night Infomercials" for a hundred, Alex".

Actually, it's only a 60-second spot for the Escort Passport 9500i. ("the i is for intelligent") New school quality, old school cheese. Classic.

Friday, January 11, 2008

MINI CLUBMANia hits the U.S.!

With the official U.S. release of the MINI Clubman only days away, the hype machine is now in full force! Spy photos, leaked press releases, you know the drill. Commercials for the MINI Clubman have even started to surface in US television. Fortunately, we have the power of Internet to get a jump on things. I mean, who could resist a visit to the local MINI dealer after a spot like this... :)

"Club what?" You say? Get up to speed with's FULL COVERAGE of all things Clubman (my words, not theirs).

Click this link for more mania inducing videos!