Recent Events

For the following stories, go to MENU/RECENT EVENTS

South-county fall Mini tour

Quick, before the rains come. Eight Minis hit the road in the wilds of Pierce, Thurston and Lewis county.


Barely a splash on Vashon

No thunder, no lightning and barely a splash of rain for the 13 Minis and 18 enthusiasts that took part in the mostly sunny and warm cruise on Vashon Island. Ten of the 13 Minis are seen in front of the Vashon Roasterie in the photo above. Many thanks to Peter Larsen for the wonderful time.


Minis at Western Washington ABFM

From the very dry and beautiful grounds of St. Edward State Park, snuggled up against the fantastically restored Lodge at St. Edward, the Pacific Northwest British Car Clubs held a revival of sorts – The 2021 Western Washington All British Field Meet. In a post Covid-19 environment, car shows have been few and far between, so it was great to be at a show again.


Oregon Minis join in for some Peninsula Mini fun

The Peninsula Mini Society hosted their annual event which was highlighted by a Vashon Island tour and a LaMay Museum visit. An impressive number of Oregon Minis made the trip north and joined in two days of Mini merriment.


So much fun….

It had been a year and a half since SAMOA members met in person. Kept apart by the dreaded pandemic we could wait no longer and met on July 17, 2021 at Steve and Kim Gay’s house near Cottage Lake east of Woodinville. Shall we say it was an unqualified success? 31 members plus one guest gathered amongst 26 Minis and a beautiful MG1100 for an afternoon of catching up on Mini affairs and a heaping helping of picnic fun at the annual Picnic on The Green.  


Good Mini turnout at SOVREN Historics

Minis in the Car Corral, Minis on the track and plenty of other vintage racing excitement made for a great day at Pacific Raceways.


A long strange trip

Don and Marian are quite the adventurers in ‘Old Paint’ and they set a new standard on their anniversary trip to the Edgefield McMenamins.  How many Mini owners do you know who have crossed the Columbia River going backwards in their Mini?


Octoberfesting on Orcas

The wee town of Olga has a wonderful wreck of a store, soon to be a United States Post Office and grocery/cafe if the friends of have their way. The old place looks like a Mini repair facility to me, but then what doesn’t? 


Why no events?

It has been a struggle. The Covid-19 pandemic brought SAMOA to a screeching halt in 2020 and 2021 looks like more of the same. We hope you understand. For details on the pandemic and how SAMOA is effected here in the state of Washington, go to MENU/NEXT EVENTS.


Rusty tractors and cooling towers

Three serious Mini drivers, Peter Larsen, Jerry Miller and Jim Younkins, tour some awesome back roads south of Olympia and enjoy a tasty lunch in Elma.

Next events

SAMOA, the car club, has been in continual operation since 1967 as, “…an elite union of funny little cars and the unique people who are drawn together by them.”  Just don’t accuse us of being over-organized.  If we were, we would have remembered at the October meeting to open nominations of club officers for 2022.

So consider now that nominations for club officers (president, vice president, treasurer and secretary) for 2022 are open.  SAMOA consists of a bunch of Mini-loving members, a bunch of volunteers and the four club officers. They all meet monthly and get together at Mini-friendly events.  No bylaws, no constitution, a minimum of red tape but loads of Mini fun.

Club officers are the club’s only elected officials and are elected yearly by membership from members who have volunteered to be nominated for those positions.  It is doubtful the club could exist for long without them.

We ask at this time that you to think of all the wonderful things that have happened to you because of SAMOA.  Perhaps it would be fitting for you in turn to give back to the club a small bit of your spare time and consider nomination as one of these club officers?  Talk to any our current club officers if you think you might be interested.  Thank you,  –Ed Sauer, secretary


Nov 16, Tues – 7pm SAMOA Member’s Meeting via ZOOM. Nominations continue for club officers for 2022. Members will receive information via email a few days before meeting or contact website editor, Ed Sauer (contact info at bottom of homepage).



It’s time to renew your dues. This club doesn’t just run on its good looks you know. A new membership renewal procedure is in effect and if you don’t understand if you do or don’t need to renew your dues, you probably do. Look me up at the next meeting. It’s painless as a covid shot. -Toby May, president, membership maven, 1/31/2021


Out and about

In these trying times keep in mind there’s no better mood enhancer than a drive in your Mini. Next time you hit the road, snap a selfie, writeup a brief description of your trip and send it to the blog editor so your fellow SAMOAns get to share in your experience.

Lake Washington Fun

Lovely setting for the Sunday, 8/29, Cars & Coffee on Lake Washington Boulevard. Left to right: ex-Gunnar Gordon V-tech, Peter Larsen’s Inno, Barth Sherwood’s ’62 Cooper, Aaron Anderson’s MG 1100, and Toby May’s ’90 Mainstream Cooper. – Peter Larsen photo


Lunch in Centralia leads to 850 Mini owner

(Centralia, 9/15/2021) – Took advantage of the mid-week weather and light traffic to join up with Jim Younkins in Rainier for a run to O’ Blarney’s in Centralia for a ‘Cubano’ sandwich (highly recommended if you like a messy but delicious sandwich).
We decided to eat our lunch outside and were approached by a guy who saw our cars parked on the street.  He has owned an 850 Austin mini for 16 years in Centralia!  What are the chances?!  He asked if we had a card with contact information – both of us shrugged a no answer.  Maybe the club should print up some business sized cards that we could carry to give to the occasional mini owner that we meet who doesn’t know that SAMOA exists.

After lunch, Jim took the lead and led our two car convoy through Galvin to Lincoln Creek Road to Grand Mound and Tenino where we parted company.
The stop in Centralia gave us the chance for good conversation, good food and a much needed pee break.  All in all, a damn fine day.  – Jerry Miller


Why the big smile?

Why indeed! It’s Barbara Praefke’s first time behind the wheel of her newly recommissioned Riley Elf MkI. The beautiful and oh so original Mini was brought back to life by Kelley Mascher after Barbara purchased it from Chuck Heleker.

– images taken from video by Kelley Mascher.

This was Barbara’s first drive in the Elf and the first time it’s been on the road in about 20 years.

The Mk I Elf was produced from October 1961 through October 1962. Only about 3000 were manufactured. This car was built in October 1962. Mrs. Greenhill purchased the car new on the south coast of England in January, 1963. The color scheme, Chartreuse Yellow and Florentine Blue, is the original paint. The car has 30,000 original miles. 

In the UK, after Mrs. Greenhill, the Elf was owned for a short time by Keith Redwood and then by Roy Laycock. Both are well known in the UK Mini community. Chuck Heleker imported the car in 1997 and sold it to Barbara.

The Elf appears in the April 1997 issue of Mini Magazine.  –Kelley Mascher 8/3/2021


Graham goes to Graham

It’s an atypical tour when the Mini driver doesn’t come along but James Thompson drove up with his trailer and picked up Barth Sherwood’s Mini, along with it’s jazzy new motor (fresh from Autosport) and left Barth behind on the trip back to James’ south-sound shop, A-Series NW, where James will bring them together again.

In 1963, Graham Thomas Powlesland of Devon was the first owner of Barth’s Mini hence the name, Graham, and James of course lives south of Puyallup in the town of Graham in case you were wondering.  –Barth Sherwood photo


Tri-county Mini run

Another drive, well planned by Jim Younkins, this time through Thurston, Mason and Grays Harbor counties.  Great weather & roads, ending with good food at The Ranch House BBQ near Olympia.  Started with  nine classic Minis and ended with nine classic Minis! (Editorial comment;  If the car is well maintained,  there is no reason not to trust it.  Drive the damn thing!)  Stopped at the ‘Satsop Business Park’ for a stretch and photo opportunity.  (The old guys in the group were thankful for a chance to irrigate the local flora).  Peter, Ben, Carl and I extended the drive through Shelton and Allyn on Hwy 302 on the way home.  Long day but I would welcome the chance to do it again tomorrow.  Sorry if you were unable to come along, you missed a good one. -Jerry Miller, May 22,2021  


Old tricks

It’s what you do when you grow up in Ballard – way back when we were driving our 50s-vintage Chevrolets. Now we still meet up at Dick’s Drive-In but we’re driving our Minis instead. A few weeks ago we “Met half way,” Bill Wecker driving his MkI Cooper S up from Ballard and me down from Everett in the Rover Cooper to the Edmonds Dick’s Drive-In next to Winco on Hwy 99. We had to wait a few days for the rain to stop but the social distancing was no problem nor was the transfer of funds now that Dick’s has card readers. -Ed Sauer


Grumbleina vs. the Bubbleator

I went for a ride today and ended up in Redondo Beach, home of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair’s Bubbleator. If you zoom into the Bubbleator, you might be able to discern the turkey the owners have put in there for seasonal decor, which I thought was pretty funny.

It was really great seeing everyone at the October meeting! Yep, the request was made for Mini photos, so I figured it would be put on the blog.

Grumbleina is my Mini, named for the canned grumbling sound she makes at idle, like it is an affront to her very core that she is not in motion. My neighbor’s kid thinks my name is Minnie. He’s almost 4, so I’m wondering if he’ll find out first about Santa or that my name is Lara. I answer to Minnie, to him. -Lara Williamson

It happened

Go to RECENT EVENTS in the MENU at top of home page for details of the following and many other past events.

White Elephants and slot cars

Almost too much excitement for one event.  Details and photos from the January 25, 2020 SAMOA White Elephant Auction and slot car races are posted now in RECENT EVENTS.



and☃️all🌞🎶the🎁Best❄️🎄for🦌🎅🥂 the 🤶🥂New🥂🎄🔔Year🎶🥂❄️🎉

from Jeorge McGladrey  (as Jeorge Patience, SAMOA’s first club secretary from 1967 to 1972.  Soon after, she married and moved to Canada where she still resides.  Thankfully, she has kept in touch.)



Go to MENU/HISTORY for details on the following plus many more historical club stories.

More Messin’ With Minis

Hard to do anything these days so let’s go back for some more good stuff from yesteryear.


SAMOA circa 1968-1971

Some fascinating stuff about the earliest days of SAMOA from one of the earliest of SAMOA members.  Would you believe member #4?!


Never too early to start…

Folks in the front and the kids in the back of their Mini Estate.  They’re still involved in SAMOA and one of those kids is VP.


A light in a dark room

SAMOA photos from 1986 found on the dark room floor.  Well, not really, but found they were and now we get to see them again.


Ongoing restoration of an early SAMOA Mini

Questions arise about a proper boot lid and insulation as Ted Atkins restores a Cooper S.




SAMOA members can now custom order an official SAMOA jacket of their very own!  Go up to the menu and click on REGALIA for all the exciting details.

Tool library

You’ll be saying, “Thank goodness for SAMOA,” the first time you are working on your Mini and you need “that special tool.”  You know the one, and chances are it’s in the SAMOA Tool Library.

For more info, click on MENU/TOOL LIBRARY above.


A jumper cable walks into a bar. The bartender says, “I’ll serve you, but don’t start anything.”

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