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

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