Recent events

A long day’s journey into Colorado

by Jerry Miller

The idea of a solo road trip to Colorado for “East Meets West”, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the mini, appealed to me.  The car was prepared, plenty of secondary roads to enjoy, weather should be tolerable and short legs between overnight stops would reduce fatigue.  Lets go.

Day 1, 6/20/19. Tacoma (243′) to Condon, OR (Elev 2,831′) (270 miles).  Ran 410 over Chinook Pass into Yakima, then 93 south into Oregon, gas/lunch in Biggs & on to Condon, Oregon.  Rain approaching Chinook, dodged bicyclists on the east slope and a truck hauling Porta-Potties.  Am always impressed by the view driving down the valley on the east side of Chinook.  Very windy and hot all day on the east side. Condon Motel gets an A+.  Adjusted AFR, tomorrow’s route has passes.

Day 2, 6/21/19.  Condon to Moutain Home, ID (Elev 3,146′)  (370 miles).  Nice run out of Condon, plenty of old geography, lava dikes and erosion.  Cottonwood Canyon is beautiful.  Passed 45th Parallel southbound.  Saw 7 cars before lunch, one was mine.  5 summits over 4,000′, great run along John Day River.  Had lunch in Vale, OR at a ’50’s style diner.  Next to me at the lunch counter was an old rancher wearing a cowboy hat, tanned/weathered face with a scent of Aqua Velva aftershave lotion.  Nice feel to the town.  Lots of American flags on display in Eastern Oregon, lots of hunters and fishermen, lots of road signs with bullet holes in them.  Aborted the planned stop in Nampa, ID thanks to a scary motel room.  Pressed on to Mountain Home to spend the night in a motel with peeling wallpaper and a swimming pool that was a breeding ground for skeeters. Too tired to look for another.

Day 3, 6/22/19.  Moutain Home to Soda Springs, ID (Elev 5,774′)  (287 miles).  The early drive was OK but after an hour, it was mind numbing, straight and flat.  The only relief, a view of the Sawtooth Mountains to the north, occasional road construction and the Lava fields around Arco (the first city in the world to be lit by nuclear power, by the way.)  Pocatello and east ward is very nice, with green mountains and high meadows.  Had to use I-15 with a speed limit of 80 MPH & me at 60, thankfully short lived.  Stayed at Caribou Lodge built in 1949.  Knotty pine, narrow dark hallways, a strong  smell of disinfectant and no A/C.  There was another motel in town but this one had, well, it had character.   Cleaned the dead bugs from the windscreen, checked oil, water and tire pressures.  Adjusted AFR to compensate for altitude gain, seems be working.

Day 4, 6/23/19.  Soda Springs  to Vernal, Ut.  (Elev 5,328′)  (285 miles).  Continually climbing eastward.  Breakfast/gas in Kemmerrer, WY.  4 passes from 6,200′ to 8,248′.  Car running well at 3500 RPM.

Dinosaur print on pavement.

Had to gear down to 3rd while climbing the last pass in light drizzle.  Noticeable vegetation change at altitude.  At a viewpoint below the pass, saw a small grouping of oil spots on the pavement that resembled a footprint-an original dinosaur print?? Driving through southern Wyoming, saw lots of long coal trains, both moving and stationary.  How many engines to get them moving?  Nice scenery all day, Badlands type topography and then forested hills into Vernal, UT.  Stayed at Dinosaur Inn-A+.  Washed dead bugs and brake dust from car.  Pizza for dinner.  Ball game on TV.

Day 5, 6/24/19.  Vernal to Snowmass Village, CO.  (Elev 8,200′) 340 miles.  More BPM (bugs per mile) in Utah.  Windscreen cleaned every couple of hours.  Starting to get the sense of really getting into the Rockies, high mountains and steep valleys.  Steep climb from the north to Douglas Pass (8,240′)-cows and poop on road to summit, 2nd gear & 25 MPH for the last mile or so.  Wouldn’t want to climb it from the south-long and steep. Nice run down into Grand Junction, really hot, heater valve open and fan on for cooling while driving through the outskirts.  On to McClure Pass, highest on the trip at 8,755′.  Always is a relief when climbing these passes to see the summit sign-it signals that a long, cooling downhill run is next.  Easy check-in to the hotel, nice room with a view.  Long walk and uphill to parking lot to check over the car and adjust AFR.  A lot of nice cars, some driven, some brought in on trailers.  Renewed friendships with George Olson from Oregon and Mike Smith from Victoria, BC.  Oregon Mini Society had a decent representation.

Mega-view at show and shine

Mini Meet, 6/25-6/27.  Show and Shine well orchestrated by former SAMOA member Peter Kyte.  5-6 cars couldn’t find entrance to show parking lot, drove around on sidewalk ala Italian Job.  Nice conversation with Bruno. Toby also here with mom and sis.  Beer/pizza with Mike Smith in hotel bar.  The autocross had everything from a shorty to a Marcos to a 500 HP Super Cooper S.  Tight course set up by Crazy Mike.

Jerry’s rally checkpoint at Mt. Sopris viewpoint.

I didn’t have a navigator for the rally so the next day, I volunteered to man a checkpoint.  Thanks to some wonky directions to the checkpoint, I set up at the wrong spot but thankfully was rescued by a mail carrier who directed me to the viewpoint for Mt. Sopris.  Spent 6 hours in the heat but was cool to see all the minis come through.  Not a lot of Binis at the meet, by the way.  Banquet was good.  Shortest awards ceremony to date, thanks to Peter Kyte, who kept things moving.  I lost out for longest drive to a guy who drove from Florida, in a Moke, towing a camping trailer!  My table had Linda/Terry Hogan and Mike Smith from BC and Jack/Claire Holdaway of Seven Enterprises fame.  Jack is as personable face to face as he is on the phone.  Pretty damn good buffet; BBQ brisket, chicken and all the fixins.  Apple crisp for dessert was sinful.  To avoid crowds in the AM, checked out of the hotel the night before departure plus snagged a baggage carrier to carry all of my stuff to the car.  Mini Meet was well run, organized, the volunteers courteous and helpful as was the hotel staff.  Didn’t care for the extreme elevation, though.

Day 9, 6/28/19.  Snowmass to Farson, WY. (Elev 6,594′).  (318 miles).  My route was to take me north from Craig, CO to Baggs, Wyo, but was warned about construction on Hwy 13 and to avoid it at all costs.  I checked Google Maps and found what I thought would be a good alternate route and drove 92 miles on gravel farm roads, in really hot conditions, at altitude.  Thank you very much.  I must be the poster child for stubbornness as I kept waiting for the gravel to give way to a paved road, gotta be one pretty soon, right?  Crossed the Great Divide with nothing in sight but a gravel road snaking to the horizon.  Scenery was OK if you’re a geologist or an archaeology major.  Lots of layering and erosion.  Three hours later, finally found Hwy 430 towards Rock Springs.  Pavement never felt so good.

Cozy motel in Farson, Wyoming.

Got into Farson and gassed up. Thank God that beer is sold in gas stations in Wyoming.  I earned it.  Found the motel, not hard as there are only five buildings in the town.   Farson, WY was a Pony Express stop from 1860-1861.  I suspect my motel was built soon after.

Day 10, 6/29/19.  Farson to Challis, ID.  (Elev 5,283′).  (369 miles).  Pleasant, cool morning at 6600′.  Hard start with car, long crank, finally fired.  Altitude?  Continental Divide to the East, sagebrush everywhere else.  Saw one antelope.  Huge vegetation change to the west after climbing The Rim (7,921′).  Lots of forested mountains, welcome change after sagebrush.  IMG_0420Beautiful run along the Hoback River into Alpine.  Boring re-run into Arco,  another hard start after stopping for lunch-something’s up.  A little worrisome.  Hot but nice run over Willow Creek Summit (7,161′) into Challis.  Holiday motel in Challis = A+.  Ran complete leg without a gas stop.  Adjusted AFR.  Watched LA/Co ballgame on TV while munching on BBQ ribs and potato salad.  Not bad.

Day 11, 6/30/19.  Challis to Orofino, ID.  (1,030′).  (355 miles).  Wx cool, cloudy  with good visibility.  Great drive along the Salmon River with steep canyons and ranches everywhere.  Had 4 cars pull over to let me pass.  Crossed the 45th parallel, northbound this time.  Stopped in Salmon, birthplace of Sacajawea, for breakfast.  ‘Say, just what kind of car is that?  Get good gas mileage?’  Wild turkeys crossing the road seem to think that they own the road, absolutely wouldn’t move.  Later in the morning, a’Vette passed me doing at least 100-heard it before I saw it.  Chief Joseph pass (7,251′) on the Continental Divide struck me as nicer than either Snoqualmie or White Pass, don’t remember why. Turned west on Hwy 12 to Lolo Pass.  East end of the pass had a ton of damage from a fire that happened a couple of years ago.  Road generally clear of traffic, smell of warm pine needles in the air.  Stopped for a picture of the car next to a sign ‘warning’ of curves for the next 99 miles.  Hard to beat driving Hwy 12 along the Lochsa River, with long sweeping curves, some more challenging than others and spectacular scenery.  White Pine motel in Orofino-nice.  Dinner at the Ponderosa Restaurant.  Finally it happened, the car wouldn’t start for a run to the car wash.  Had a spare coil with me, changing it solved the problem.  British mom in next room had an 850 mini as a teenager.

Day 12, 7/1/19.  Orofino to Tacoma (418 miles) via White Pass.  Last day on the road for this trip, accident involving a semi at pass above Clarkston, short detour but not much of a delay.  Run though Eastern WA was hot, Africa hot, (if you remember the movie Biloxi Blues) particularly along the northern border of the Hanford Reservation.  Saw the plant that processes wheat straw, which is normally burned or plowed under by the local wheat farmers, into pulp for use in the paper and packaging industry.   Best sign, a barber shop called the Hairport.  1120 local time, first sighting of Mt Rainier.  Approached Yakima from the southeast through Black Rock Valley into Moxee.  Took more time than I wanted to find a way to Naches and Hwy 12 to White Pass.  Coming down from the pass was fun, hardly any traffic.  Got tagged teamed by two motor homes in Elbe, but they turned off towards Puyallup, thankfully.  Ran through the curves at La Grande three times, just for fun.  Back to civilization via Hwy 7 and Spanaway.

The cost for food, motels and gas, was about $1800.  Gas prices were about what they are here in Washington and there are still motels along secondary roads that are clean; where you are able to park right outside the door to your room and will cost about $65 a night.  3012 miles, 12 days over 16 mountain passes from 3,100′ to 8,800′.  Plenty of spectacular, and to be honest, some unspectacular scenery.  The car ran great, steady at 3500 RPM all day.  Used about a cup of Valvoline VR1 and never saw oil pressure below 60 PSI, despite temps in the high 70’s-80’s for most of the trip.  Instead of bypassing Historical Marker signs like on other trips,  this time I stopped to read them and was glad that I did.  They add context to that which would have been otherwise missed.

Would I do it again?  You bet.  Except for the 92 mile screwing I took from Google Maps out of Craig, CO.


Minis at annual Northwest Historics

(left to right) Dan Berglund’s, Jerry Miller’s, Peter Larsen’s and Andrew Bertschi’s Minis in the car corral at Pacific Raceways.  – Peter Larsen photo

On and off the track at SOVREN’s premier vintage race, July 5-7

Geoff Tupholm’s race Mini cooling it in the pits.  Twin-choke Webers and a cross-flow Arden head make this Mini fly.  – Ted Atkins photo

A die-hard group of SAMOA Mini owners met at Pacific Raceways over the the 4th of July weekend for the years largest vintage race around the Seattle Area.

Besides watching the vintage racing which included several race Minis, the SAMOAns took part in a paddock area car show and got to drive the track during the lunch break!

SOVREN’s (the Society of Vintage Racing Enthusiasts) next race, The Columbia River Classic,  will be at Portland International Raceway along with the Portland All British Field Meet the weekend after Labor Day, Sept 6-8.  Over 20 Minis will take part in the feature race celebrating the Mini’s 60th anniversary.

Minis wait on pre-grid for lunch-time hot laps.  – Peter Larsen photo


Great Greenwood Gathering

Early morning Minis before the masses arrived.  -Chase Maben photos

June 29, 2019 Greenwood Car Show, Seattle

It shouldn’t be a surprise considering the number of years we’ve been doing this.  George Thompson’s seamless organization along with expert tour guidance by Kelley Mascher got 21 or so Minis to their proper place on Greenwood Avenue without a hitch.  Having to boot a Lambo and a Porsche 935 out of the way at load-in made it even better!  

Spectators jumped at the opportunity to donate to Food Lifeline and were treated to a SAMOA shirt as a thank you.  Sales were brisk.  Don Dixon’s Tartan Mini glowed in the afternoon light.

From The Baranof to Pete’s Eggnest there were just too many leisurely breakfast options.  And hanging out to watch the hundreds of fascinating vehicles enter the event was the best part of the day.

Ok, the music from the barber shop across the street was too #%*)@_&$ LOUD but it was made up for by the never ending stream of spectators, some of whom had “never before seen a Mini” (where have they been?), little kids who just love a car their size, old friends and members unseen for too long and some first-rate people watching.

SAMOA shirt sale helps FOOD LIFELINE

Poor Rowly is dizzy with all the regalia he’s got to move so I got the ok to donate some shirt sales to Food Lifeline. Not the profit but the entire proceeds, figured at $10 a shirt. Per the 401c3 rules there could only be donations, not sales. I picked a stack of 34 “Still Plays With Cars” shirts and took them to the Greenwood Car Show.

Calling them donations to Food Lifeline did the trick! I saw a range of $3 to $60. I’d hold a shirt up to some poor guy and ask his partner if he still played with cars. The answer was always yes and at that point they had to buy the shirt. The adult sizes went pretty quickly so towards the end of the day I was giving away the smaller sizes. We were pretty close to the $340 goal anyhow.

 $280 Cash dollars donated for shirts
 $  60 Two simple donations (no shirts involved)
 $340, the check is in the mail.   – Don Dixon
SAMOA members (clockwise from lower left – George, Gordon, Mitch, Don, Dave), in various states of repair from the early morning rise, await a hearty and leisurely breakfast at The Eggnest.  -Brian Slominski photos
After Toby May dropped off his mom and sister on the trip back from Mini Meet East/West (yes, three people and luggage to Colorado and back) he headed straight to Greenwood.  He’ll get to cleaning off the bugs tomorrow.

If you missed it, come next year.  It’s well worth rising at the crack of dawn.  -Ed Sauer




Vancouver ABFM celebrates the Mini

May 18, VanDusen Gardens, Vancouver, BC

The most “British” of the NW ABFMs celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Mini and Chris Miller’s 1071 Cooper S got the “Best of the Marque” award.  There were a total of 48 Minis. The most unusual was a kit car made to mimic a Moke called the AMC – Anderson Cub, a 6-wheeler no less!  Also on hand, a rare Moke 25.

Beautiful weather, and many old friends made for a good time.  -text and photos by Mark Hurston

chris m-steve g-crop
Chris Miller’s rare all-white 1071 Austin Cooper S and Steve Gay’s ex-Dick Penna black over red 1275 Austin Cooper S on display.  Chris’s car won the “Best of the Marque” award.


lwb minis-crop
Just some of the dozen or so LWB Minis at the event.
The much-travelled Mini, along with owner Toby May, was in Vancouver of course.
AMC Cub 6-wheel-crop
When is a Moke not a Moke?  When it’s a 6-wheel AMC Cub kit car.
carl b-crop
Carl Barfield brought along his very clean late-model Mini.
stephen hutchins bham-crop
Former SAMOA member, Steve Hutchens of Bellingham, made the short drive to Vancouver in his Tinny, last seen at the SAMOA 50th in 2017.
Moke 25-crop
Is this a super-rare Moke 25?  Sure looks like it.




































Minis tiptoe through the tulips

Bruno Billiet reports:

April 27 was a fine day indeed and the sky was just gorgeous…. Fluffy clouds blowing in the wind…. the sort of stuff that inspires poets and painters.

Over 200 cars registered for the run and kudos to the MG Car Club for running a well planned and efficient 38th Annual Tulip Rally.  Andrew Hou was there with his Mini and his MG, Barth Sherwood and Peter Larsen teamed up in Peter’s Innocenti, there was a mysterious Austin Seven and me.

Bruno with his late-model and a whole bunch-a-tulips.

With a dozen volunteers, two pop-up tents and a Hagerty screen-advertising truck (its built-in PA system was very handy for the driver’s meeting) I reckon the MG club pulled in about $4500 plus regalia sales and donations.  A pretty good gig to replenish the club coffers without too much expense (Starbucks coffee travelers and donuts).

Three different routes criss-crossed each other which made the drive interesting since you could see the other cars coming from the opposite direction. Also a photographer was placed in a very scenic turn so I’m sure they got some nice shots for their newsletter.

I doubt I would do the run again, too many tourists and cars maneuvering around those roads and after witnessing some eye rolling expressions on the tractor and farm-equipment operators I realized we were tolerated but not the most welcome 🙂

We passed one of the Tulip farms called Roozegaarde (because you need to sound Dutch if you grow tulips I guess :-)) and I was blown away with the logistics of the place…a massive dirt field across the road with a couple hundred cars parked, a crossing guard and two full-size coaches running shuttles (probably from Mount Vernon or some local Casino). Quite a production to give people the chance to walk through fields of tulips.

We stopped at Breadfarm Bakery in Edison which may be the second best bakery west of what’s left of Notre Dame. I got a kalamata baguette and a sour cherry and preserved lemon loaf….had a slice with butter when I got home and it was spectacular!

After our Chuckanut Drive escapade we stopped at the Skagit River Brewery in Mount Vernon for some tasty clam chowder and a pastrami sandwich.  Barth could not finish his Chili which was very unexpected 🙂

Andrew Hou reports:

A super fun time with great weather, though a short bout of hail in the parking lot (after the rally) surprised us.  My partner and I took 10th place and a trophy in the 1970 MGB GT, which the emcee claimed to be a special kind of insult because I registered as a member of SAMOA and not the MGCCNWC 🙂     (Yeah, Andrew!  -ed.)

David Schwartz and Andrew (1970 MGB GT, traded driving + navigation halfway) Caroline Hou and Emily Asplund (sisters, 1977 Mini, Caroline driving with Emily navigating). Yes, both cars are Andrew’s.

Total route length was 67 miles.  We took a leisurely three hours to finish the route (including stopping for picnic lunch).  162 cars showed up ranging from Austin Minis to a family in their Toyota Matrix. We’d love to see more entries in the future!





Peter Larsen reports:

Nice drive today,  the weather good.

Barth, Peter and his Inno and even more tulips!

Barth as co-pilot and me driving.  Bruno also made the trip.  There were another two or three classic Minis.  Don’t know who?  Lots of Italian classics and of course MGs and regular drivers like a few Teslas!  Some newer German cars too.  Anyway,  great roads, great tulips.

All the way to Chucknat Drive made it about a 70 mile trip in about 3 hours though we cut it short and went to the Brewery in Mount Vernon (Busy place).

That’s it, might do it again ….   I did not count all the tulips! Miles and miles of them!!



Spur of the Mini

All it takes is a little faith.  That the weatherman is right and you’re not the only one itching for a little tour in the Mini.  Don Dixon sent out word that a little tour was planned for Sunday, March 10.  Though the word didn’t go out until March 9, Eight Minis and 10 Miniacs showed up for a sprightly run from Pingrey’s to Golden Gardens and then to lunch at Mod Pizza in Ballard.

– Dan Birkemeier photo



– Don Dixon photo


– Ed Sauer photo







This just in

The final tally for the 41st SAMOA White Elephant Auction is $2,695 with 24 bidders.
I’ll get back to you with a little “word from the chairman” for this wonderful event.
– Glenda Larson, event chair

Do you know your neighbors?

1old guy012619mh
Glenda and Elise aren’t about to let go of this passer-by who turned out to be a bit of a celebrity.  -Mark Hurston photo

That’s Mike, a local neighbor who wandered by the White Elephant Auction. Originally from Ireland, or possibly England, he was delighted to see the Minis.  He worked at Longbridge near the introduction of the Mini – working on the assembly line, craning power units into subframes.

He was only at Longbridge for approximately 18 months before immigrating to the U.S.  He first settled in NY.

We talked about the 60th Anniversary of the Mini and I invited him to stop back by and see the Minis.

It was the perfect capping off of a White Elephant day-full of Minis!   -Mark Hurston

Minis arrive in the morning light.  -Chase Maben photo
A lot full of Minis with auction action going on inside.  -Ed Sauer photo
And the BIG Spender award for 2019 goes to Chris Wendt!  -Brian Slominski photo
A beautiful Mini day.  Come out, come out and play all you Miniacs!  -Chase Maben drone photo
And it tasted good too!  -Chase Maben photo



This Grape is being squeezed

clip-grape020519TAI was getting the Grape cleaned up to go to the frame bench for a pull this next week and found a few custom features:   paper clip-cotter pin substitute on the brake master push rod and a nail used retain the e-brake ratchet mechanism. I’ll let you know how the straightening process goes.  (Back in the 60s, the Grape was built expressly for autocrossing by Chuck Heleker.  Now, years later, Ted Atkins is rescueing it and restoring it back to its former glory, purple paint and all.  -ed)

I dropped the Grape off today for the big squeeze. I’ll collect it next week.  -Ted Atkins






A gearbox gathering

Minis fill the Miller’s driveway with a few more on the street.

What an amazing experience.  We learned the ins and outs of the Mini transmission from Chris Miller, long-time SAMOA member who’s done it (rebuilt gearboxes) dozens and dozens of times over the past 45 years.

Now we are all experts in taking them apart and identifying the parts that need to be replaced, though several of us questioned whether we could really put one back together – and have it work properly.

A huge thank you to Chris for sharing his knowledge.

-Brian Slominski

All eyes are trained on our gearbox guru, Chris Miller.  -Ed Sauer photo
Gearheads one and all.  -Brian Slominski photo




The one-day two-day Uncle Al’s big-ass Garage Sale

It was billed as a two-day event but SAMOA Members started showing up at 9am and kept showing up until after 2pm at Uncle Al’s garage sale.  Unfortunately for the late comers, the for-sale items were being purchased at such a frenzied pace that they were all gone by 2pm.

8:30 Saturday Morning before shoppers arrived.






So many people, so many parts.  It’s all just a blur.


“Sold out by 2:00pm on Saturday. The garage hasn’t been this clean in 20 years. Wow.”  -Al
Al did say “Everything’s for sale.”
“I know I said everything but this is ridiculous!”



And we were worried no one would show up.  Perhaps SAMOA should have a club-wide garage sale?



Concours de Maryhill  

-text and photos by Dan Berglund

Turnout was light for this year’s Concours de Maryhill. A rainy Friday and a cool, cloudy Saturday morning convinced many Klickitat County car owners to stay in bed, apparently. But the weather didn’t deter Jerry Miller and I from driving our Minis over Chinook Pass, through Yakima and over Satus Pass to the Oct. 6 car show, held at the Maryhill Museum of Art overlooking the Columbia River near Goldendale.

Metropolitan, Dan’s Mini, Jerry’s Mini, Corvette, Corvette, ’36 Ford Woodie

The Concours is an open show, and any vehicle licensed for the road is eligible to enter. Consequently, the event-goer can see hot rods, American classics, motorcycles, foreign iron, really old stuff

1918 Model T Speedster was beautifully done.

and cars that only recently gave up their window stickers. And while most visitors probably are there to see hot rods, they’re also eager to find out what they can about the Minis and other imports —like all the Saabs (Maryhill may be the only car show outside of Sweden to offer an award for the Best Swedish Car).

There were nine Swedish cars on the field. The red Sonett was voted Best.


Once the overcast parted and the afternoon warmed, the racing cars that planned to participate in the following day’s hill climb at the nearby Maryhill Loops paraded onto the grounds.  Again, the turnout was limited, but the noise of a dozen racing engines was beautiful nonetheless. Oldest hill climber was a 1925 Amilcar; youngest was a Miata powered by a Chevy V8; cars in between included Larry Sandham’s Vauxhall-engined Clubbie and a handful of other shiny Brits.

Larry Sandham gets a countdown to the green flag at Sunday’s hillclimb.

When the votes were tallied and the awards were handed out, my pickup won Best British. The trophy was lovely, but just couldn’t compare with Friday’s drive down Klickitat Canyon. The hardware is very nice, but the drive to Maryhill really is what it’s all about – hammering your Mini over some scenic mountains and down some beautiful world-class roads.


Vintage bikes, too, attacked the hill.
Jeff Quick lives up to his name on the course.


Portland All British Field Meet

Take one  –  Great drive down to Portland. Clear skies, not too hot with leaves starting to turn color. Very light traffic on our usual route. Had lunch in Castle Rock, Papa Pete’s Pizza-best in the state. Toby May, Carl Barfield, Chris Miller, Jerry Miller, Dan Berglund and Steve/Lois Ludwig in attendance. Good variety of minis. Chris’ black over red 1275 Cooper S and Dan’s pickup won first place in their respective class. Fastest mini in the Giant Slalom was powered by a motorcycle engine with a six speed gearbox-nearly as fast as the Lotus Europa that won last year. Slowest car honors went to a ’29 Bentley followed, but not too closely, by a Rolls Royce Corniche. Eric Newland from OMS had the most entertaining run in his ADO16 with hydro suspension.   -Jerry Miller

Zed-R Mini
Here’s the bike-engined Mini (Kawasaki ZR) that ran the Giant Slalom in 42 seconds. It has a six-speed sequential box, but the bike clutch really wouldn’t let it put all that power down. Nice try, though.  Giant Slalom winner was a big, late-model Jag.  -Dan Berglund photos

Take two  –  I was so wrapped up in talking with people and watching racing and downing hot dogs that I didn’t shoot any images of the car show, so the attachments are from the swap meet and the racing.

Cool things? The drive down was sensational. The racing, of course, was cool. The weather wasn’t cool, but was still great. Chris Miller and I each won First Place trophies, and I won the two art-contest categories I entered. I was particularly impressed with one of the event T-shirts they were selling.

Tim Corbett
Long-time SAMOA member, Tim Corbett, had an impressive collection of printed matter and various other items, including a genuine Moulton bicycle, available at the Sunday Swap Meet.

There weren’t nearly enough SAMOAns, just Carl Barfield, Jerry, Chris, the Ludwigs, Toby and me — and Priscilla and Paul Woods drove down on Saturday but not in a Mini. I think the move to a two-day weekend kept overall attendance down, both for the ABFM and the racing.  -Dan Berglund



Late-summer SAMOA picnic
A year ago over 60 Minis showed up in the Boyd backyard for the SAMOA 50th.  Just eight this year.  What happened?

What the August 25 picnic at the Boyd’s house lacked in quantity it made up for in quality. Rain was forecast though there was barely a sprinkle and the sun was in short supply but the air was smoke-free and the temperature was mostly in the 70s.  Very pleasant compared to the previous few weeks.  It was surprising that only eight Minis showed up (and one of those belonged to Tim and Patti).  Still, the food – burgers, dogs and chicken – was delish and the conversation on the Boyd’s beautiful deck was stimulating to say the least.

Not hard to tell who’s meeting.  -Chris Sauer photo


Mark, Dan, Michael and Steve decide who’s going to ask Tim to open the hot tub.
Susie Hurston hears all about the band Styx from brother-in-law Jeff.
“You should be in there working on your Mini!”

It’s a shame so many missed out.



Alcan 5000:  Mini Alcan Xpedition

If it’s been awhile since you’ve been on the Seven Mini Parts website you might not know about an event that began right in our backyard.  The Alcan 5000 Rally began in Kirkland on August 20 and ended in Fairbanks, Alaska on the 28th.

Ted Atkins called on the 19th asking for a SAMOA window decal RIGHT AWAY.  We ended up scanning the file and emailing that to him.  Ted was in Kirkland for the start of the event and gave the decal to Jack Holdaway (the “voice of Seven”) who, along with his wife Claire, were about to start the Alcan 5000 in their MkII Mini!


As Ted explains in a later email:  “Turns out, the MK 2 Mini on the Alcan 5000 is piloted by Jack and Claire Holdaway. As they were busy with registration, etc., I didn’t get any details but I did manage to buy a space in their rear glass for our ersatz SAMOA decal.


I also made them official club members.  I’ll pay their dues next chance I get. Also, Ken Friend, Vancouver BC, and George Thomas, Portland, long-time friends of SAMOA, are participating in Ken’s Bini. As is Rick Higgs, also a VMC member and FOS, in his Clubman van.”


Above are a few photos taken by Ted before the start of Jack and Claire’s great adventure.  And below are a few photos from their facebook page which chronicles the entire trip.

Jack and Claire are all smiles.  Photo taken early in the event?
Homemade cinnamon rolls to keep the spirits up.  That’s George on the left, Ken on the right.


Rick’s Clubman Van is a regular at most Mini events and especially ones that involve long-distance driving.

Here’s a link to their facebook page:


DYNO DAY in Kirkland

Dyno Day lives!  Thanks to Mark Hurston who performed CPR on the event that refused to die.  The August 18 event went without a hitch and the folks at Carb Connection couldn’t have been nicer as a good group of Minis got to show their stuff on the rolling road.  A few photos follow along with some eye-opening results from what felt like it should be a recurring SAMOA event.


Dan Birkemeier monitors rpms during a dyno run with his Cooper S.  -Mark Hurston photo
The Carb Conn crew swarms Rowly Stow’s Mini, getting it ready for a pull.  -Ed Sauer photo
Jerry Miller concentrates prior to his dyno run.  -Ed Sauer photo
“Old Paint” is strapped down and ready to go for Don Dixon.  Note ground strap, found to be necessary for some of the Minis that ran.  -Mark Hurston photo
Surf’s up so Jeff Van Hurston’s on his way to Westport but not until he runs his Mini on the dyno. -Ed Sauer photo
Dan Berglund keeps an eye on the Carb Conn guys while Jerry collects data from the pickup’s recent run.  -Ed Sauer photo
Slap a BMW cylinder head on an A-series block and here’s what you get.  90bhp at the wheels!  Mike Prezbindowski is still recovering from an accident so Aaron Anderson drove Mike’s Mini to the event.  Aaron built the engine and used Carb Conn while setting it up.  Mike reports highway mileage of this perfectly streetable 1360cc Mini in the mid-30s.   -Gregg Temkin photo




We had 12 Minis and 20 people show up (the lowest number in years) on August 11 at The Roasterie on Vashon Island for the annual Bash on Vashon.  It was a great drive regardless.   30+ miles and 1 1/2 hours.  Pizza lunch at The Rock was excellent.  Everybody got about 2 1/2 slices and a nice mixed greens salad (right on budget!).  The weather was mixed with sun and later rain.   Overall, a great day.   -Peter Larsen

A peaceful ferry ride was followed by strong coffee and delicious pastries The Roasterie.   -Ed Sauer photo
Picturesque Dockton Harbor under partly cloudy skies.   -Joan Larsen photo
Minutes later there’s rain at “Lookout Point” on Maury Island.  A bit earlier, or later and Mount Rainier would have been in full view.   -Peter Larsen photo
SAMOAns overwhelmed the parking lot at The Rock where the bacon and bleu cheese pizza was awesome!  The reader board got our hopes up but, alas, Mr. Heleker was not back.   -Ed Sauer photo

Maybe it was the recent hot weather, maybe the threat of rain, or maybe “event burnout” that caused so many Minis and SAMOAns to miss this yearly event.  Minis numbering in the twenties has been the norm but we got half that number this year.

So, is there a better place than The Roasterie on Vashon for Minis to meet up for an event?  Not a chance.  The coffee is always strong and the pastries bakery-fresh.  The “islanders” are friendly and love to chat with us Miniacs.  The ultimate “cars and coffee.”

After at least a half-dozen times attending “The Bash” I figured I’d seen all the roads there are on Vashon/Maury Island but Peter pulled a few rabbits out of his hat with new (to me anyway) twisty bits and other roads that were driveway-narrow (hi neighbor!).  There was just enough rain to keep things cool though the skies were a bit low, obscuring what are normally spectacular views.  A good reason to return to Vashon on the next clear day.  Just be sure you give Peter and Joan a call before you do!  -Ed Sauer.




The relatively new “Country club for gearheads” called The Shop, held their first “British only cars and coffee” on Saturday, July 29.  A half-dozen classic Minis were there as was one TR250 a couple of E-Types and a hand-full of brand new Bentleys, Rolls Royces and three or four McLarens(!).  We were out of there by noon, before the heat of the day and with plenty of time left to enjoy another summer day in Seattle.  Here’s hoping The Shop decides to do another of these events.  With a bit better advance pub.

The McLarens were awesome and the Rolls and Bentleys luxurious at British Cars and Coffee, but people couldn’t take their eyes off the spectacular Minis.  -Ed Sauer photo



When asked about dwindling attendance at Yankee Stadium, the legendary New York Yankee catcher, Yogi Berra, once commented “If they don’t want to come out to the ballpark, how ya gonna stop ‘em?”  The same question came to mind when just 14 classic Minis showed up at the Western Washington All British Field Meet at St. Edward Park in Kenmore on July 21.  Really?  We get that many Minis at a regular monthly evening meeting.

Lots of room for many more Minis.   -Mark Hurston photo

It was nice that the majority of Minis in attendance got trophies (go here for results – but the biggest and best surprise was SAMOA (again) receiving the Food Lifeline trophy for donating the largest amount of money to this very worthy cause.  Wait, didn’t  SAMOA vote to NOT donate any club funds this year?  We did, so the club didn’t, but that didn’t stop individual members from coming forward with $1,785, enough to bring the plaque back once again to the little Mini club that could.  Look for the trophy to once again be proudly displayed at Autosport Seattle.

Toby May, our membership guru, accepts, on behalf of SAMOA,the Food Lifeline Award from FLL representative, Tobi.  Also on hand were club members (l to r, Karen May, Lois Ludwig, Dan Berglund, John Haddon, Larry May and Steve Ludwig).  -Mark Hurston photo
No lack of pups at this years event! Dan Berglund’s, Chase Maben’s and John Haddon’s are dwarfed by stately St. Edward School, soon to become a resort hotel.    -Chase Maben photo
Jim Maynus of Issaquah shocked everyone with his nicely turned out 1969 MkII Mini Limousine.  Not sure if it’s for hire but wouldn’t that be fun?  -Chase Maben photo
Electrical gremlins stopped his Mini but Carl Barfield hitched a ride to the ABFM anyway.   At least the tow truck had matching paint.   -Carl Barfield photo

It wasn’t just Mini attendance that was down at the meet.  There seemed to be a lot more parking spaces available and fewer entries in general at this years event.  Hopefully this isn’t a trend.  Another downer was the chain-link fence surrounding the St. Edward School building.  The result will be a resort hotel.  No one seems to know if the grounds will be available for another ABFM.

Caught leaving ABFM early by unknown photographer lurking in the bushes.  Shame shame.  -Alex Kwanten photo




The name of the event is as long as the parade is short.  Eight classic Minis and their owners had a great time July 22 on Vashon Island at this annual small-town car parade.  The sidewalks were jammed with spectators who then stuck around for the car show on the main street of town.  The fun lasted all day with all the usual food and retail/crafts booths, live music on several stages,  a beer garden and, of course, Minis!

Minis formed up with around 60 other cars at the Vashon Arts Center prior to the parade.         -Gordon Smith photo
Peter Larsen at the wheel of his Innocenti.    -Joan Larsen photo
Nothing like a good car parade to work up a thirst.  SAMOAns (clockwise from 12 noon, Glenda Larsen, Barth Sherwood, Stephan Rolffs, Oly Jensen, Peter Larsen, Ed Sauer, David Koch, Don Dixon, Marian Dixon) gathered at the Strawberry Festival beer garden for the cure.     -Joan Larsen photo



Over 150 Minis/MINIs converged on Hood River, Oregon in one of the most beautiful parts of the Northwest, the Columbia River Gorge, for Mini Meet West 2018.  The weather could hardly have been better with temps in the mid-seventies for every day of the meet that was expertly planned by The Oregon Mini Society.

The views around Hood River are spectacular and there was plenty of time at Mini Meet West to experience wonderful roads and views like this.  With a lull in the action, Barth Sherwood driving “Graham,” shown here at tree line, along with a small group of SAMOAns, headed up to Mount Hood.   -Don Dixon photo

Nearly 20 SAMOA members and 15 SAMOA Minis made the trip.  A few members may have missed the count as it was a bit like counting kittens at playtime.  (Please let me know if you were there and your name does not appear in the following list.  -ed)

SAMOAns at MMW 2018:  Andrew Bertschi, Greg Birch (Hill Climb, 6thoverall, 1st A-series non-race car), Marian Boelter, Don Dixon, Mitch and Teri Hansen (Car Show, 2ndplace Variants), Mark Hurston,  Peter Larsen, Glenda Larson, Toby May, Jerry Miller, Mike Prezbindowski, Ed Sauer (Car Show, 3rdplace Variants), Barth Sherwood, Brian Slominski (Car show, 3rdplace Mk2[?]), Michael Slominski, Jeff Van Hurston (Rally, 2nd place).

Check out the OMS website for  details and complete event results:

The following are photos by several SAMOA members.  Thanks go out to them all for recording this unforgettable event.  We hope this gets you thinking about MINI MEET EAST MEETS WEST to be held in Colorado next summer.



Paddy Hopkirk, “The Legend” was everywhere and a complete joy to talk to.                                        -Greg Birch photo






Mr. Hopkirk signs a poster at the Jet Motors stand at the car show.   -Greg Birch
Toby May and Paddy Hopkirk get a chuckle out of Paddy’s autograph on Toby’s “jerry can.”  -Brian Slominski photo
Just a part of the large field of MkI Minis ready for inspection at the car show held at Sorosis Park in The Dalles.   –Andrew Bertschi photo
The last 1071cc Austin Cooper S to be produced in 1964, this Mini took home the MINI OF THE MEET award.  Curiously, it placed 3rd in the peoples-choice award for Mk1 Minis.  With the owner living in North Carolina this beauty was presented by Nick Upton of Woodland, California, who did the research and restoration.  -Greg Birch photo
Not your typical Cooper S engine compartment, the 1071 S is a mix of early Mini and what we normally think of as a proper Cooper S.  -Greg Birch photo
The Queen wishes you all the best from the back of OMS Presdent Rhonda Hull’s Mini.  -Andrew Bertschi photo
Bill Beeler of Portland, Oregon won the “Variants” class with his lovely spruce green over glen green Wolseley Hornet.         -Greg Birch photo



Someone went bananas all the way from Shasta, California.  -Bruno Billiet photo


Perhaps the above banana Mini received a tow from this Tiny Tow truck, also from Shasta.               -Bruno Billiet photo
Jeff Van Hurston, Mitch Hansen, Brian Slominski, Ed Sauer.  Winners all.  -Mark Hurston photo




Brian Slominski’s quick-thinking selfie just before one of his runs up the hill climb.                              -Brian Slominski photo


We’re betting Brian is even more wide eyed in this photo than the previous.  -Motorwerks Magazine photo






The historic Mary Hill Loops was the site of the hill climb.  Those who chose not to compete got to take a parade lap of the two-mile course.  -Greg Birch photo


The Mary Hill Loops was the first asphalt road in the state of Washington.  Built in 1911, it was used in the fifties and early sixties for hill climb competition.  These days, vintage racers compete on “the loops” every fall.    -Greg Birch photo
Crossing the Columbia River on the Hood River Bridge.  For a Mini, no pavement just grating makes for a long bridge.   – Brian Slominski photo
Mount Hood is but a short drive away from Hood River.   – Brian Slominski photo
Close to tree-line on the run up to Mount Hood.   – Andrew Bertschi photo
Minis line up for the group photo at WAAM, the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum in Hood River.  Mt. Adams in the background?   – Greg Birch photo


Stonehenge replica at the Mary Hill Museum has a visitor.                -Don Dixon photo
Bill and Glenda Larson, Brian Slominski and Don Dixon relax at the host hotel, The Hood River Inn.   – Greg Birch photo













Now, we’re not saying parking is at a premium in Hood River but this is what happens when over 150 Minis invade the quaint little town.  -Don Dixon photo



SAMOA attendance at this years NW Historics was down due to the date conflict with Mini Meet West and the Greenwood Car Show but those who did attend were treated to a rather large field of racing Minis and fantastic weather.  We had two cars in the Car Corral on Friday (Dan Berglund and the Stow Family), three cars on Saturday (Dan, Jerry Miller and Chris Kimball), and four Classics and a Bini on Sunday (Dan, Jerry, Dallas Meggitt, Hunter Stone (Joe’s son driving Fat Mini) and Greg Birch – straight from MMW – in that order).   –The following photos come from Dan Berglund. Text and captions from Dan Berglund and Ed Sauer.

AJ Johnston
A.J. Johnston’s car (ex-Joe Stone) was running strong in Group 1 until the gearbox broke on Saturday morning.
NSU 1200 TT
It isn’t a Mini, but this ’71 NSU 1200 TT was a small (and snappy) performer.  In Europe, NSU was a serious competitor to the Mini on the track until VW bought the German marque in the early 70s.
Larry Sandham
Larry Sandham’s Vauxhall-powered Clubbie was a Group 2 threat the entire weekend.
Trevor Sandham
Trevor Sandham’s 1293 struggled Friday and Saturday before coming alive for Sunday’s racing.  Trevor and father, Larry, drove straight from Mini Meet West to race at the NW Historics.
Geoff Tupholme
Canadian Geoff Tupholme’s Arden-headed car caravanned with the Sandhams from MMW to show the Group 2 competition what a well-prepped Mini could do.
Arden Webers
Geoff Tupholme’s twin Weber death-ray projectors were definitely intimidating.  Those at the Mini Challenge at Sears Point last October will remember Geoff’s Mini finishing 4th overall and and first among non-tubeframe Minis.






There wasn’t much out of the ordinary to speak of at this years Vancouver ABFM. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures of the royal wedding pavilion serving tea and crumpets, or the vendors and food trucks, but it was very well organized overall.  On the Mini scene, there were a total of 19 classic saloons, 4 LWB Minis, 2 Mokes and 1 “variation” Mini (tricked out for racing further downfield) plus 2 dealer BINIs and 3 private-owner BINIs. SAMOA members present were Mitch Hansen (his first Vancouver ABFM) who took third place in class with his Saudi Prince signed cabriolet, Steve Gay, Chris Miller with his (much deserved) 1st place winning Countryman, Mike Prezbindowski and myself. I tried to get the “1960’s skinny tie and Beatle boot look” down, but all I got was flack for wearing a tie!  -Toby May

-Toby May photo

I’d heard the past few years from other SAMOA members that ABFM Vancouver was the best venue for a car show, so this year I decided to attend. I watched the forecast all week long. It looked very promising at the beginning of the week, but declined as the week progressed.  It turned out to be overcast with occasional sprinkles all weekend long.  I took the Cabriolet instead of the van so there wasn’t much top-down driving, and I had to put the top up a couple of times during the car show.

-Mitch Hansen photo

The venue lived up to the hype.  The VanDusen Botanical Gardens was blooming all over and made an amazing backdrop for the 700 (unofficial count) British cars. Minis were well represented with 25 including 2 Mokes, 4 long-wheel base, and 19 sedans.  SAMOA was well represented with 5 members participating, and winning 1st in the long-wheel base class and 3rd in the late-model Mini class.  It was a great weekend!  My only gripe was sitting in the hotel bar watching the Stanley Cup playoff game and having the TV’s switched to NBA playoffs because the majority asked for basketball over hockey. IN CANADA?!  -Mitch Hansen

-Toby May photos

No highlights to report. Very sad showing from SAMOA.  – Chris Miller


Had a great time at the meet.  The weather while not sunny was very comfortable, the plants in bloom brought many wonderful scents to go along with the smell of leather and car fluids.  My car drew many to look at the strange lump under the hood.  I met many interesting people including Peter Taylor who told me many colorful stories about his racing past.  He had a fantastic modified mini in the show that was very well prepared.  I Really enjoyed hearing everyone’s stories.


I have never considered that my car was anything but a mini but a judge came by and pointed out that I should have placed it in the modified category.  Well, next time I will.

We had a nice location at the end of the mini grouping and other than a slight rain shower the temperature and weather were perfect.

van-abfm2018-group2Very few of those that I met had any idea that the BMW TwinKam conversion was possible.  One individual was very interested as he was planning on building one and was very excited to see one in person.

The drive up and back was without incident and the car ran flawlessly.  -Mike Prezbindowski






Cinco de Mini – A beautiful day on Hood Canal

The day was perfect for a Mini run, the sun was out, the mountains were showing off their grandeur, and the water was a beautiful blue.


The run began at the Belfair Safeway after a little fettling on the Dixon’s 1963 Mini, we headed down Hwy 3, and onto Hood Canal roads. We had a quick stop at the Hoodsport Winery, then the Hoodsport IGA for some WD 40 and a throttle spring (from Jeff) to patch up the ailing Dixonmobile.

At Seabeck  for a rest stop. Bruno had to have ice cream.  -Peter Larsen photo

From there it was about lunchtime so we stopped at Hama Hama Oyster Saloon for some Oysters (obviously) and a pint or 2.

SAMOA Hama Hama  – Dale LaFay photo

We wound our way up to the Hood Canal bridge then stopped at Salsbury County Park only to find that Merv had a really flat tire on his Cobra and Don had a continuing issue with his throttle cable/linkage. Both of the brave SAMOA members had to end the tour then.

Seabeck again. Carl describes upcoming road. – Peter Larsen photo

Merv made it home with a little help from some locals and a compressor, and I’m hoping Don and Marian made it home without any further incidents. From there, Seabeck was our next brief stop and then, for all that remained able, the highlight of the driving part of the tour – We headed east on DEWATTO RD!

Salsbury Park near floating bridge.  Merv had the flat and Don still fighting the throttle cable. At this time he and Marian went home.  – Peter Larsen photo

………….needless to say it was incredible, tight twisty roads, no traffic and an end back in Belfair at the Bent Bine brewery.

Thanks again to all that came out and enjoyed our lovely Pacific Northwest.   – Carl Barfield


A hearty bunch of Mindividuals
Pre-grid for the tour.  The cold, wet part.   –  Brian Slominski photo

It was cold. It was wet.

Not so cold or wet when we got to The Buzz Inn at Harvey Field.  –  Mark Hurston photo
22 Minis from a different angle starting with Peter’s “huge” Innocenti.  –  Michael Slominski photo

Spring happens. 22 Minis show up along with over 30 SAMOAns to take a bit of a tour around the Snohomish River Valley on Sunday, April 8, for MINIS GO SNOHO.

By the time we’d finished lunch at the Buzz Inn at Harvey Field in Snohomish the clouds were lifting and the sun was trying to poke through. Maybe next time we do a Spring Tour, we start a bit later in the day?

This tour couldn’t have happened without our “tour guides” – Bruno Billiet, Don Dixon and Bill Wecker. Thanks also to Bruno, Andrew Bertschi and Brian Slominski for planning and inspiration.   -Ed Sauer

Andrew is ready for lunch.  – Brian Slominski photo
Don’s “Old Paint” (roof rack), Bruno’s late-model and Glenda’s “Baby”.  – Michael Slominski photo
Don, serious eater and Elise, plays with her food.  – Brian Slominski photo
Carl, Glenny and Ben, SAMOAns from across the pond (Puget Sound).  – Ben Compton photo




You might remember that last September several SAMOA members headed to Sears Point near Sonoma, California, for the Can-Am Mini Challenge.  Rodger Soucy, who was a SAMOA member and held several officer positions in the 80s and 90s, trailered his vintage-race Mini all the way from Texas.  You’ll see him and his race Mini along with many others in the following presentation.

If you follow the link you’ll see Rodger checking tire pressures in photo #4, preparing to take to the track in photo #6 and on the track in the above photo.  Many thanks to Andrew Ritter at STANCE/WORKS for the outstanding article.  – Ed Sauer

White Elephant Auction,  January 27
A gathering of SAMOAns waiting for the auction to commence.  -Peter Larsen photo

Neither rain nor wind could stop SAMOA from celebrating the end of winter (we hope) and maybe even the beginning of spring (even more hope) with a huge turn-out at the White Elephant Auction on January 27 at Don and Brian’s new garage at 89th and Roosevelt in Seattle. Over 50 members and guests braved the elements for hot-dogs, expertly grilled by George Thompson, and potluck lunch followed by the auctioning off by George and Paul Woods of some rather remarkable, odd, funny or just plain strange items.



George asks, “Who wouldn’t want an “Emergency Toilet” for their Mini road kit!?

Auction items ranged from the rediculous, an Emergency Toilet – to the sublime, a dynamite photo-illustration by Dan Berglund of racing Minis at this years Can-Am Mini Challenge.

Bidding was fast and furious for Dan Berglund’s photo-illustration from the 2017 Mini Challenge at Sears Point.









Other notable elephants included vintage MG posters from the Gene Lane collection, an oh so stylish “Italian Job” jacket from Al Beebe, Cibie-style H4 high-output headlights from Autosport Seattle, a chassis alignment from ProvaMotorsports, and four very nice 6×10 Minilight wheels.

The last auction item crossed the block at a bit past 3pm and Glenda Larson received the “Big Spender Award!” Total proceeds to the club came to just under $3,000. As Brian, our fearless leader said, “What a great way to start off the new year!”  – Ed Sauer

Just part of a long line of Minis that pretty much wrapped itself around the White Elephant Auction.








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