Recent events

Escape to the valley tour, May 13

Mike and Billie Henry in their Blitz Mode Mini along with seven other Minis in the scenic Snohomish River Valley. -Lara Williamson photos

While the huddled masses struggled on straight and boring freeways the roads were twisty and traffic was light in the Snohomish Valley.

Minis parked at The Buzz Inn at Harvey Field. SAMOAns are ready for lunch. -Ed Sauer photo


White Elephant drizzled upon

Idea man, promoter, organizer, chief cook and bottle washer, auctioneer, you name it he’s done it.  Just call George Thompson “Mr. White Elephant” as he once again was last Sunday, Feb 5 at the Haller Lake Community Club for SAMOA’s annual White Elephant Auction.

It was an oh-so-typical Northwest winter day, not freezing but chilly and a constant drizzle to keep all but the hardiest inside wishing it were spring.  Regardless, 24 hardy SAMOAns showed up for the auction and ten Minis (lower-case) were there for passers-by to ogle.

Said hardy SAMOAns were also hungry and contributed to a pot-luck lunch starting promptly at noon followed by the auction right around 1pm.  Mr. Thompson serving as auctioneer and club treasurer, Lara Williamson, recording transactions assisted by Andrew Bertschi.

FEBRUARY MEMBER’S MEETING – Club president, Toby May, pushed the pause button mid-auction for a short but sweet February member’s meeting which consisted of: Election of 2023 club officers – same as for 2022 except for vice president which was Chase Maben in 2022 and in 2023 will be Ryan Love (previous club VP 2012-2014). By unanimous vote, the 2023 club officers are TOBY MAY, president, RYAN LOVE, vice president, ED SAUER, secretary and LARA WILLIAMSON, treasurer. – Discussion on Mini Meet West 2023: Dave Anderson is researching the rental of a comm’l trailer to haul 4 or 5 Minis. – Payment of SAMOA membership dues was encouraged at this event which Toby will happily receive.

The auction of White Elephants resumed with the last one staggering across the block at around 3:30pm.  Special thanks should at this time go to Don Dixon, Lara Williamson and George Thompson who researched possible sites for the event and to Don in particular who discovered the Haller Lake Community Club.

Next up, the March member’s meeting on the usual third Tuesday of the month, 3/21 via zoom.  Members will be reminded by email a few days before the meeting. -Ed Sauer, secretary


One Autumn Tour Deserves Another

text and photo by Don Dixon

 Marian, The FRENCHMAN, Carl Barfield and I were able to join up for a swell day. A last minute check of the Kingston schedule had WS Ferries down a boat so it was off to Colman Dock for a trip to Winslow and drove right on!

 Met Carl at Suquamish, Sully’s Bistro was closed for construction.

 A series of short backroad bendies took us to Port Gamble and Butcher & Baker Provisions. I was outvoted on the House 11 Taproom. The FRENCHMAN decided a quick trip to Neah Bay was in order and acted appropriately. No Peanuts for HIM as the remaining travelers stopped at CB’s Nuts for a resupply of lightly salted peanuts (three pound minimum). Duties at home beckoned so Carl grabbed his nut sack and answered the call.

We spotted this rare gem in Port Gamble. It’s a 2003 (I believe), Russian Racing Green, WM Sport Package, Cabriolet. One of only 257 million made.

Marian and I then did a curvy loop down to Indianola, a little burg with nothing going on, love it! Said loop ends up in downtown Kingston, right turn to the ferry dock, drove right on!


Awesome Autumn Tour

Hosts: Dave & Libby Anderson and Carl Barfield

text and photos by Mark Hurston

(Oct 16, 2022) Waking up early in an effort to defeat any late/unavailable ferry problems, I caught the 7:10 Edmonds to Kingston run with no difficulties.

My efforts were rewarded by an incredible smoky sunrise view of the Sleeping Giant, Tahoma (That’s Mt. Rainier for you out – of – towners).  It makes me wonder when she’ll “Pull a Mt. Saint Helens“ on our region…..

But, on to more pleasant things, an Awesome Autumn Tour hosted by Dave & Libby Anderson and Carl Barfield was just what we needed.  Over in Kitsap and Mason counties, we found very little smoke from the forest fires, so the views were clear and beautiful.

Nine cars in all including Dave & Libby Anderson’s beautiful blue 1967 Austin Countryman (below).

Mike Henry and his wife, Billie in her incredible Seahawks Livery green 1979 (above).

Mark Hurston in his yellow Australian Clubman Van and Carl Barfield’s 90s Cooper (below).

Chris Wendt’s1275cc powered two-tone mid-60’s MG Midget at the head of the line (above).

Mitch & Terri Hansen’s pristine Rover Cabriolet along with Keeshond puppies (below).

James and Heather Thompson with Meg, the sweetly-backdated white 90’s JDM Mayfair (above).

Jerry Miller’s nicely prepared beautiful blue Tick (below)!

Don Dixon and Marian Boelter in “Old Paint,” their trusty red Mk 1 Austin ‘850’ (above).

Drew Regis in his wife’s super clean blue 1989 JDM Rover Mayfair (his was in the shop) (below).

Together we toured from the Belfair Starbucks on awesome forest roads to the Seabeck historical site of the Seabeck Lumber Mill. The mill operated there from 1856 to 1886 when the mill burned down and operations moved to Port Hadlock up in Jefferson County.

The tour paused for photos near the original Mill pond (above).

We toured even more fine roads with names such as Anderson Hill, Trigger, Westgate, and Pioneer, and found our way back to Highway 3 and headed north which led us to a boat launch very close to the Hood Canal Bridge.

Next, we continued North and East to Port Gamble. The large trees in the area shaded many of these roads, so even though it was a hot day, we rarely felt it.  A phenomenal example of historic preservation, The Port Gamble Historic District, a U.S. National Historic Landmark, covers one of the nation’s best-preserved western lumber towns. Some say that the architectural heritage of the town was purposely modeled after small towns in Maine, as that is the region from which they hired many of their employees.  Here, we found both the Port Gamble General Store and Pub, and the Baker and Butcher (a clever adaptation of an old gas station) to provide food and drink.  After much eating, drinking, and bench racing we finally began to break up and head for home. 

In an effort to be sure that I’d miss the next ferry, I had to stop at CB’s Nuts.  This boutique Nut and Nut Butter company was made famous by Clark Bowen selling freshly roasted peanuts for many years at Mariners and Seahawks games (above). 

-Mark – The MiniNut


Portland’s ABFM

An impressive number of SAMOAns make the near 400-mile trip to The Rose City

text by Toby May, photos by Mark Hurston

(Sept 9-10, 2022) Dad and I went to the Portland ABFM for just the one day, but we enjoyed every part of it! The drive down and back at an average of 85mph was a blast! 

Two dashing men with a green 90’s Cooper.  On the right is SAMOA President Toby May with Dad Larry on the other side. Larry has been into Minis and Triumphs (as well as many other cars) for 5 or 6 decades so he may have had some influence on Toby over time….

I counted 12 SAMOA members and 9 of their Minis on Saturday the 10th. They were the following: George Barrett – 1995 Cabriolet / Dan Berglund – 1965 Moke / Ben Compton – 1992 Rover / Mark Hurston – 1976 Clubman / Toby and Larry May – 1990 Mini Cooper / Kerrie McLaughlin – 1989 30th Anniversary / Chris Miller – 1962 Countryman / Jerry Miller – 1976 Austin / James Thompson – 1996 Rover Mayfair / Jeff Van Hurston – Morris Minor / Chris Wendt – MG Midget.  Sorry I don’t have pictures, because I wore out my phone butt-dialing.

Please excuse my attempts at low light photography using the “Bloody” Full Moon on the rise to light my Oz Clubman Van. -Mark-The MiniNut

Seeing a blood-red sun through the haze of forest-fire smog in the sky was somewhat ominous, but at least the heat was tolerable. The food vendors were on point, and we tried the Chicken Yakisoba with soft drinks, hard drinks, coffees and a mango smoothie.

A rare Mini 30 owned by Kerrie McLaughlin. A recent addition to her fleet of Minis!

Besides wandering through the many interesting vehicles that came this year, I picked up a couple of Mini-themed books I hadn’t seen, and purchased some discounted dash plaques from earlier ABFMs.

Chris Miller drove his immaculate 1962 Austin Countryman.

There was a moment among the Triumphs (this year’s featured marque) that we realized if Dad had more running cars from his collection, he could have added a Vitesse and a Triumph 2000 Estate to the cars on display!

Subtly back-dated and up-rated 1996 Rover Mayfair is the work of James Thompson.

Finally, as cars were leaving at the end of the day, we sat back on the bleachers and watched some of the vintage racing on the track. It was bittersweet not to have Mom there, but overall a day well spent.


To be honest, I came away with lukewarm feelings.  Actually enjoyed the drives down and back more than the event. 

As always, there was a good representation of marques, maybe low thirties of minis.  Chris took first in class (no surprise there), Dan’s Moke second.  There were only four minis in my class and I got skunked-the OREGON FIX was on!!

Jerry Miller’s 1976 Austin.

What was different this year was a lack of pen/ink ballots.  Instead, a QR code was on your car placard and the voting was done with your phone.  Chris Miller was not happy about it and raised a stink with Eric.  

Weather was OK.  Smoke and haze on Saturday kept the temps at a reasonable level.  Sunday, a nice overcast without the smoke kept it comfortable.  – Jerry Miller

The Canadian geese were glad to get their field back on Monday morning, and I couldn’t resist.


St. Helens and the Seven Dwarfs

by Jerry Miller

Awesome is the word as clouds part. -Peter Larsen photo

(August 10-11,2022) Sometime in early Spring, I threw out the idea for a drive to Mt St Helens with an overnight stay in Castle Rock.  With seven solid commitments from Andrew Bertschi, B…. B…., Dean Cook, Don Dixon and Marian Boelter , George Barrett, Jim Younkins and Peter Larsen I thought, Ok, this is good.  Plan the route? Check.  Motel and dinner reservations?  Done. 

Per usual, the plan was to remain on secondary roads as much as possible.  To have the best chance of decent weather, I thought August would be best and a mid-week time frame would allow us, hopefully, to avoid summer vacation traffic.  The down side was that those with a regular work schedule might miss the opportunity for a good drive.  Maybe next year.

– Dean Cook photo

The first day was to be about 6 1/2 hours and 215 miles, generally south along Hwy 507 with some forays via Johnson Creek Road, Tono Road and Jackson Highway into Castle Rock for lunch, then up to the mountain.  To afford the benefits of a sugar high fueled with caffeine, we met at Krispy Kreme in Tacoma, doughnuts courtesy of B.  At departure time weather was a low overcast, dry with good visibility but a check of weather radar showed a significant rain cell along our route near McChord AFB.  George was advised to maybe consider raising the top of his Cabrio- “I’ll be fine as long as we keep moving.”  Well, OK, there will be slow traffic and traffic lights until we actually get away from population but, OK.  The rain, while intense, was short lived but made the route between I-5 and Spanaway Loop Road more an adventure than we needed. However, the seven minis managed to weather the storm (groan) stay together and enjoy the drive through Rainier (where we met Jim), Bucoda, and Toledo, ending the morning at Papa Pete’s Pizza.

A favorite stop at Castle Rock. – Dean Cook photo

We lost Andrew to a head gasket that chose to fail and leave him stranded by the roadside a couple of miles short of Castle Rock.  Screwed twice over – a busted car and no lunch.  Assured that a tow truck was on its way to rescue Andrew and his 850, the remaining seven started out for the hour-long drive up to St Helens under a persistent low overcast that had followed us from Tacoma.  On the way up Spirit Lake Hwy, we stopped at the Havilah Retreat Center View Point where we were able to see what the unbelievably powerful lahar from the erupting St Helens had done to the North Fork of the Toutle River.  As we climbed closer, the clouds started to lift, teasing us with an occasional glimpse of the volcano in the distance. 

-Jerry Miller photo

Approaching Johnston Ridge and the Observatory, the clouds parted and there it was, Mt St Helens.  Old enough to remember what Mt St Helens was like before May 18, 1980, I’d seen the videos of the eruption but this was the first time to see the result in person.  Sobering, as was the video presentation in the observatory theater.  I can’t imagine what it must have been like on the mountain that day.

Jerry tries to make a point. -Peter Larsen photo

The drive down was fine, I think most of us were pretty tired, looking forward to check into the motel and get ready for dinner.  After our arrival, the motel owner (a particularly nice person) made a phone call to the mayor of Castle Rock urging him to see the swarm of LBCs that had come to town.  Mayor Paul stopped by the restaurant long enough to say hello and welcome us but in answer to Don’s question, couldn’t guarantee that any speeding tickets would be overlooked.  The post-dinner Tech Session was cut short by darkness and mosquitos, although Marian was tough enough to wait for the full moon to rise. 

-Peter Larsen photo

Day two was to be 150 miles and 4 1/2 hours, starting out north on the west side of I-5 through Winlock where we stopped for a group picture at “The World’s Largest Egg”.  Because we were on a schedule and most had eaten, we were unable to accept a breakfast invitation from the manager of Winlock’s Rowdy Rooster Bistro but made a mental note to include it as a stop next time through.  Profits go to the Vader-Winlock Food Bank, a win-win situation.  Dean called her later to apologize, explain our situation and made a donation to the Food Bank on behalf of the St Helens Group and SAMOA.  Thumbs up.

Rowdy Rooster Bistro must be right around here. -Dean Cook photo

From Winlock, we drove west on King Road, a perfectly maintained stretch of asphalt through the fields and forests of Lewis County until we saw the sign “Pavement Ends”.  Hmmm.  What to do now?  We pressed on in 1st gear over a gravel road that was smooth but pretty damn dusty.  I thought it best to turn around but Don advised “we’re halfway, its smooth only dusty”.  OK, onwards over 2.8 miles of the finest gravel road in the State.  As it turns out, this portion of King Road is used, twice a month, to train grader drivers for the County and was actually quite good despite dust limiting visibility to less than 100 feet in places.  Once pavement was in sight, we stopped long enough for me to announce to the group that there would be no additional charge for the rally portion of the drive.

-Peter Larsen photo

Back on paved roads, Jim led us on a spirited drive east on Lincoln Creek Road to Centralia, up and over Seminary Hill Road, Hanaford Roads and north on Hwy 507.  Along the way, Don and Marian and Jim peeled off for home, the rest of us stopped at Stewart’s Meats in McKenna to pick up snacks for the carnivores in the group.  Then we made our way towards I-5, hopefully early enough that the northerners would be able to avoid rush hour traffic through Seattle.

-Peter Larsen photo

With the exception of losing one car along the way to mechanical problems, a slight navigational error in Chehalis and the dusty-road adventure, the drive was everything I hoped it would be.  Weather was good, roads were smooth, with hardly any traffic and the Lewis County scenery spectacular.  Perhaps next year, to enjoy crisp fall temperatures and colorful foliage, the drive should be later in the year, maybe in October.  I’ll start working on it.  Stay tuned. -Jerry

– George Barrett photo



(July 25-29, 2022, Hansville Rd, Kingston) Travel guides say “Come to the cool Northwest in July and you’ll be greeted by temps in the 70s or maybe the low 80s.”  Yeah, right.  Instead, Mini Meet West 2022 took place during the area’s all-time-record heat wave with temps in the mid 90s. Regardless, The Peninsula Mini Society, led by Ben Compton, put together a splendid event, the first Mini Meet West in the Puget Sound region since the Olympia meet held by SAMOA in 1985.

I hope you’ve been getting information and photos from others that attended the show. I have to admit, I have photos (which I’ll forward later from my phone) but I was so excited just to be there that I didn’t really take any notes. This is what I can say – if you notice how wide open and exposed the photos seem – that’s no joke. The venue (The Point Casino) bailed on our location three times so we ended up on the HOT tarmac behind the casino. Tents helped, but you just had to keep moving so as not to pass out!

Chase Maben in the orange Pup chases wife, Shana Maben in her beautifully original MkII Elf. -Mark Hurston photo

The “Silver Crackle” Mini used to belong to a “Heintze” (spelling) who has since passed, and I first remember seeing this car at the Florence, Oregon MMW many years ago. There were many Mokes present, so Dan Berglund was in good company. The variants included the Ranger Cub I saw at Portland last year, and “Crazy Mike” and his wife Amanda now own the red Marcos that was

Still “Crazy Mike” after all these years. He and Amanda now travel in a Marcos. -Toby May photo

parked next to it. I got to take the Marcos the next day for a test spin! Don Dixon sold the motor trailer, Mark Hurston sold many items of interest from his booth, and Rowly Stow’s SAMOA regalia tent also had some interest. I overnighted at Mitch & Teri Hansen’s idyllic “Cape Cod” home in Bremerton, and many exotic beers helped tolerate the heat before passing out from a long day!

It was great to see long-time friend of SAMOA and even longer-time Vancouver Mini Club member, Ken Friend. -Mark Hurston photo

The autocross the next day was coned intentionally tight, to keep the speed down, but resulted in many racers confused by the sea of orange — and not finishing the course!  The Funkhana, organized by SAMOA’s Jeff Van Hurston and crew, didn’t have many participants until after the autocross packed up for the day, but I’d say those who took part enjoyed themselves.

SAMOA’s yearly “Most-Miles-Travelled in a Mini” leader, Jeff Van Hurston, ironically, lives among the closest to the event. -Mark Hurston photo

You’ll probably hear a couple stories about disgruntled volunteers who simply got tired of being in the heat all day. The drive on Thursday was one of the best drives I’ve ever taken, and we’ll definitely have to put up a link on the blog so others can get a chance to try the route! Sorry, no pictures from that since I had my hands on the wheel the whole time. I’ve seen a couple good shots from The Oregon Mini Society on their Facebook page you can source from.

Moke-Moke-Moke-Moke-Moke…… -Toby May photo
Vintage racer, Greg Birch. -Toby May photo

That’s about it. I didn’t stay for the banquet the final day. I had book-ended the event with two graveyard shifts, so I didn’t get much time to reflect, but I made every minute count while I was there! Cheers!  – Toby May

Seeing double, the only thing better than a grey Mini pup is TWO grey Mini pups! – Mark Hurston photo
George Barrett and his spotless Cabriolet. -Mark Hurston photo
-Toby May photo
Escaping MMW 2022

Mini Meet West was a blast! So was the heat! Marian and I spent the last three nights of the week down to the Point No Point Lighthouse Maggs House. What a relief! It had to be 15 degrees cooler. Mr Maggs was the lighthouse keeper back in the 1880s, bought an adjoining 25 acres, and built a house just so we could stay there. What a guy!  – Don, Marian, and Old Paint

postscript: Thursday, August 4, a week after Mini Meet West. It’s 8am, cloudy, 55 degrees and raining. THIS is the real Pacific Northwest. Could not miss this opportunity to thank the Peninsula Mini Society once more for a great time and even greater timing! -SAMOA


A quality group of Minis attend Western Washington ABFM

(July 23, Kenmore, WA) In 2022 the Western Washington All British Field meet returned to Saint Edward Park.  It was a beautiful day in the backyard of this historic seminary building but we never got too hot due to our typical placement on the field snugged up to the forest that leads down to Lake Washington’s north shore. We even had new neighbors – Lotus Club members galore! Nice folks who shared the shady picnic tables with us while we ate a lunch provided by SAMOA President Toby – Amanno’s Pizza with yummy sides delivered directly to the State Park – Yum!

Once again, SAMOA rocked it by winning the Food Lifeline Donations competition by donating over $1,000!  Finishing in second and third place were the Tyee Triumph and Jaguar clubs.

Toby and I still aren’t sure who made this generous donation in our club’s name, but made an assumption that it might be “Mr. Lucas” or a consortium of “his ilk.” Toby now has the beautiful Food Lifeline Award plaque showing the good things our club has done over the years for “Food Needs in the Pacific Northwest through Food Lifeline.”  (Please feel free to send your donations to them on their website; or phone them on 206-545-6600. Thank you, commercial over). – text and photos by Mark Hurston except where otherwise noted

Guests of The Lodge at St. Edward Park were treated to a marvelous view of Minis not to mention all the other British autos at the 2022 WWABFM. – Toby May photo
Early-model Minis, late-model Minis, original and restored Minis, the selection wasn’t huge but very diverse. -Toby May photo
This early 1964 1071cc Austin Cooper S was totally restored by owner Chris Miller, seen sitting right behind the Mini. It came from the factory with a most unusual feature – a “monotone” paint job unlike almost every other Cooper and Cooper S that came standard with contrasting color tops.
1968 MkII Morris Cooper owned by Dean Cook.
An original and unrestored pimento red (“not orange”) 1976 MkIV Morris Mini 1000. Built in New Zealand and owned by George Thompson.
This Australia-only 1976 Leyland Mini Van contains a whole group of Australian-only features including factory-installed rear side windows, Clubman front end, roll-up windows and wing windows and early-type external door hinges. This fascinating Mini is owned by Mark Hurston.
A very rare 1989 Mini 30 owned by Maura Wattam.
This MkI Austin Cooper S has been completely restored by Steve Gay. It’s first owner, in 1967, was SAMOA founding member Dick Penna. Steve is its third owner.
Owned by Steve Ludwig since 1972, this 1963 Austin Cooper has been carefully conserved and features a number of owner-modified improvements.
Mini chatter in front of Ryan Love’s supercharged 998cc 1961 Austin 7 (all original metal and patina). From left to right – Ryan Love, George Barrett, Steve Ludwig and Ted Atkins.
I wandered over by the Triumphs to congratulate and thank the Queen for her many years of service. She was so enamored with me and my kind words she let me cozy up for a personal photo. I’ll treasure it forever!” – Mark.   – Kay Franklin (Tyee Triumph Club) photo

Reflections on this years WWABFM –

This year I agreed to help with parking, but was on location nearly an hour and a half earlier than anyone else! I set up the checkered flag tent over a picnic table in the shadowy tree line, for SAMOAns in case the day got too hot. I needn’t have worried, the weather was overcast but warm. No sun tan lotion was needed until the last couple hours of the show.

I don’t know what the total entrant count for the meet was, but overall it felt like 25% fewer vehicles than usual. Our Mini count was ten, but Andrew Bertschi showed up at show’s end, so it could be said we had a total of 11 members and Minis present.

After the awards ceremony, Mark Hurston, with placard in hand, informed me that SAMOA had once again won the Food Lifeline award!? Apparently we have a mysterious donor who guaranteed our win over the TYEE Triumph Club yet again!

I’d say the event was well attended, and our Minis were surrounded by people all day so this show was totally worth it. -Toby May, president


Picnic on The Grass 2022

(July 16, 2022, Woodinville, WA) The weather was just right this year for the SAMOA BBQ – partly cloudy, so no tents were needed to hide from the occasional sun break. It was good to see so many familiar faces again, not to mention finally getting a good look at Ted Atkin’s and Ryan Love’s long-term project Minis.

– Michael O’Leary photo

We all got to talk to and enjoy the enthusiasm of new member Maura Wattam who, by the way, is also a veteran and had a spirited conversation with Jerry Miller. 

New SAMOA member, Maura Wattam, proudly displayed her 1989 midnight blue 30th Anniversary Mini with ultra-rare optional “Mini reflection” glass. -Tobias May photos

Glenda Larson was a pleasant surprise, and her “Princess” was looking good as always. The meeting was mercifully short (more or less) and the food and drinks afterward were more than enough to fill the empty stomachs of all those who could make it. (Special thanks to Andrew Berstchi, Michael O’Leary and Toby May who provided photos and text in the editor’s absence at this event) 

– Toby May photo

I would definitely call this annual get together a huge success! Many, many thanks to Steve and Kim Gay for hosting the picnic again this year. It never fails to draw quite the crowd! – Toby May

Ryan Love’s 61 Austin Seven w/super-power kit and original oxidized paint. Dan Berglund has rapidly adjusted to open air motoring in his Moke and Jerry Miller completes this trio of unique Minis. – Toby May photo
Raise the bonnet on Ryan’s Mini and you get a big surprise – A Downton Engineering-sourced supercharged 998cc engine from Chuck Heleker with assembly by James Thompson. – Andrew Bertschi photo
Ted Atkins stunning “Tribute” 1963 British Touring Car Championship race Mini. Ted spent years on research, fabrication and restoring it to as-raced condition. – Michael O’Leary photo
Full-race 998cc with everything from inch and a half SUs to a custom-fabricated pre-fuel cell gas tank. – Andrew Bertschi photo
A park-like back yard just begs for a bunch of Minis to fill it up! 20 Minis seemed to fill it about half way. Maybe in 2023……? – Andrew Bertschi photo

Attendance Sheet:

  1. Toby May    90 Rover Mini Cooper
  2. Dave Anderson (guest Libby) 95 Cooper S
  3. Chris Wendt  92 Morris MkIV
  4. George Barrett  96 Rover Cabriolet
  5. George Thompson 76 Morris 1000 (in “Pimento”)
  6. Ted Atkins  63 Austin “Cooper” (works replica project owned since 1999 finished to sell in last 9 months — James Thompson had an interested buyer)
  7. Dean Cook  68 Morris Cooper
  8. Rowly Stow  89 Rover Mini MkV
  9. Tim Boyd  72 NZ 1000
  10. Andrew Bertschi  68 MkII
  11. Don Dixon  Old Paint
  12. Ryan Love (guests Lisa Love & family) 61 Austin Seven w/ super power kit and intentionally oxidized paint
  13. Chris Miller 64 Austin Cooper S 1071
  14. Steve Gay  67 Austin S
  15. Kelley Mascher  Orange Mini
  16. Jeff Van Hurston  88 Mary Quant Cabrio
  17. Glenda Larson  90 Rover Mini
  18. Dan Berglund  65 Mini Moke
  19. James Thompson 96 Rover Mayfair
  20. Jerry Miller  74 Austin (Blue Tick)
  21. Maura Wattam  89 Midnight Blue 30th Anniversary

Michael O’Leary (last minute show – didn’t bring his Mini)

– Michael O’Leary photo


30th Greenwood Car Show, June 25, 2022

A rather small gathering of SAMOA Minis arrived at their usual spot to discover several houses missing and plans underway for a six-story apartment building. From right: George Thompson’s New Zealand 1000 (formerly Steve Clark’s), Barbara Praefke’s MkI Riley Elf, Don Dixon’s Austin 850 (“Old Paint”), Chris Miller’s 1071 “Monotone” Austin Cooper S, Ed Sauer’s 1990 Rover RSP Cooper, Toby May’s 1990 Rover “Mainstream Cooper”, George Barrett’s “Cabriolet”, Kelley Mascher’s Leyland 1000, one unidentified and one yet to arrive. – Ed Sauer photo


A beautiful day for a Bash on Vashon

Delicious coffee, pastries and fourteen Minis on a beautiful day. In foreground, Italian Job Mini of new member, Tim Moser, is parked coincidentally next to Peter Larsen’s Innocenti. Three days earlier, the forecast had been for heavy rain. Instead, mostly changed to barely cloudy as the day progressed. -photos by Mark the “MiniNut”
Andrew Bertschi and his all-original, unrestored New Zealand MkII Austin.
The Vashon Roasterie maintains its low-key identity as one of the coffee shops that started the coffee craze that Seattle has become known for.
Multi-mile Minis are hard to keep as clean as Jim Younkins does his. Curious about the back roads of Thurston County? Give Jim a call.
One of a bunch of Minis that call Vashon Island home. Gordon Smith loves restoring his Countryman almost as much as he does driving it.
A regular stop on a Mini tour of Vashon is on Maury Island. It’s all for the spectacular view available behind the photographer taking this shot. Alas, Mount Rainier was once again hidden by clouds on this mostly sunny day. Maybe next year?



by George Barrett

– George Barrett photos

VanDusen Botanical Gardens hosted the 35th Anniversary Vancouver ABFM this year after missing the last two years. We drove the scenic route up Highway 9 to Sumas crossing to Canada (and returned the same way).

Other SAMOAN’s in attendance were Chris Miller, Larry May and his son Toby. There were nearly 25 Mini’s on display including a dozen(!) from a single Canadian owner.

Saturdays weather was sunny and stunning, coupled with too much indoor time the last couple of years, made for a record crowd this year. We also made the group drive to Harrison, known for its hot springs. Once again the weather made for a perfect Sunday drive.

– Larry May photos


Fall City for flapjacks

(Fall City (12/2021) Breakfast in Fall City was followed by a run up the SE Middle Fork Road out of North Bend. Damn fine road marred by one short stretch of washout. That would be the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River. -Don Dixon text and photos


Mini dream drive in Crow Valley on Orcas Island

See home page/OUT AND ABOUT for details of another October Mini run to Orcas Island.


South-county fall tour

(Tacoma (10/8/ 2021) I tossed out an invitation for what might be the last drive into Pierce, Thurston and Lewis counties before the winter rains begin and got an unexpected response.  The minis of James Thompson, Ben and Glenny Compton, Chris Kimball, Tim Boyd, Bruno Billiet and Don Dixon and Marian Boelter met me at the usual jumping off spot on N Pearl in Tacoma.  Hmmm, 7 minis plus Marian offering her homemade coffee cake – I thought ‘This is going to be a great day’.  And I was right!

 Eight Minis in the town of Rainier – probably a first. -Jerry Miller photos

We left Tacoma about 10:20 and drove Hwy 507 into Rainier where we hooked up with Jim Younkins.  He led our group of 8 minis (probably a first in Rainier) to Johnson Creek & Skoocumchuck Roads back to 507, Bucoda and Tono Road.  Then up and over Seminary Hill into Centralia for a meal and conversation at O’Blarney’s Irish Pub.  After lunch, Chris took the lead for a drive past the home of his English mother so she could have peek at some Little British Cars in a mini parade.  She loved it and told Chris that “the smallest car she ever drove was an Austin 1100.  Cheers.”

Jim then took us along smooth valley farmland roads to places that I never knew existed; Adna & Little Rock?!  Plenty of cows in the fields and classic silos but thankfully no tractors or traffic to slow us down.  Didn’t see any ‘Biden for President’ signs either. 

Jerry keeping up with James Thompson on Johnson Creek Road.

Along the route, Tim was the first to peel off for home at the first sign directing him to I-5N, he’d been up since 4am!  (Really grateful that he made the trip down south to join us).  Bruno and Don/Marian were the next to leave the gaggle which left five of us to make our way back to Tenino where Jim split for Olympia, followed by Ben/Glenny & Chris who decided to take I-5 north towards home.  That left James and me to drive the rest of the way via Hwys 507 and 7.  Hwy 7 from the Roy Y, through Spanaway and Parkland is a particularly nasty stretch of road with too many trucks, traffic lights and aggressive drivers.  I consider that part of the drive like the 15th hole of a round of golf – a great day but sorry that it was coming to an end.   

Tim Boyd (red Mini) and James Thompson frolic in the woods.

It was a pretty damn fine day, weather was perfect, enjoyable company, good roads and fall colors in the trees.  AND, 8 cars started, 8 cars finished, well sorta.  Chris had a tire pop a 1/2 mile from home and Ben developed an bothersome ignition miss on I-5, but made it home nonetheless. 

 If only it were the month of June rather than October; Tire pressures are good, fluid levels checked and the tank is full of fuel.  To quote a line from the movie, Animal House, I’d say “Thank you, Sir!  May I have another?” -Jerry Miller


Mostly a bash with barely a splash

A brief stop at Jensen Point – Toby May photos. Minis also stopped at Dockton Park in the above photo by Peter Larsen.

(Vashon Island 9/18/2021) The weather turned out great for the 2021 version of the Bash on Vashon. And the drive was a great success except for a breakdown on the last leg before lunch. Head gasket failure on the last hill and the Mini had to be towed.  Special thanks as always to The Roasterie for a nice selection of coffees on the house.  13 Minis with 18 Mini enthusiasts.

Mt. Rainier was once again a no-show but it was sunny and warm on the east side of Maury Island.

Pizza at the Vashon Brewery was perfect, and we were eventually allowed inside because of the heavy rain which held off until we were having lunch. Everyone got home OK. I was probably the last Mini off the island (except for all the Mini islanders of course), and the ferry ride was a nice way to finish the day.  –Toby May


Portland All British Field Meet visited by SAMOA

Portland (9/4/2021)  – Four minis met at the Tacoma Mall Krispy Kreme on Friday morning for the drive to Portland.  Dan Berglund, George Barret, Chris Miller and I were more than ready for a road trip that had been delayed for more than a year.  The weather cooperated with cool temps, traffic along the route was light, at least until we neared Vancouver/Portland.  It was a nice drive along the usual route (for Dan and I) down along Hwy 507 through Roy, Rainier, Centralia to Castle Rock for lunch.  Big disappointment, Papa Pete’s Pizza was open for business but the dining room was closed, so we ate next door at the burger joint-expensive.  Didn’t get back much change from a $20 bill for my order of a cheeseburger, small fries and choc shake.   Pretty good but no comparison to the pizza.  Hopefully, next year.  

The willow tree was good for shade and photos of the OZ Clubman Van of SAMOA’S Mark Hurston next to Dan Berglund’s Pickup. – Tobias May photos

After Castle Rock, it was up into the hills east of I-5.  Dan planned the route and as usual, it was fun and challenging.  Lots of elevation changes and twists.  How he finds these roads is a mystery but he never lets us down.

We left Tacoma about 9 am, had a couple of stops along the way and arrived at our hotel about 3pm.  We like staying at the Country Inn and Suites because it literally is 5 minutes from the racetrack.  The downside of staying there is that the nearby homeless camps have grown enough that the worrywart in me was concerned about the security of the cars.  The hotel has a roving security patrol to discourage car prowls but I saw enough shady characters to make me reconsider staying there next year, maybe the Portlander instead.  But with the exception of a bunch of drunk teenagers in the parking lot under my room window at 2am, there were no problems.

George Barrett’s Cabrio in front of the Portland ABFM Mini pavilion.

Got to the show field about 8 am, parked the car and walked around looking at the cars. Lots of fine examples as usual.  MG was the featured marque this year and there were plenty to enjoy.  The organizers of the ABFM had John Twist(?), a well-known MG expert, give a couple of presentations and tuning demonstrations on participant’s cars.  Pretty interesting.  The autocross didn’t have many minis this year and noticeably missing was Jeff Van Hurston trying a handbrake turn around the spin cone with his Mary Quant car.  The racer population was also down this year, seems to get less and less every year. 

Looks like Jerry Miller’s beautiful blue late-model has a new friend.

One of my favorite race cars is the Ford Falcon of Randy Dunphy, who is doubtful to make the SOVREN Fall Finale this year after slamming into the tires on the last turn before the straight.  Nor will Don Racine.  He went flying by in the Mini after the formation lap of his race, then nothing.  We tracked him down in the pits and asked what happed?  He said he left pieces of a connecting rod on the track and showed us the seven-inch diameter hole in the front of the block.  The oil filter housing was displaced outward at about a 45-degree angle.  Makes one wonder about the wisdom of revving a four-cylinder pushrod operated engine to 8000 rpm. 

Switching tires after a few hot laps on the track.

We left Tacoma with four minis and returned with four awards.  Jerry, George and Dan got People’s Choice second in class.  Chris Miller won first in class with his perfect Cooper S.  Mark Hurston was also there with his Clubman estate as was Jeff in a Morris Minor Woody.  Toby May drove like a madman on Saturday to get to the car show after missing our departure from Krispy Kreme on Friday morning.  Ooops.

Clubman project from Guatemala with shag interior.

The drive home on Sunday was just Dan and Jerry, back along the same route.  The leaves in the trees have started to turn color so its confirmed that summer is fading away. We have driven past the BBQ joint on the north side of Centralia for years without ever stopping, so this time we planned to have lunch but it was closed.  I had eaten there earlier in the year when I was on a drive to settle the suspension and remembered it as being really good.  If you get to that part of the country, I highly recommend it.  I’m going to see if I can convince

1964 Ranger Cub fiberglass Mini-based kit with a rear bench as a front seat.

Jim Younkins to plan one more drive in the area south and west of Olympia.  We drove a Fall Foliage run years ago that ended up at a BBQ joint.  Not bad, a fun drive followed by good food.

Next on the agenda is the Bash on Vashon, maybe a trip down south for the Maryhill car show and hill climb.  Haven’t decided yet.

See you at the Bash  – Jerry Miller


SAMOA returns to the Western Washington All British Field Meet

A Cooper S Australian police car doesn’t just show up at any meet. It’s too bad Brad Green had to leave early. Wow, were they really painted this color? – Andrew Bertschi photo

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 on August 21, 2021 – 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.

Some new Minis, some awards for SAMOA members, and an award for SAMOA’s donation to Food Lifeline made this one to remember. Several Minis that SAMOA members might recall, including a Cooper S restoration project once owned by Gary and Fran Blackman of the Portland area, made for interesting viewing.  – Mark Hurston

Two beautiful Mini engine compartments. Above, Chris Miller’s stunning 1071 Cooper S and below, Tim Pearce’s seriously supercharged 998cc late-model. -Bruno Billiet photos

After a year and a half of covid pandemic and a recent flare up to keep people nervous it stands to reason that the Field Meet would be hurting for entries.  Maybe down only 25% so not all that badly.  And there seemed to be as many spectators as in years past.  The weather was perfect, the food trucks were better than ever and the upscale Lodge at St. Edward Hotel stunning.  Even if it is totally out of our price range. 

Brothers with trophies, Mark Hurston (left) and Jeff Van Hurston accompanied by Jeff’s gnarly Morris Minor surf wagon. When Jeff isn’t surfing he’s driving his Mini Cabriolet. – Passerby photo

Sixteen Minis turned out and Rowly Stow had the club pop-up in place to spread the SAMOA word and sell a good deal of club regalia.  As decided at the last member’s meeting, half the proceeds from the sales were donated to Food Lifeline.  Not near as much as past SAMOA donations but enough for us to take third place in the friendly club competition.  – Ed Sauer

Steve Ludwig opens the door on his ’63 Austin Cooper and Barth Sherwood, a co-worker of Steve’s in the ’60s, leans against his ’62 Austin Cooper. – Toby May photo



1ST       ‘63 Mini Traveller                 Lorraine Mihalik

2nd       ‘68 Mini MkII                         Dean Cook

3rd       ‘63 Austin Cooper                 Steve Ludwig

For sale was a rather scruffy looking Mini the seller claimbed to have been Gary Blackman’s project car. Gary was known by many in Seattle and Portland Mini clubs….


1st        ’91 Mini MkVI                         Timothy Pearce

2nd       ’96 Rover Tartan                   Kerrie McLaughlin

3rd       ’90 Mainstream Cooper       Toby May

Well, the number plate DOES appear to be from an Austin Cooper S. – Mark Hurston photos

MI-03 Variant

1st        ’63 Riley Elf MkII                  Ed Sauer

2nd       ’72 Innocenti MkIII               Peter Larsen

3rd       ’76 Leyland Clubman           Mark and Suzie Hurston

Maybe they’ll find a better place to park the food trucks. Maybe the grass will be green. Maybe a few a few more Minis will show up. 2021 was good, 2022 should be great. – Toby May photo


The Peninsula Mini Society had their two-day tour, July 24, 25, along with several Oregon Mini Society members.  As part of the tour, Ben Compton asked me to lead the troops through the island, which I did.

I met them at the southern Vashon Ferry Terminal.  Fifteen Classic minis came (plus two Binis) – not too bad.

Minis pretty much filled up what was left of parking space at the Burton boat launch.

Most of the People from  Oregon like Jeremy from Jet Motors, an Inno 1300,  a guy from California in a 2000 Rover Cooper and then there was Carl Barfield, Greg Birch, James Thompson and Dave Linden.

We drove to Burton where we normally take pictures but it was so busy there was no room to line up the cars. Then to the Roasterie where there was no food left!  And no parking, so we parked at the Art Center kitty corner from the coffee house.

After about an hour we toured towards the north ferry – through BURMA ROAD.  The group headed towards Southworth and a barebeque at Carl’s place.

Beautiful Vashon Island. The perfect place for a Mini tour.

From that point I went home.  Our Granddaughter was there for the night!

Overall a nice trip.  I heard through the “grapevine” that PMS will do next year the 2022 Mini Meet West in July/August.  –Peter Larsen, 7/25/2021


Picnic on the Green revisited

Photos from the July 17, 2021 event. SAMOA’s first in-person get together in a year and a half and boy, were we ever ready to get together. 31 members plus one guest, 26 Minis plus one MG1100. Can’t say for sure but most likely the largest turnout for the event since it’s inception.

Minis baked in the sun while SAMOAns lounged in the shade. Steven Clarke, Dan Berglund, James Thompson and Chris Wendt relax after a hearty picnic lunch. – Ed Sauer photos
Were Screaming Yellow Zonkers breakfast cereal still available we’re thinking Charlie Den Tex could sign a sponsorship deal with his striking early-MkI Mini.
The spectacular MG1100 of Aaron Anderson made a rare appearance. The plexiglas bonnet is one of four produced by the factory for use in car shows on the factory 1100s when they were introduced in the early 60s.
Jeff Van Hurston (right) makes a point about his Mary Quant cabriolet parked waaaaaay in the back (under the umbrella).



There’s vintage race cars and then there’s VINTAGE race cars.  Most are built in the past few years but there are a few still racing that were built back when they were state of the art. The annual 4th of July SOVREN Historic Races at Pacific Raceways are always special and this year was more so for having Old Yeller II, a true VINTAGE race car, built in the early 60s, there for all to see in the pits and on the track.  Many a young hot rodder was converted to sports car enthusiast because of Old Yeller, reading about the car in Rod and Custom or Hot Rod magazine, and/or watching similar front-engine hybrid hot rods turned into sports racers (called “modifieds” in the day) and driven by their builder/owners.  

Dr. Nagamatsu at the wheel of Old Yeller II, one of the nine race cars built by the Balchowsky family in the late 50s-early 60s. As raced in the day with wide whites and a Buick “nail head” V8.- Jerry Miller photo

Max Balchowsky was the owner/builder/driver of Old Yeller II in the early 60s and Dr. Ernie Nagamatsu is keeping the flame alive by travelling the West Coast, entering vintage sports car races with this amazing piece of hot-rod/sports car history. 

Tricky turn 5 with 6 Minis trying to catch Dan Berglund (just out of the photo). From front to back, Jerry Miller (1275), Andrew Bertschi (850 Austin MkII), Ed Sauer(RSP Cooper), Bill Wecker (1275 Cooper S), Barth Sherwood (997 Austin Cooper) and Peter Larsen (Innocenti)- Dan Birkemeier photo

What, you may ask, do Minis have to do with Old Yeller?  For me Old Yeller was the vehicle that this 12-year-old hot rodder read about to first become interested in sports car racing(?).  Built by a hot rodder but he was racing it (horrors) at a sports car track. Switching from Rod and Custom to Sports Car Graphic and Road and Track, I began reading about road racing and it wasn’t long before I was hooked.  Twisty roads were fascinating compared to ¼-mile drag strips and once I read about Minis I was converted.  Old Yeller, an original underdog and Minis, underdogs of a different breed but underdogs none the less.

Not your average Mini Pickup is Dan Berglund’s BIGSHOT. – Dan Birkemeier photo
Out of turn 5 and Inno turn 6. Peter Larsen flipped a coin and chose his green Innocenti for the parade laps. – Dan Birkemeier photo
Bill Wecker keeps his MkI Cooper S to the right setting up for the left-hand part of uphill turn 6 while Barth Sherwood’s ’62 Cooper follows close behind but not so close as to arouse the officials. -Dan Birkemeier photo
Greg Birch can’t get enough track time in his race Mini. He ran the lunch hour parade laps with the rest of us street-Mini types. Here he is at speed in turn 6 during one of the races. – Karl J Noakes photo

So it wasn’t just a coincidence that there were 10 Minis that showed up at the track – three there to race and seven containing spectators/enthusiasts all rooting for an underdog.  Here are some photos from a great weekend at Pacific Raceways. -Ed Sauer, 7/5/2021


Boy was it hot!

About 60 diehard car nuts met at the old Sears store at 155th and Aurora on Saturday, June 26. There was quite a variety of vehicles, everything from a ratrod to a Rolls Royce.  About half of the cars dropped out before the end (including the Rolls) though it was a well-planned tour and gave spectators along the route a pretty good show.

A straight took the $250 first prize, followed by a smaller straight for 2nd ($150)   and 3 aces for third ($100) It should be noted that the $100 for 3rd place was donated by Shane, Owner of Bleachers Pub and a long-time supporter of the car show.  It was Shane’s last day here – he moved to Arizona on Sunday.

There will be other cruises coming up. Try to make one.  -George Thompson, 7/2/2021


North Cascades Mini tour

After apprehensively watching the weather earlier in the week, four drivers and their Minis met near Allyn, WA and drove north to Port Townsend to catch the ferry to Coupeville on Whidbey Island.  We checked into the motel, ate an early dinner and set off to visit some of the gun emplacements built to defend the west side of Whidbey from the threat of Japanese invasion during WWII.  Sobering.

The next day, we had a light breakfast and headed north on Whidbey, enjoying a bright and clear morning.  We stopped for lunch at Annie’s pizza in Concrete (worth the trip-deelish) and nosed around the town, named for supplying the concrete for the dams along the Skagit River.  The North Cascades Loop Highway has a number of small towns, started to support the logging industry and construction of the hydro-electric dams.

We stopped about three-fourths of the way up Washington Pass (5,476′) to view some spectacular scenery and allow my car to cool off a bit.  Didn’t have any cooling issues on the way to Snow Mass, CO. for East meets West but here in Washington?   Strange.

Stopped in Winthrop for dinner, crowded for a weeknight I thought, then drove on to Twisp for the night.  Highly recommended is the Idle-a-While motel – corny name but clean and comfortable.  Plus, you can park your car right outside the door to your room, allowing easy access to the cold six pack in the refrigerator while you check oil, water, tire pressure and clean the dead bugs off the windscreen.

Day three of the trip was hot and dry.  We left Twisp about 9 am and stopped in Chelan for lunch before heading out for Leavenworth.  Again, fairly heavy traffic approaching the town (Why aren’t these people at work instead making my life less enjoyable?) and on the climb up and over Stevens Pass along Highway 2 into Monroe.  We picked the wrong day of the week for the return trip to Puget Sound area.  Lots of Friday rush hour traffic and unusually high temps made the day longer than we wanted.  I pulled into Tacoma about seven, the south Sounders about an hour later.

We started with four classic minis and finished the trip with four-sort of.  Carl had clutch master cyl/slave cyl troubles and decided to peel off for his brother’s house in Sammamish rather than continue.  He was able to drive home the next morning without any problems.

We thought that a mid-June time frame for the trip would be comfortable, weather wise, but ma nature threw us a curve with three days of 85-90 degree weather.  Not complaining though, could have been rain.

The North Cascades have been compared to the Swiss Alps, the scenery along the Loop Highway is spectacular and to drive it with a gaggle of minis is pretty cool.  You should try it sometime. – Jerry Miller, 6/24/2021


What a long strange trip it’s been

Marian and I headed into our anniversary week travels by taking a few routes less traveled. The east side of I-5 south of Kalama was the new part of the trip. Bigfoot and DB Cooper country don’t ya know, little did WE know….

Highway 503 took us to Cougar, Wa. where the “warm beer, lousy service” sign drew us in to the Cougar Bar and Grill. The beer was cold and the Armed Services Vet behind the counter was very pleasant, even to a pair of Seattleites in a Mini. He was very pleased to hear we were heading down the snow lined Forest Service roads to the town of Carson on the Columbia River. I may have heard a BWAAA HHAA HHAA as we left the parking lot.

No ghosts this time at Edgefield although I felt like one. It was as if we were the only people there. The kitchen treated us like royalty (coffee-rub-roasted wild boar) and the outdoor table next to a kerosene heater was very romantic!

An early arrival at the Westport OREGON ferry terminal assured us a front seat in the sailing across The Columbia River to Cathlamet. Of course the skipper turned the boat around and moon walked us all the way across, backwards! FINE!

 The usual Skamokawa (look it up) quiet was broken by Santa leading half the neighboring fire departments on a joyride through town in their apparatus, sirens and lights aplenty. Happens every weekend so I hear.

 The ride home was when things got interesting. Marian heard an odor and I smelled a noise around a town called Mt. Insaneo(!) She passed out behind the wheel! I woke her up! Don’t know how!

SAAAATSSSOPPP!! Bone chilling ECTOPLASM everywhere! Oh my word the horror! The humanity! Nothing a cup of coffee at the Rusty Tractor in Elma couldn’t cure.

Don Dixon and “let’s go for a drive” Marian, 12/2020


Out and about: Octoberfesting about Orcas

The week of October 18th had a pair of Minis Octoberfesting about Orcas Island. This nonsense has been going on for 30 years so why stop now? Beach Haven Resort is the home base, small cabins to 3 bedroom chalets available, during the slow months. The summer is always booked with returning families since the 40’s.

Marian, of course, reserved a week of great weather. Sun and clouds, no rain, plenty of stars at night.

The cabin menu:

Monday,        Marian’s Salmon Chowder

Tuesday,       Don’s Smoked Salmon Omelettes, Bruno’s Pork loin with sausage stuffing, Marian’s cabin-made Apple Pie

Wednesday, Don’s Pork Loin Omelettes, Marian’s Curried Chicken over Rice

Another tradition is a visit to the Rosario Resort bar for a White Russian. Just one.

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? 

Yes, the finest of drives!

Don and Marian with Felix and Bruno, 10/2020


Where once SAMOA met and played
We’d fill the lot with Minis. Pingrey’s is no more. -October, 2020


Out and about: Day trip south of Olympia


I met Jerry Miller at 9:30am at McDonalds in Tacoma then drove to Rainier to meet Jim Younkins at 10:30.  Jim lead us around east of I-5 to Tenino and Bucoda, then west of I-5 at Fords Prairie – Grand Mound – Oakville – Elma – Satsop and back a different way to east of I-5  past Bald Mountain – Lake Newaukum and then Rainier and home.  We drove about 2oo miles.  Jim knows the area very well and I had never been on some of the roads.  Great curves and road surface, no traffic.


Lunch was in Elma at the Rusty Tractor (great steak and Eggs) and IPA from Fort George!  From there we toured the former Nuclear Plant at Satsop built in 1977 but never finished.  Now they are trying to convert it into a business park.  Photos are from Satsop and The Rusty Tractor.

-Peter Larsen, 10/17/2021


More than just a Wheeler Dealer

I guess Mike Brewer has a new show called Mike Brewer’s World of Cars. I was told that episode 2 is called “mini and me” where he takes a tour of Heritage.

mini-fab copyMaybe you can find the episode and install it (or a link) on our site. It sounds cool.

Stay safe and healthy,
George Thompson
Easily done!  Thanks, George.
Don’t get much better than this…….

A six-foot car show and a long goodbye

The Six-Foot Car Show on Easter Sunday went well.  The cars and most humans behaved appropriately. A few neighbors confessed to having been keeping an eye on us for awhile, sad to see us go.

Jori Chisholm and his assistant Collin played us outta the joint. A most amazing piper! He donated his time (he needed to get out of the house) to Food Lifeline and we put out the jar for the neighbors. Total take to Food Lifeline was $436!  -Don Dixon photos
Bruno brought his world renowned Tasty Toxic Tidbits to Easter Sunday for the staff lunch! Thaamk Yooosirrr.
The mere shell of an Austin STILL leading a Morris.

Hats off to Chris Miller, Brian Slominski, and my family for showing up. This ain’t the first time.  Today was Pingrey’s swan song. Arrivederci, sayonara, mar sin leat.

Pingrey THANK YOUSES go to:

Brian and Bruno. Never a “no” with those two.

The renters: Lara, Andrew, Floyd, Shane, Ed, Chad and Tobias. Made it almost financially feasible.

Sir Isaac Newton. For suspending gravity for two years!

SAMOANS. What’s better than debating the value of a ’62 Cooper barn find till midnight? Great meeting turnouts too.

I asked my wife, Marian, who else I should thank. In but a millisecond she came up with “me.”  Right again.  Nuf said.  Thank you Marian!

-Don Dixon, Pingrey’s Proprietor and SAMOA Tool Librarian, 4/14/2020


A few photos from the February members meeting

Neat perspectives of Pingrey’s in the cold clear waning night, “Back in February of 2020”.
Note the beautiful power train and special Maloney placard on Old Paint!  Well done Don.
I’d like to repeat my thinking about a party to celebrate our time at “the clubhouse” and formally recognize those that made it possible. The next meeting is on March 17th.  That also is Saint Patrick’s Day, so maybe we can also drink beer out of green bottles!?
Best regards,  M S Hurston
– Mark “The MiniNut” Hurston photos


2020 White Elephant Auction and slot car races

January 25 at ScaleRacing Center in Tacoma.  –Mark Hurston photo
SAMOA members compete in team racing on one of the big tracks.  Great fun and excitement for racers and spectators!  –Ed Sauer photo
1/24th scale Minis burn up the track at ScaleRacing Center.  –Brian Slominski photo
Scalextric slot cars show amazing detail.  This 1/32nd scale Nick Swift Mini features decals almost too small to be seen by the naked eye. –Ed Sauer photo
Auctioneer extraordinaire George Thompson does some heavy lifting.  A short block perhaps?  –Brian Slominski photo
George not only has to auction off white elephants but keep the agitated crowd under control as well. –Ed Sauer photo
Hey Big Spender!

SAMOA’s White Elephant Auction (SWEA) event in January usually starts the new year out with members having lots of fun while increasing the coffers for the coming year.  This year’s SWEA was definately in the top 10 for fun and fundraising!  

Having the event at Alan Smith’s ScaleRacing Center in Tacoma was brilliant! Being naturally competitive, SAMOA members displayed their talents of team play and keeping “fast little cars” on Alan’s well maintained track.  Some were a little more “trigger happy” than others but all and all it was a lot of fun!

As chair of the event I am declaring the 2020 SWEA event a great success. As treasurer I am happy to report the same!  The treasury has been nicely funded with the proceeds of the our live and silent auctions and the 50/50 raffle.  Please see the treasurer’s report for details. 

Special thanks to Lara Williamson, George Thompson and Glenda Larson for the collection of auction funds and recording the big bucks.

The “Big Spender Award” for 2020 was presented to Chris Wendt who also won it in 2019. 27 members were in attendance along with 5 prospective members/guests.

Thanks to everyone for helping make this event such a success and especially to Alan Smith for his continued support of SAMOA!

-Glenda Larson, treasurer   1-26-2020


Party time

It was the SAMOA HOLIDAY PARTY!  No, it was the December members meeting!  STOP, you’re both right so you will find this account listed both in RECENT EVENTS and MEETING MINUTES.

Brian presents the monthly meeting to the masses while The Italian Job continues. – Chase Maben photo

Call to order – The meeting was called to order at approx. 7:44pm, right in the middle of the annual holiday party at the Elliott Bay Brewery and Pub in Lake City, by club prez, Brian Slominski.  34 members and 4 guests were in attendance.   This was a very appreviated meeting, very abbreviated, so the November meeting minutes will need to be approved at the January meeting.

Santa now carries a whip for all those not-so good little girls and boys.  – Chase Maben photo

Santa in his cabriolet pulled by Rudolf were featured guests. With 38 Miniacs in
attendance the food prepared for us by Elliott Bay worked out to about $15 per person for food and there was A LOT.  Not great but pretty good.  Everything from seizure salad to pulled pork shanks (yummy though not enough), pulled pork sandwiches (many) to mystery meatballs (too many), corndogs and many more choices.  Best of all, we didn’t have to prepare or bring the food or cleanup.  The traditional Rendezvous and Italian Job were shown on the big screen while on a second big screen non-stop Mini photos from all over the world were displayed.

Nominations for 2020 club officers were opened and the very vocal crowd became very silent.

What’s wrong with this photo?  The ground is dry after days of rain, a rare occurrence for this time of year.  Santa’s cabrio is ever-ready and George Barrett’s was back on the road for the first time after a major overhaul.  He was thrilled to have it ready for the party  – Mark Hurston photo

Next meeting – As is tradition, it will be held in conjunction with the annual White Elephant Auction on January 25 which is on the weekend before the Super Bowl. The election of club officers for 2020 will take place at this meeting.

Speaking of the White Elephant Auction, it’s kinda like what the Daytona 500 is to NASCAR where the first event of the year is the biggest event of the year.  So don’t miss it.  If not by now, there soon should be details in the blog, just remember to keep Jan 25 open for all the fun.

Old business – There was no old business so the new business of unfinished partying took over and  the meeting segment of the evening was adjourned at 7:46.  The party segment was adjourned much later.


A SAMOA night at the movies

–  Thomas Huden photos

Northgate/Seattle, November 6, 2019  –  A giant thank you from our little Mini club goes out to Jayme Stocker.  Nearly 40 members and friends attended the advance screening of FORD v FERRARI and it was the brain child of  Jayme.  Thanks also to Colin Sauer who helped organize the event.  Following are a few thoughts from those who attended: 

That was super fun! Thanks for putting it together. Caroline and I had a great time. She  was “very impressed with how much story telling was done with the driving scenes”.  -Andrew Hou

The movie’s focus on how the long-time friendship of these two men managed to survive the cut-throat nature of corporate sponsorship in racing is an excellent commentary about what really matters in life.  Those speed runs with the GT 40 sure did get the blood pumping! Best regards!  -Mark Hurston


I thought it was pretty damn cool. I texted Colin to thank him and Jayme. Colin mentioned it’s also in imax. I may think about seeing it again. I especially liked Christian Bale as Ken Miles. Also a lot more plot complexity than I anticipated. All in all, very enjoyable.  -Bill Wecker

The movie was all I hoped it would be.  Until Wednesday night Leman’s with Steve McQueen was the top racing movie for me.  FvF just pushed it to 2nd place. The GT40 was the greatest car of it’s day and still is an icon.  The story was informative and enlightening.  The acting was superb.  I will watch it again and again. Thanks so much. –Michael Prezbindowski


Bill and I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. What excitement! Unbelievable scenes and wonderful portrayal of Shelby and Miles. It really caught their extraordinary talent. What legends! Very fun being with my fellow SAMOA club members knowing we weren’t the only ones sitting on the edge of our seats. Thank you so much! -Bill and Glenda Larson

I thought it was an enjoyable adventure movie by concentrating on a minor part of the entire story – the relationship between Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles.  I was disappointed that the GT40 just appeared in the movie with no story of its development. I suppose Lola’s heavy involvement would have obscured Ford’s actual minor part in its design. Overall, I would recommend this movie to both car and non-car people as the audio/visual effects were impressive and Bale and Damon did admirable, though not entirely accurate portrayals. I was skeptical of Damon portraying Shelby, especially considering their height differences but he managed to convey a little Shelby swagger. Put these effects into Steve McQueen’s LeMans and you’d really have something.  -George Ramey

We really enjoyed the movie and the company.  It reminded me of movie night meetings down at Chuck’s place when SAMOA would meet up there.  The movie was about a part of history I didn’t have much knowledge of, so yesterday I spent time learning more about Ken Miles’ life and contributions to motor sport. I learned he had already established himself as a winning driver and design engineer long before the FORD v FERRARI happenings. With Cheers,  -George  Barrett

I was hoping for a Carroll Shelby character who was more like the real Carroll Shelby, both in appearance and personality.  Otherwise, the movie brought back a lot of emotions and really got the old heart pumping.  -Ed Sauer

I loved the film!!!…..recommending it to everyone …especially NON motorheads…..I think it’s got something for everybody, all wrapped up in a suspenseful, entertaining, and exciting true story…..I’ll see it again….THANKS  -Gordon Smith



Terry is gone but not forgotten


Seattle, WA Oct 20, 2019 – Sadly, I need to inform you that Terry Parkhurst, a member of  the Seattle Area Mini Owners Association passed away on Sunday, September 22, 2019.  He was 69 years old.  As you know, Terry’s health had been failing in the past year.  He died of natural causes, likely, heart failure. A memorial for Terry was held at Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church on Saturday, Oct 19 at 11am, 111 NE 80th Street, Seattle.  – Will Lewis, Saint Andrew’s Church



Large or small, no ethanol

by Andrew Bertschi

Seattle, WA Oct 16, 2019 –  On Sunday I had the chance to drive one…Yep, really…

As you can see, the thing is frickin HUGE… as big as a full size SUV.

Given how much I’ve been working of late, the Mini has sat the past few months.  This past Sunday I had a day off and as it was dry, decided to take it out a bit.  After doing so I stopped at Spirit on 35th to refill and this Cadillac was doing the same.  I chatted with the owner for at least 15-20 minutes and then, after filling my car up, he came over and asked if I wanted to drive the Cadillac?  How does a certified gearhead reply to that other than saying.. “You sure about that”…?    So I did…

Driving it makes any modern car, even a 50+ year old Mini, seem quite easy to drive.

It is a 1924 Cadillac V-63, has an 80-odd HP   L-head V-8 (with factory dual exhaust), rod-actuated drum brakes (who needs hydraulics..?) and a 3 speed non-synchronized transmission. It also doesn’t have power steering but does have electric start (a 6 volt system).  Shifting requires a lot of concentration as it is very heavy and sort of vague (pedal and gear lever location ‘normal’ though).  Double clutching is needed each and every time you shift.  The engine revs quite low (maybe a 2500-3000rpm redline?) and instead is all about smooth, effortless torque so you literally leave it in 3rd until you are at about 5mph before you put it in neutral.


 Per the owner, Carl, a ‘comfortable’ cruising speed on level ground is about 35 mph..  and it’ll top out around 50 or so.   This car is unrestored (other than a repaint in the original color many decades ago) and has 63,000 original miles.  It was sold new in NY state, then spent time in PA and  later OH.  The current owner has had it for about 20 years and has another very similar one (a 1927 model).


Bite of Broadview car show and fall festival

A nice little group of Minis at the Bite of Broadview. From left to right is Ed Sauer’s Riley Elf, Gordon Smith’s Austin Countryman, Bill Wecker’s MkI Cooper S, Joe Monda’s New Zealand Van and Marian Boelter and Don Dixon’s Tartan Mini.  -John Maloney photo

Seattle, WA Sept 28, 2019 – We don’t go to these car shows with the intention of winning a prize.  We do it for the chance to meet people, enjoy the other cars on display and in this case, to eventually enjoy some beautiful fall weather.

Bill Wecker and his 1st place trophy from the Bite of Broadview car show. -Ed Sauer photo

The key word is eventually.  Eventually, the clouds lifted, the rain stopped and it turned into a lovely day.

Five classic Minis were on display and of those Minis, Bill Wecker’s MkI Austin Cooper S was chosen by the BOB judges as the top car of the entire show!  Doing all of the work himself, Bill has been upgrading and restoring his Mini for a few years now and it was great to see him rewarded for his efforts.

Though the number of car entries was a little down, the number of neighborhood attendees wasn’t, at this 37th running of the 3-day Bite of Broadview (to benefit Christ the King School) featuring not only the car show but also food booths, carnival rides, craft booths, live music, and a beer garden.  See you next year?     -Ed Sauer


Key pieces of Mini history find a new home on the East Coast

Renton, WA Sept 25, 2019 –  Danged if he didn’t sell them – Chuck Heleker has sold his very-rare 1965 Heinz Wolseley Hornet cabriolet and his ultra-rare 1964 Angus Firefly Mini fire truck, two of the six Minis that have recently been for sale and part of his total collection which Chuck has always referred to his as his 401k.

The tandem trailer was much too long to navigate the steep driveway to Heleker’s garage so ropes were used to pull the Minis up to the street.  -Michael Palmer photo

The “Heinz Hornet” is one of 57 built as grand prizes in a 1960s nation-wide contest in the United Kingdom.  The Mini Pickup-based Angus Firefly is one of just two ever produced.   It helped provide fire protection on the grounds of a large British hospital.

On Wednesday, Sept. 25, A tandem trailer pulled up in front of Chuck’s house.  Both Minis were then loaded for the trip to the new owner’s homes.

Mark and Sarah Caldwell are the new owners of the fire truck and John Childress bought the Hornet.  The three teamed up to do the driving on the 6,464 mile trip!  You see, Mark and Sarah live in Virginia and John in Tennessee.

SAMOA members Kelley Mascher, Michael Palmer, and George Thompson helped out with a lot of pushing Minis around and rope-towing the Minis up Chuck’s steep driveway to the street where the trailer was waiting.

A rest stop on the long journey home.  – Mark Caldwell photo

Still for sale at this time is an all-original and unrestored 1967 Riley Elf MkIII (with 11,000 original miles on the odometer) and, the cream of the crop, a fully restored and original 1968 MkII Morris Cooper S Liverpool Police Car.  Chuck has yet to actively advertise these cars but word of mouth seems to be working just fine.



Mini 60th celebration takes over Portland ABFM

Minis of Marian Boelter (left) and Priscilla Woods (center) look right at home together.

Portland, OR, Sept 6, 2019 –  How many Minis were at the 2019 Portland All British Field Meet?  So many that, except for a few other British cars that also showed up (well, actually several hundred), it seemed at times more like a Mini Meet than an ABFM.  There were so many classic Minis they simply dominated the event.

Stuck in the middle of Minis are Toby May’s checkerboard-roofed late model next to Chris Wendt’s blue over white Mini.  Chris couldn’t resist the very nice and very original woody he found for sale.  Not sure how he’s getting it home.

Just before lunch on Saturday, a quick trip was made around the expansive facility in an attempt to count the Minis present.  With Minis coming and going it was a bit like counting the largest litter of kittens.  On display were roughly 97 though some had left by then to compete in the auto-slalom.  More Minis were scattered amongst the other car marques and another 18 Minis were displayed in the “Town Square.”  And don’t forget those 25 or more race Minis gathered in the pits.  That worked out to over 140 classic Minis!  A record no doubt for the Pacific Northwest, maybe the West Coast, or how about North America?!

Just one of the seven rows of Minis on display.  Mark Hurston’s van refuses to blend in with the crowd.

SAMOA was well represented by 31 members:  Carl Barfield-George Barrett-Dan Berglund-Greg Birch-Ben Compton-Glenny Compton-Dean Cook-Don Dixon-Marian Boelter-Steve Gay-Elliott Holt-Mark Hurston-AJ Johnston-Joan Larsen-Peter Larsen-Dave Linden-Lois Ludwig-Steve Ludwig-Toby May-Char Miller-Chris Miller-Jerry Miller-Ed Sauer-Alan Smith-Gregg Temkin-James Thompson-Jeff Van Hurston-Bill Wecker-Chris Wendt-Priscilla Woods-Paul Woods. Also on hand former SAMOAns,  Jim Blackwell-Tim Corbett-Matt Fast-Rodger Soucy-Joe Stone.

There must be other SAMOAns who were there.  If one of those is you or if you know of someone else who was there please let me know so they can be added.  –ed

Greg Birch proudly displayed SAMOA for the very successful debut of his new race Mini.  There were a few teething pains (no pun intended), as there usually are with a new race car, but Greg finished all four sessions.  Across the way, Rodger Soucy and Jeff Doan work on Rodger’s #155.  This was the final stop on his 2019 cross-country race trip with prior stops including COTA in Austin and the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

And it was likewise for the annual SOVREN Columbia River Classic vintage sports car races taking place in conjunction with the ABFM.  Arrangements had been made for a race for vintage race Minis only.  Twenty five showed up from all over the USA and Canada and put on a show that was tremendous fun.  Is it just me or do these Minis seemed much faster than they did back in the day?  SAMOA was represented by two current members, AJ Johnston and Greg Birch and Rodger Soucy, a former club president, who towed his Mini from Springtown, Texas to compete with fellow Mini racers.

There was chaos when the Minis were on the track but surprising calm when they were in the pits.  A well prepared bunch of Minis.

The weather was unsettled all weekend for the four Mini track sessions scheduled with a practice/qualifying session and a heat race on Saturday, another heat race Sunday morning and a feature race in the afternoon.  Somehow, the track managed to be dry for all four and spectacular Mini racing was the result.  Considering the shaky reputation that turn one has, and as close as the racing was it is surprising there were no crashes in turn one (Indycar racers take note).  A testament to the talent of these Mini racers.

Turn one of the first race on Saturday and the first half of the pack have made it through turn one in one piece.

The unsettled weather from Saturday continued on Sunday which put a real damper on the Swap Meet but somehow, the track managed to stay dry for the second of the three scheduled Mini races.  A brief rain shower followed but once again, there was just enough time for the track to dry for the final Mini FEATURE RACE.   Rain drops started falling as the checkered flag fell.

Dark clouds lurk while Minis complete the pace lap of the Feature Race.  At the front of the lead pack, the “Monte Mini” driven by Dennis Racine obscures the view of pole setter Geoff Tupholme.

Upon returning to the hotel we were greeted by an alert broadcast on TV.  A tornado alert no less.  This was not a test!  Tornado activity had been seen in the vicinity!  Details followed about two small tornados that had touched down in the Vancouver area, just a few miles to the north, across the Columbia from the race track.  Just one more bit of excitement to make the weekend all the more overwhelming.   – Ed Sauer

More Portland ABFM results:  Chris Wendt (left) was so turned on by the Portland event that he bought another Mini while he was there, an amazingly original Austin Countryman, and not only that, he drove it to the next meeting, in Seattle from his home in Graham, in the rain, barely a week after the ABFM. George Barrett offers congratulations on all the above.  -Brian Slominski photo


Mini’s 60th birthday party

Bothell, WA, Aug 26, 2019 –  The first Mini rolled off the assembly line on August 26, 1959 so it was decided that SAMOA should hold a 60th birthday party at Burgermaster-Bothell.  Small but enthusiastic.  An apt description of the Mini as well as the crowd that gathered to celebrate said party.


Three Minis and a Bini plus a couple of die-hards (bless them) whose Minis were in the shop.  Mark Hurston, Jeff Van Hurston, Ed Sauer, George Barrett and Chase Maben.  Are you kidding?  Where was everybody else?  Was it grid lock?  Gone somewhere else on vacation?  Still, it was a glorious, late-summer day and it wasn’t like we had to drive 100 miles to get there.  (Hint: when the freeway’s jammed, take the back roads….sorry, rant over)


But we had fun regardless. A step above good drive-in food to go with the old fashioned curb service (!), plenty of interested passers by, including one sight-impaired gentleman, who wanted to know about the Minis and topping off the evening was a dynamite blues-harmonica version of “Happy Birthday” performed by Jeff.  Closing the festivities at sunset was an awesome fly-over of about two million crows on the way to their evening hangout between UW Bothell and I-405.

See you at Mini 70.  -Ed Sauer



Vashon rewards for those who endure the early rain

At Jensen Point (named for Oly?), time for leg stretching and notes comparing.  – Joan Larsen photo

Vashon Island, WA Aug 10, 2019 –  It was t-shirt weather. Not a trace of rain.  A stark contrast to the driving rain we had endured just minutes earlier all the way to the Fauntleroy ferry.  Maybe that’s why there were only nine Minis on the 2019 version of the Bash on Vashon.  It was a shame so many missed this wonderful event.

For Toby, the tour started early as he disembarked the Fauntleroy ferry and drove straight from the north end of the island to Tahlequah on the south end to pickup his sister, Gyda, who had walked aboard the ferry from Tacoma.  Phil and Wendy arrived from Whidbey Island via the ferry to Port Townsend and then the ferry from Southworth to Vashon.  SAMOA really knows how to get around the Sound.

Parked for a chance to view Mt. Rainier at Maury Island Marine Park.  Alas, the mountain was in hiding.
A quintet of Minis.  Phil and Wendy’s unique, though no longer mysterious early/late (or is it late/early model), Oly’s Mini 40, Ed’s Elf, James’ Countryman and Moshi mit the Mays.

We were greeted at The Roasterie by Peter and Joan with luscious locally-made cinnamon rolls, assorted donuts and strong, fresh-brewed French roast then it was off on the tour.  Not sure where all the traffic was but it wasn’t where we were.  The roads were clear and even the many resident deer managed to stay off our route.  Though it was partly cloudy there was still plenty of beautiful scenery.

Looking unsuccessfully for Mt. Rainier.

The lunch stop was at the neighborhood joint, Rock Island Pizza, consisting of freshly-tossed salad and a variety of pizzas, all courtesy of our wonderful club.

Don and Marian’s lovely Mini Tartan and Peter and Joan’s very stylish Innocenti.                                      – Joan Larsen photo

Our ferry-catching luck held.  Refusing to check the schedule for the return trip, we just headed north and barely waited in line for a minute – wound up the second from the last car on the boat.


As far as the eye can see

Major Mini turnout at the Western Washington ABFM

One whole corner of the park was full of 32 Minis backed up by the SAMOA REGALIA booth.
Rowly and Sue Stow greeted the many spectators with very cool Mini swag for a good cause.
The line of Minis stretched for…….a long ways.
This “Mini Taxi” owned by Jim Maynus won the “Kid’s Popularity Award”  – For the entire meet, not just for Minis.  A huge honor.  Jim also owns the “stretch limo” Mini that was at last years event.
Too many Minis to fit so a second row was started.

Here are the Mini class awards as voted on by non-Mini owner entrants of the ABFM:

MI-01   MkI/MkII – 1st, 1971 Mini MkII “Taxi”, Jim Maynus.  2nd, 1963 Mini Countryman, James Dawson.  3rd, 1967 Austin Cooper S, Steve Gay.

MI-02    MkIII through MkVII  –  1st, 1973 Mini Mk III, Phil Wright.  2nd, 1998 Mini Mk VII, Brian P. Faucett.  3rd, 1995 Mini MkVII, Dallas and Judy Meggitt.

MI-03   Variants  –  1st, 1976 Mini Pickup, Chase Maben.  2nd, 1972 Mini Cabriolet, Mitch Hansen.  3rd – 1979 Mini Pickup, Carrera Halwachs.

Mini entries in the order they were in on the field:

– Mark Hurston photos

Carrera Halwachs
Dave Linden
Mark Hurston
Chase Maben
Mitch Hansen
Mitch Hansen
Ed Sauer
James Dawson
Jeff Van Hurston
George Thompson
Toby May
Rowly Stow
Phil Wright
Ashley Ortakales
Dallas Meggit
Brian Fawcett
Peter Newnham
Michael O’Leary
Chris Miller
Dan Birkemeier
Steve Gay
Steve Ludwig
Don Dixon
Ted Atkins
Steve Clarke
Chris Papendorf
Jim Maynus
Priscilla Woods
Andrew Bertschi
Jerry Cloft
Brad Boswell
Carrera Halwachs


Rendezvous in the Rockies

Mini Meet East meets West – 60th Anniversary

by Karen May

Since last year, the May family was looking forward to a road trip and
an adventure in Snowmass Village, Colorado in June of 2019. Two drivers?
No problem – Tobias has two Minis – he and Gyda would take the classic
Mini, and Larry and Karen would follow in the Bini (with air
conditioning). I love Colorado, and Snowmass Village Resort sounded to
me like a romantic getaway, so I could hardly wait.

As the date arrived, plans changed. One week before the trip, Larry was
assigned to Las Vegas June 25th and 26th for business. Then there were
three… who decided to take the classic Mini, with less luggage and one

Those are bugs on the windshield of Toby’s Mini.   -photo by Gyda May

Early Sunday morning, June 23rd, Tobias picked up Gyda and me in
Tacoma, and we headed south: I-5, then 205, then on 84 into the Gorge
(where the 2018 Mini Meet West was held) and southeast to Boise, ID
where we stayed and escaped the heat overnight. The next morning, we
left for Utah, which had many bridges, with a bump at each end, which
scraped due to a passenger in the back and the car being
adjusted too low. After a long trip, we were in Colorado in the dark
late at night, and started winding up through the woods, with signs
warning “wilderness area” and anticipating deer. At 11:30 p.m. we
arrived at the Westin Snowmass Resort. What’s this? Watching us, the
magnificent Mr. Fox! I will never forget that beautiful red-orange body
and fluffy tail, completely at home in the shadows. When we checked in
and asked about the fox, the clerk said “Did he have black legs? That’s
our resident fox.”

Tobias got up early Tuesday a.m. for the Show and Shine, and his
passengers slept in. Such luxury: robes, toiletries including lavender balm to calm
the senses in the high Rockies – even a knock on our door to ask if we wanted
complimentary coffee. After noon, we took the shuttle to the Show and
Shine. Almost 100 Minis were there,including several Binis. We saw
Michael Slominski, Brian’s father, and his wife and
their friends, Nate Kulpa of Wild Child Classic Cars and his wife. We
met a couple with a Moke licensed in Tennessee. He had driven it from Florida (she took a plane). Jerry Miller was there, and Bruno dropped by briefly. Tobias
managed to fix his Mini that day with the loan of tools from Crazy Mike
(and his wife). Everyone stood on the grass while an aerial photo was
taken of them – and their Minis – by a drone.

Wednesday, June 26th, we drove to the Funkhana which used one Mini
where participants took turns trying to drive it, turning left to make
it go right, and vice versa.  Not very fast though, because it was “people powered” by volunteers pushing.

Then there was the autocross, with a diverse field of Minis, including a
blue truck driven by Don Racine’s daughter, Mini Me (no pun intended).
Exciting course, especially when the “downsized” Mini driven by its tall
owner zipped by. And then Crazy Mike got in it – jerk to the right, then
left, a big grin on his face the entire time. Gyda even took some

Many events were going on, including tours up the mountains – 12,500
ft. above sea level – 14,000 ft. – No thanks, Snowmass (8,200) is high
enough for us. We three opted for the talks by Don Racine and two others
– Vintage Racing, Souped up Minis and two pals sharing Minis on road
trips. Fun stuff!

Pizza for our last night? Just take a gondola downhill from the Mall to
the Base.  What? Jump on the moving bubble and sit as it jerks downward. Despite my
fear of heights, I survived. Once down, we had dinner and looked in
shops as I tried to stall. As it was getting dark, we had to go back up
in the gondola, no choice… Then an angel appeared – “Fear of heights?
Shall I slow it down?” Who knew? A nice slow ride back up, with no

Each entrant received a stunning souvenir photo.

Thursday morning we checked out, and Tobias offered to donate any
prizes he won, since we would miss the awards banquet. “No, these are
yours, so take them now.”  One of the prizes was a nice blanket. He was very happy to take them.

The trip home was pleasant, with nice weather, overnight in Boise, and
west to Hwy. 15 north and through the Gorge to I-5 and north to Tacoma.
It took more time since every stop had fans who loved the car and had to
converse. We got home Friday evening, and Tobias made it to the
Greenwood car show on Saturday, June 29th.


A long day’s journey into Colorado

Story and photos 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.  Beautiful 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


I 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.

When Cars Beckon – Can-Am Mini Challenge 2017

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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