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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!!
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
St. Helens and the Seven Dwarfs
by Jerry Miller
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
MINI HEAT WEST 2022
(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!
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
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!
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.
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.
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
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; foodlifeline.org or phone them on 206-545-6600. Thank you, commercial over). – text and photos by Mark Hurston except where otherwise noted
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.
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.
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)
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
- Toby May 90 Rover Mini Cooper
- Dave Anderson (guest Libby) 95 Cooper S
- Chris Wendt 92 Morris MkIV
- George Barrett 96 Rover Cabriolet
- George Thompson 76 Morris 1000 (in “Pimento”)
- Ted Atkins 63 Austin “Cooper” (works replica project owned since 1999 finished to sell in last 9 months — James Thompson had an interested buyer)
- Dean Cook 68 Morris Cooper
- Rowly Stow 89 Rover Mini MkV
- Tim Boyd 72 NZ 1000
- Andrew Bertschi 68 MkII
- Don Dixon Old Paint
- Ryan Love (guests Lisa Love & family) 61 Austin Seven w/ super power kit and intentionally oxidized paint
- Chris Miller 64 Austin Cooper S 1071
- Steve Gay 67 Austin S
- Kelley Mascher Orange Mini
- Jeff Van Hurston 88 Mary Quant Cabrio
- Glenda Larson 90 Rover Mini
- Dan Berglund 65 Mini Moke
- James Thompson 96 Rover Mayfair
- Jerry Miller 74 Austin (Blue Tick)
- Maura Wattam 89 Midnight Blue 30th Anniversary
Michael O’Leary (last minute show – didn’t bring his Mini)
30th Greenwood Car Show, June 25, 2022
A beautiful day for a Bash on Vashon
BACK TO VAN DUSEN FOR 2022 ABFM
by George Barrett
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
PEOPLES CHOICE AWARDS
1ST ‘63 Mini Traveller Lorraine Mihalik
2nd ‘68 Mini MkII Dean Cook
3rd ‘63 Austin Cooper Steve Ludwig
1st ’91 Mini MkVI Timothy Pearce
2nd ’96 Rover Tartan Kerrie McLaughlin
3rd ’90 Mainstream Cooper Toby May
1st ’63 Riley Elf MkII Ed Sauer
2nd ’72 Innocenti MkIII Peter Larsen
3rd ’76 Leyland Clubman Mark and Suzie Hurston
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.
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.
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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NBZ4eM7gE0
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 olgastore.org have their way. The old place looks like a Mini repair facility to me, but then what doesn’t?
–Don and Marian with Felix and Bruno, 10/2020
Where once SAMOA met and played
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.
Maybe you can find the episode and install it (or a link) on our site. It sounds cool.
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.
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
2020 White Elephant Auction and slot car races
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
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.
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 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.
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
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…
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…
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
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.
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 “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.
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
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.
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?!
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
On and off the track at SOVREN’s premier vintage race, July 5-7
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.
Great Greenwood Gathering
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!
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.
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
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.
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.)
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 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.
This just in
Do you know your neighbors?
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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).
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
BASH ON VASHON
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
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.
BRITISH-ONLY CARS AND COFFEE AT THE SHOP
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.
30TH ANNUAL WESTERN WASHINGTON ALL BRITISH FIELD MEET
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.
It was nice that the majority of Minis in attendance got trophies (go here for results – http://wwabfm.com/2018-award-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.
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.
THE TOM STEWART MEMORIAL VASHON-MAURY ISLAND STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL CLASSIC CAR PARADE
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!
MINI MEET WEST AT HOOD RIVER OREGON
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.
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: http://www.minimeetwest.com/2018/
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.
OUT AND ABOUT
NW HISTORICS AT PACIFIC RACEWAYS
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.
SAMOA AT VANCOUVER ABFM 2018
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
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.
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
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.
Very 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.
From there it was about lunchtime so we stopped at Hama Hama Oyster Saloon for some Oysters (obviously) and a pint or 2.
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.
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!
………….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
It was cold. It was wet.
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
NOT SO RECENT BUT A GREAT EVENT
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
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.
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.
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