Minis tiptoe through the tulips
Bruno Billiet reports:
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 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 7o 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 met 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.
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