June 27, 2013  •  2 Comments
MINI maniac manifesto...

How it all started?

Me being a kid that used to play with die cast cars almost exclusively, one car had to be a favorite. It was sort of a soul searching: Tornado, Capri, Land Rover,... And ended up on Mini. Corgy Toys white Mini with black bonnet and boot. That was the one!

Fast forward to young manhood and wanting to get my first car. It just happened to be a Mini again. Old beaten up rust bucket that I got from my future brother in law, for the exact money I saved to get a new Canon F-1.  I got it painted (in a barn), had it fixed up. And she was a beauty. My first of several Minis I had...

Fast forward to XXI century: New MINI become a reality and every day normal thing on the roads all over the world. MINI brand was reborn, and I was lucky enough to enjoy it as well. The new MINI is everything the old was and then some: it is stylish, it looks like the old one, and it is as spoiled and temperamental as the classic Mini was. 

I won't go in to details about handling, suspension, wheels on the corners, turbo this, supercharger that, bla, bla, bla,... You  can read about it on any MINI forum. To accompany my photos, I will try to explain the obsession with MINI...

Classic Mini was genuine. Planned as something really minimal, it became so much more than that. The new car continues on the same path, of course adopted for the today's market demands. But, for me the MINI I drive is more than 4 wheels...

After a frustrating day or a hard shoot at the location, or a grueling trip or spending a day behind the camera shooting boring corporate subjects, my mental relaxation is a proper wash and detailing of my Clubman. A hose, bucket, a car... Works for me.

Baseball or hockey games don't work for me. A drive in my MINI to Water Plant at the Beach in Toronto (and back) does the trick. Very well. I usually run in to a person or two who want to find out more about the car, or just it happens that they have one as well. Classic or new one. Does not matter to me. As long as it's mini...

Personalizing the ride. MINI is made for that. There is a cliché line about that there are no two MINIs alike on the roads. That is so true. I don't think I ever seen 2011 Clubman S in white silver that looks the same as mine. I do remember that at the same time I got my MINI, there was another lucky guy in Leslieville that got the same "Soho edition" package as mine. On the dealer's lot, our two MINIs were the same. But, they left the lot... And with in few months, both cars "morphed" in to something else. Then, they were different. In any of the meets of MINI owners (being that our local Toronto crew, or Southern Ontario members or even MINI invasion organized by MINI Canada) I never saw two identical MINIs...

Going back to people I met with MINI. The clubbers! The crazies just like I am. The MINI army. Those are the people who get upset when another MINI passes by and the driver does not wave back. Those are the geeks that know what "boot" and "bonnet" are. Those are the ones that can get really heated up on a simple question: run flat tires or NON run flat tires on MINI. Yes, I was lucky enough to meet quite a few of them in the years I drive MINI and have joined SOMC (Southern Ontario MINI Club) and TMC (Toronto MINI Club). We all try to "fight the beast" of hectic living in big North American city and try to get together as much as we can to drive together our cars and "shoot the shit" about our cars or what ever else...

Accompanying images in this blog post were made during one evening like that in early June of 2013. Just by checking the "mug shot" of "prime suspects", you can get the picture who are the people driving MINIs today in Toronto. 

We are all colors, all nationalities, all professional backgrounds. All of us have a huge reason for driving exactly this car. And when we find time to meet, being that a nice cruise outside the city to vintage British car market or laying down the twisties in Muskoka on a Rattler or just a sit down for a good bite, or as of lately the evening convoy to ERTEFA in Woodbridge... We always have a great time. What else is there to ask for?



A Serbian BBQ, of course! But, we got that on our last "MEET, DRIVE, MEAT" event at Royal Meats in Etobicoke (above picture to prove it).


Thank you, Sir Alec Issigonis. Where ever you parked your Mini...





john heaney(non-registered)
hi Steven
your Mini cooper clubman is cool looking car really like the style of wheels and the black paint job just behind front wheels really sets it offf
Jedna Chwila(non-registered)
Oh! Mini maniac! cool photos! & of course, so nice cars!
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