November 2017

[1-Nov_17_Winners_Circle.jpg] In the Winners’ Circle at the Glen.
Photo by Barbara Newman

The MINI JCW Team’s 2017 Season
by Dave Newman

Barbara and I are big fans of the MINI John Cooper Works Racing Team, owned by LAP Motorsports (founded by Luis Perocarpi) and sponsored by MINI USA and others. The team has been competing the last two and a half seasons in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge in the ST class, which is short for “Street Tuner” and basically means that the race cars are MINI JCW cars like ones you can buy in the showroom, with limited modifications. They compete against Porsche Caymans, Mazda MX-5s, BMW 3 Series, Audi A3s and Nissans.

The races also have a larger and faster car class on the track at the same time called GS, for “Grand Sport.” It makes for some exciting and close racing.

In 2017 there were ten races. Barbara and I traveled to three together and I went to the Lime Rock race alone.

The MINI team runs three cars, numbers 37, 52 and 73. Most races are two hours long, with two of the series being four hours long. Two drivers are required and each must be in the car for at least 45 minutes. Races were held in 2017 at Daytona, Sebring, COTA (Texas), Watkins Glen, Mosport, Lime Rock, Road America, Virginia International Raceway (VIR), Mazda Raceway (Laguna Seca), and Road Atlanta.

At the end of the series, which was very close, the #73 car team, Mat Pombo and Derek Jones, came in 4th in the championship, the #37 team 11th and the #52 team 16th overall.

The Manufacturers’ Championship showed MINI in 4th place, an outcome not without controversy. The Road Atlanta race originally ended with the #73 MINI in 3rd place, but an IMSA caution ruling dropped them to 4th. This also changed the close Manufacturers’ series from 3rd to 4th for MINI, an unexpected disappointment.

But overall it was a good season for the JCW team, which is like a big, friendly family. And they have the most fans in their paddock compared to the other teams. At the races we attended, more MINI fans visited the JCW team than fans of other cars.

The season highlights started with the opening race at Daytona, with MINI #73 in 1st place. At Watkins Glen, the first race we attended, #73 car came in 1st, #52 2nd and #37 car 5th. With two cars on the podium, the MINI fans went wild and Barbara and I were in the Winners’ Circle to be sprayed with champagne by team owner Luis Perocarpi. What a great time!

The following week we traveled to Canada to watch the team compete at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, also known as Mosport. Number 37 car came in 3rd, for another podium and champagne. The MINI fans were the loudest and most numerous of any team supporters by far.

I went to the Lime Rock race by myself as Barbara was tied up. MINI had a “car corral” for MINI owners with prime seating trackside for lawn chairs. They teamed up with a local MINI dealer and provided a breakfast and lunch tent.

We skipped the next three races in Wisconsin, Virginia and California, but wanted to be at Road Atlanta for the final race, so we flew down for it.

November 2017

[2-Nov_17_Barbara_Salinsky.jpg] Driver Jay Salinsky with a fan (Barbara Newman).
Photo by Dave Newman

At the IMSA races, the paddock areas, which house the team “garages” (prep areas), are open to fans. Cars line up in the pits right before the race, which are open for a “fan walk.” This gives fans an intimate peek behind the scenes, a chance to meet the teams and drivers, and an opportunity to watch the cars being worked on.

Tonine McGarvie, from MINI-USA, has a “meet and greet” in the paddock at each race. There are prizes, including a drawing for a “hot lap.” (The manufacturers each have a car on track to give rides.) I was lucky enough to win a hot lap at Road Atlanta, driven by Luis in a street-modified MINI JCW. MINIs are fast! Barbara and I have also won some of the raffle prizes.

The MINI team and sponsors are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet, and the drivers take the time to speak with you. Barb and I have been invited to have lunch at the paddock and were at the barbecue the night before the Road Atlanta race, put on by Katherine and Mike from a sponsor, Steady Returns. You might catch their green turtle logo on the door of the #52 car in pictures we have posted on-line. Nice people.

The MINI JCW Team has had some problems and setbacks, which they have overcome. Next season they will have a car in the TCR class, a new class IMSA is adding to the races, made to European Touring Car standards. It may be a MINI Clubman, and should be even faster than the ST class of cars. More information will be provided in the off-season.

Barbara and I highly recommend that MINI fans watch all the races on the IMSA app or on FS1 cable, and attend as many races as possible in person. They are huge fun and the team is great to meet.

We want to give a big thanks to Luis and Wendy Perocarpi, Rob Ridgely, Tonine McGarvie, drivers Derek Jones, Mat Pombo, Mark Pombo, Mike LaMarra, James Vance, Jay Salinsky and Nate Norenberg, along with Christine Salinsky, Mr. and Mrs. Pombo, and all the other team members and the many technicians from MINI dealers near each track who volunteered via the Service Tech Education Training Program (STEP). Come to a race, you will love it. Go, MINI, and as they always say, #LetsDoThis!

November 2017

[3-Nov_17_Oh_Look.jpg] Ooh, look at that! (Scene from a typical NEMO Yankee Swap.)
Photo by Robert Izzo

NEMO Holiday Party Dec. 2!
by David Schwartz &
Dave Newman

The NEMO Holiday Party will be held at La Cantina Italiana in Framingham, Mass., on Saturday, December 2nd, from 12 noon to 4 p.m.

La Cantina is a family-style Italian restaurant and has been in business since 1946. The member cost will be $15 with the club making up the difference. (If your membership has lapsed you can renew at the Party at the six-month rate of $10.)

We need a head count by November 17th. A reminder evite will be sent to the NEMO e-mail list. RSVP to the evite or by contacting me directly, dschwartz1957@gmail.com or (508) 561-3462. Let me know how many people will be attending, the ages of any children you are bringing, and whether you have any dietary restrictions.

We will be holding a Yankee Swap, so plan to bring a wrapped gift. A Yankee Swap means that someone else may take your gift when it is their turn to pick. Warn your kids so they don’t get upset if this happens!

Our Holiday Party is one of our more popular events every year. Hope to see you there!

Directions — It’s La Cantina Italiana, 911 Waverly St., Framingham, MA 01702, (508) 879-7874. Take I-90 (Mass. Turnpike) to Exit 12. Bear right on the ramp and follows signs toward Framingham. Merge onto Rt. 9 East (Worcester Road).

Follow Rt. 9 for about 1.8 miles. You will pass Dunkin’ Donuts followed by Samba Steak & Sushi. Immediately after Samba, take a sharp right onto Winter Street. Follow Winter Street about 1.8 miles.

Due to a construction detour your GPS probably doesn’t know about, turn left onto Fountain Street. After 0.5 miles, Fountain Street curves right and crosses railroad tracks. At the traffic light, take a sharp right onto Waverly Street (Rt. 135). After 0.7 miles La Cantina will be on the right. There is parking behind the restaurant and a large lot just past La Cantina on the left. —DS

Newman’s guide to the Yankee Swap

As most NEMO members know by now, the famous Holiday Party only happens once each year. As such, we need to make it a big one! And for anyone who has been there in the past, the high point is always the Yankee Swap. Our usual rules, not adjusted for inflation, recession, depreciation or global warming, ask that gifts subjected to the swap not exceed a value of $25. And for those attending from Canada, that means US dollars, not those depreciated ones with the Queen on them.

Anyway, I encourage all members attending to take the time to select a gift that will be wanted by all others. You know the one, the one that everyone wants and makes the rounds, passing from hand to hand, until the lucky person who picked first has the last choice of taking the popular gift away from the poor sod who was holding it — or feeling sorry and just taking the last surprise off of the table. Usually that’s something like a used horse blanket.

My daughter Christa used to try various things to hide “the gift” if she ever got her hands on it: hiding it under the table and looking out the window, walking off to the ladies room with it until the Swap was over, or, when she was really young, looking like a little kid who would be horrified if you took it away. All worked well for a while. But she found out fast that the “poor little kid” thing didn’t work with any member who lives within 1,000 miles of the venue. After that she adopted other methods.

So put some effort into picking your gift and let’s get some enjoyment out of the NEMO Holiday Party. In other words, no picking up a gift at Walgreen’s or the gas station on the way there because you forgot. —DN





October 2017

[1-Oct_17_DaveO.jpg] Dave Oliveira, ready to race.
Photo by Steve Hewitt

A MINI at the SCCA Regionals
by Steve Hewett

LOUDON, N.H., Aug. 5-6 — Dave Oliveira drove his 2008 MINI Cooper to 3rd place in its debut outing this weekend in the SCCA New England Road Racing Championship at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Our team name, G.A.B.B. Racing, was inspired by Dave’s German and Brazilian heritage, American home and British car. As a MINI tech, Dave’s professional life is spent working on MINI Coopers. When a co-worker’s 2008 R56 was totaled, he saw an opportunity to build a racecar when everyone else saw a parts car.

Rebuilding the MINI and resolving its issues (it was a high-mileage car) were within the realm of Dave’s experience. The greater challenge was navigating a more than 700-rule rulebook to ensure the transformed car would be allowed on the track.

Much of the work Dave did was to bring the car up to par and restore some of the horses that had left the stable. He picked the SCCA B-Spec class to keep the cost of competing low (an understatement, considering that the car was ready for pick-and-pull!). Dave incorporated numerous modifications, including mandatory safety equipment, donated Megan Racing coil-overs, used Hoosier race tires, a K&N intake, and an individual throttle body (ITB). With ITB, each cylinder gets its own butterfly valve regulating air intake, rather than all cylinders sharing one valve. He also removed the muffler and the A/C compressor.

This was a labor of love and the end result was a race-ready car. Although the car is “just a MINI Cooper,” Dave says, “it is plenty fast and handles like it’s on rails!”

Thunderstorms and rainbows greeted us for the MINI’s initial outing at the SCCA “Track Night in America” event at Thompson Speedway in Connecticut. Team resources were deep on enthusiasm and camaraderie, but didn’t include rain tires. Wet track testing on slicks made keeping the car on the pavement a critical challenge. Despite seeing other cars spinning off the course, Dave (and the MINI) came through unscathed and ready for the next milestone, competing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Meeting the challenge of operating a race team on a shoestring includes borrowing important items from family, friends and friends of friends. We scrambled to arrange for a tow vehicle and trailer just days before leaving for New Hampshire. We ultimately squeezed the MINI into a small enclosed trailer meant for hauling motorcycles and ATVs. Padding was necessary to prevent the trailer from scratching the car. As the MINI marketing slogan says, “not normal”!

The race weekend started and team members quickly focused on the tasks at hand. The first day was damp and difficult (shades of Thompson), but car and driver managed to stay out of trouble, even without rain tires! After qualifying, minor drama ensued when the race steward reported that the car was under weight. Filling the gas tank wasn’t enough, so the team brainstormed ideas and dashed to the city for supplies. We finalized the solution in the aisles of Walmart and Home Depot. Once back in the pits, we quickly mounted 40 lbs. of Gold’s Gym weights in the car. This resulted in thumbs up from the stewards.

The second day was much better, with dry weather, improved lap times, and a lot more confidence in both the car and the driver. Swarms of factory-spec Mazda Miatas jostled for position in the morning and afternoon races. The MINI managed to stay close to the pack and finished 3rd in class, behind two VW Golfs piloted by far more experienced drivers. Our team goal for the first race was to build some experience, gain seat time for Dave, and load an intact MINI into the trailer Sunday night. We achieved these objectives, to the joy and relief of all.

In the post-race, lessons-learned discussion, we noticed that competing drivers and teams were generous with their advice and goodwill. This trait is also common among MINI owners who wave to each other and are eager to chat over social media or in person. Other teams reached out to G.A.B.B. Racing, made us feel like part of the racing family, and contributed to a successful weekend of racing.

When Dave started his career as a mechanic working on tractors at farms in the US and Canada, racing was just something he dreamed about. Now Dave is the driver, manager, and chief mechanic of his own team. He is quick to point out that none of this would have been possible without the support of his wife, Amanda Oliveira, his friends, fellow enthusiasts Dave Blake and me, and the whole MINI community. Their willingness to help Dave achieve his racing dream left him with an appreciation that will outlast his MINI Cooper.

As Dave said, “We are very much ‘not normal’ and it’s been a blast getting the car ready and seeing it on the track.” To view race pictures and videos, search for g.a.b.b.racing on Facebook and Instagram. Go, MINI!

October 2017

[2-Oct_17_Newmans_Best_Attired_Couple.jpg] Dave and Barbara Newman at British Invasion.
Photo courtesy NEMO

First Photo from Stowe!

STOWE, Vt., Sept. 15-17 — NEMO members Dave and Barbara Newman were awarded a 1st in class for their MINI Van and were recognized as the Best Attired British Couple. Derick and Lorine Karabec — that’s Derick behind the Newmans — were awarded Most Colorful attire-wise, and also grabbed a 1st in class for their Wolesley Hornet.

October 2017

NEMO Calendar

October 6-8 — British Legends Weekend, hosted by the Cape Cod British Car Club (CCBCC), North Falmouth, Mass., www.capecodbritishcarclub.org.

October 8 — Kringle Cars & Coffee 2017, Kringle Candle, Bernardston, Mass., 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Free to exhibit, people’s choice awards, inside.kringlecandle.com/events/calendar.

December 2 — NEMO Holiday Party, details and location TBD. Save the date.

The NEMO Facebook page, www.facebook.com/NewEnglandMiniOwners and website, www.nemomini.org, contain additional information.





September 2017

[1-Sept_17_Mini_Line.jpg] The Mini line-up at the Faneuil Hall British Car Show.
Photo by David Schwartz

July and August Highlights
by David Schwartz

Faneuil Hall British Car Show,
Boston, Mass., July 22nd

Four classic Minis participated in the Boston Area MG Club’s (BAMG’s) second Faneuil Hall car show of the season. Iain and Nuala Barker drove their ’67 Mini Cooper S, the Jones family (Garreth, Kallie and their sons) brought two Minis, and I drove my ’68 Mini Traveller. Garreth and Kallie were stationed in the UK and imported their Minis when they relocated Stateside.

Other cars parked on the cobblestones at Faneuil Hall included a variety of MGs, a TR3A, an Austin-Healey 100-6, a Land Rover, and even an early Miata. Many owners invited people to sit in their cars — always a big hit.

BAMG welcomes all British cars to their three Faneuil Hall shows. There is no membership requirement. Be sure to check the NEMO calendar next season as spaces fill up early.

British Car Night at Wings & Wheels,
Minute Man Air Field, Stow, Mass., August 10th

You never know what will show up for a local cruise night. The most unusual British vehicles that showed up here were a Sunbeam Rapier and a London Fire Brigade truck. The Sunbeam had right-hand drive, miniature tail fins and was outfitted for racing. The fire truck was imported many years ago and recently changed hands. The new owner invited kids to sit in the cab and ring the bell.

NEMO member Bob Brownwell drove up from Shrewsbury in his pristine ’63 Austin Mini 850. I brought my ’68 Mini Traveller and was joined by its big brother, a Morris Minor Traveller. Other British cars included MG TDs, a two-tone Austin-Healey, a Jaguar XKE, a Lotus, a Triumph GT6, TR3s and MGBs.

In the non-British category, Roger Fuller brought a beautiful ’89 Trabant station wagon. There was a 1931 Model A Ford outfitted with a period Motorola AM radio. The guts of the radio are mounted in the engine compartment on top of the steering column. The speaker is mounted on the steering column in the passenger compartment, with controls under the dash connected to the radio by small speedometer-style cables.

Wings & Wheels is a weekly, family-friendly cruise night with food available from Nancy’s Airfield Café. This was the third and final British car night of the season. All marques are welcome every week, with the final show on Thursday, August 31st.

Miata Day at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum,
Brookline, Mass., July 16th

A record 176 Mazda Miatas filled both fields at Larz Anderson and it was an impressive sight. For people who can’t spend an entire week at Mini Meet East, NEMO should consider holding a one-day show for Minis and MINIs from around New England.

September 2017

[2-Sept_17_Bridge_MINIs.jpg] Part of the line of 1300-plus MINIs!
Photo by Bob Shaffer

MINIs on the Mack
by Bob Shaffer

MACKINAW CITY, Mich., Aug. 5 — “MINI on the Mack” is a parade across the Mackinac Bridge in an attempt to break the English-held world record for largest-ever MINI Cooper parade. I took part.

Arriving at the staging area in St. Ignace was amazing. There were nearly 1300 Minis registered, and it took us nearly 30 minutes to park as they packed us in tightly.

My car, “Surely,” was located between 600 and 700 in the count, and I didn’t leave the site until 55 minutes after the first car. The target speed to start was 22mph, so you left in a cloud of dust as you peeled out of the parking lot.

The whole line was led on the 41-mile route by the St. Ignace Chief of Police. The line of MINIs in front of my car extended more than 25 miles in front and about the same behind. I know, because I saw the first MINIs returning on the opposite side of I-75 when I was 13 miles from the turnaround overpass! For the next 90 minutes we waved and honked horns. A few non-MINI drivers “saluted” us for interfering with their Michigan Upper Peninsula vacation travel, but most waved and asked what we were doing when we were stopped.

One of the highlights on Sunday occurred when the US Customs and Border Patrol Agent asked me why I went to Canada. I explained that I was coming from a MINI Cooper Rally in St. Ignace, and travel through Ontario was the quickest route back to Boston. He asked me if I stopped anywhere in Canada and I said, “Yes, only at the stop signs.” He laughed and waved me on.

There were 1,328 MINIs. Unfortunately, we didn’t break the world record since we needed 1,451.

September 2017

[3-Sept_17_Engine_Apart.jpg] ‘Before’ shot of Iain’s engine rebuild.
Photo by Iain Barker

Cooper S Engine Restoration
by Iain Barker

When I bought ‘KK’ (our 1967 Mini Cooper 1275 ’S’) earlier in the year I was pleasantly surprised how good a condition it was in after 50 years. It looked mostly standard except for later alloy wheels and plastic arches, an M.E.D. 1380cc A+ engine and racing exhaust, K.A.D. quick-shift gearstick and a sports steering wheel.

Since it’s a Mk1, I really wanted to keep the original character of the car, so I decided that my project would be to remove the bolt-on aftermarket parts and do a sympathetic restoration to the original 1960s specification. Or, alternatively, as one of my friends, Kieran, put it: “So you want to undo 50 years of progress, and reinstall the unreliability!”

Fortunately, some of original parts had been retained by the previous owner and were part of the sale, including most of the components that made up the original short engine. That would be my starting point for the restoration.

But first, I needed to know why the engine had been changed. I got no history with the car, but a discussion on theminiforum.co.uk suggested the camshaft certainly wasn’t from a 1275 ‘S’. It had 3/8” lobes and was probably from a 998.

Interestingly, the block was in good condition. It was bored for +20 pistons (1293cc) but with very little wear, so evidently the engine had not run much after last being overhauled. On the other hand, the crankshaft bearings were badly scored and worn, and it looked like the engine might have suffered oil pressure failure.

My best guess is that a Cooper 998 oil pump and camshaft were fitted when the block was re-bored. But why would that cause the engine to fail so catastrophically? Curiouser and curiouser.

After a lot of Googling, I learned that the Mk1 Cooper 1275 ‘S’ block is unique across all Minis ever produced. The design originated from the Cooper Formula Junior engine it uses a peg drive camshaft and 3-bolt oil pump similar to the 998. But the block is deeper due to the larger bore, so its oil pump has a longer driveshaft. Using the wrong oil pump would explain the symptoms, as the shorter pump is known to disengage/shear from the camshaft at high revs, resulting in engine failure.

Now that I had a good idea what was wrong, I set about fixing it properly. I sent the crankshaft out to have the main and rod journals reground, and ordered a correct 510-profile camshaft from Mini Sport UK. With the Mk1 engine being so rare, they were unable to source a peg drive blank, but suggested using the camshaft from a Cooper ‘S’ Mk2. It has the same profile, but uses a spider drive for the oil pump (later used on all 1275cc engines prior to the A+).

The only other major component I needed was a big-valve cylinder head. Fortunately, Mini Mania USA had a rebuilt genuine Cooper 1275 ‘S’-spec AEG163 head available.

All the other engine parts are common to the later 1275 engines, and are readily available as either new-old-stock on eBay or remanufactured from the usual vendors, so the rest of the build was relatively straightforward.

I decided to reuse the +20 pistons since they were in good condition, but I re-ringed them +30 over size, then gapped down with a hand file to the correct tolerance. Basically I made my own equivalent of ‘reclaimer’ rings, which used to be available to repair older engines.

A lick of original MOWOG Green paint to replace the battleship grey that a previous owner had inflicted on the block, sunshine yellow for the fan pulley, and it’s ready to go.

Installation will wait until after the driving season.

September 2017

NEMO Calendar

September-October 8 — Kringle Cars & Coffee 2017, Kringle Candle, Bernardston, Mass., 2nd Sundays, 9 a.m. to 12 noon, inside.kringlecandle.com/events/calendar. Free to exhibit. People’s choice awards.

September 1-5 — Lime Rock Park Historic Festival, Lakeville, Conn., limerockhistorics.com.

September 3 — Sunday in the Park/Gathering of the Marques, Lime Rock Park (part of Historic Festival), limerockhistorics.com.

September 10 — Connecticut Triumph Register (CTR) British Motorcar Gathering & Picnic, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wickham Park, Manchester, Conn., www.ctriumph.com.

September 15-17 — British Invasion XXVII, Stowe, Vt., www.britishinvasion.com.

September 23 — Weston Antique & Classic Car Show, Town Hall Road, Weston, Mass., 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., www.westoncarshow.com.

September 24 — The “Boston Cup” Concours d’Elegance, Boston, Mass., thebostoncup.com.

September 27-October 1 — MINIs in Foliage, Scotty’s Lakeside Resort, Lake George, N.Y., www.minisinfoliage.com.

October 6-8 — British Legends Weekend, Cape Cod British Car Club (CCBCC), North Falmouth, Mass., www.capecodbritishcarclub.org.

The NEMO Facebook page, www.facebook.com/NewEnglandMiniOwners, and website, www.nemomini.org, contain additional information.





August 2017

[1-Aug_17_moke.jpg] Tiana Gould and friend in RHD Mini Moke, alongside Ken Lemoine and his Traveller, during the tour to Mt. Wachusett.
Photo by David Schwartz

Minis and the Microcar Classic
by David Schwartz

NEWTON, Mass., July 7-9 — There was a great NEMO turnout for the Goulds’ 22nd Annual Microcar Classic. The weekend followed a time-tested format: Friday evening welcome party, Saturday driving tour from the Gould residence in Newton to the summit of Mt. Wachusett in Princeton, stop on the return trip at Matchbox Motors in Hudson to view the Goulds’ collection of micro (and not so micro) cars, Saturday night barbecue, and Sunday lawn event at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline.

Every year brings at least one new, unusual microcar. This year it was a 1956 Fuldamobil S4 owned by Bob Miller. The car is egg-shaped with two suicide doors, a single wiper blade hanging down from the roof, and rear wheels similar to an Isetta.

Other first-time car attendees included a 1933 MG J2, Mini Domino Pimlico, Austin-Healey Bugeye Sprite, Lotus 7, SAAB Sonett, Honda N600, Vespa 400, Fiat X1/9, VW Rabbit convertible, and a 2010 Lotus Elise.

Many old favorite vehicles were back this year. There were multiple Citroën 2CVs, Volkswagen Beetles, Messerschmitts, Nash Metropolitans, BMW Isettas, Fiats and S-Cargos. Also returning were the VW Camper Van, Nissan Figaro, Nissan Pao, Subaru 360, BMW 700 Cabrio, Renault Truckette, Triumph TR3 and the Fiat Multipla taxi.

Eleven classic Minis and variants (Mokes, Estates and the Domino) participated in the 120-mile round trip driving tour between Newton and Mt. Wachusett. Michael Crawford deserves special recognition for completing the tour in his 1933 MG J2. There was a passenger in the J2 for the entire trip and Mike had to pass some slower cars to avoid losing momentum going up the mountain road.

Luck was with us on Saturday, since the first major downpour of the day occurred during our lunch stop in Sterling. Many of us made a mad dash to the parking lot to close windows and sunroofs, or put up convertible tops. This was not possible for one of the Mokes or the MG J2, since they did not have tops! The weather cleared by the end of lunch, and after drying off the open cars with towels, most people braved damp clothes and wet interiors to continue the tour. It was sunny at the summit of Mt. Wachusett, with views of the Boston skyline and Mt. Monadnock.

Sunday was a beautiful, sunny day for the lawn event at Larz Anderson. The cars paraded from Newton to Brookline and parked by marque or category. There were ten Minis and variants on the lawn, including two Innocenti Minis. Four other Minis participated on Saturday, which may be a record weekend total.

There was a large public turnout and car owners spent over three hours giving rides around the Museum grounds. Kids and adults love the rides and are very appreciative. New NEMO member RJ Rondini gave rides in his Inno the entire time. He could barely walk when it was over. I managed to squeeze eight people into my Mini Traveller: two in front, three in the back, and three kids in the “way-back.”

When awards were handed out for the Mini class, Wendy Birchmire took 1st for her British flag-motif 1977 Austin Mini Cooper. My 1968 Morris Mini Traveller was 2nd, and Faith Lamprey and Bruce Vild were 3rd with their 1967 Austin Mini. In the Minicar class, 1st place was awarded to Elizabeth and Michael Crawford’s 1933 MG J2.

As Charles Gould likes to point out, this event is also about the people. There are regulars who have been coming for five to 20 years, plus volunteers that help with car repairs, food preparation, clean-up, registration and vending. The event is also about the friendships that form and the opportunity for a yearly reunion. Nancy, Tiana and Monique Gould are partners in running the weekend, and the attendees want to thank the entire family for another great year.

August 2017

[2-Aug_17_KK_and_Mini_Line.jpg] Iain Barker’s ‘KK’ fronted the line of Minis at Larz Anderson.
Photo by David Schwartz

British Car Day at LAAM
by David Schwartz

BROOKLINE, Mass., June 25 — Twelve classic Minis and three modern MINIs graced the show field for British Car Day at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum. This was a record number of classics in my four years of attending this event. A bright sunny day with low humidity led to a good turnout for all marques, with overflow vehicles filling about half the lower lawn.

It was great to meet new NEMO member Iain Barker, his charming five-year-old daughter Nuala and “KK,” his 1967 Mini Cooper S. Nuala enjoys riding in the Mini. Her booster seat clips into the front passenger seat (no rear seatbelts), which is a real treat. We look forward to seeing Iain and Nuala at future events. For anyone who has yet to read the July NEMO Newsbeat, I highly recommend Iain’s article, “A Tale of Five Minis.”

A new museum exhibit opened in May, “Super Cars: Origins, Evolutions.” Some of my all-time favorite cars are on display — a 1955 Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing, a 1908 Stanley Steamer Model K, and a 1933 Auburn Boat Tail Speedster. The lawn event season runs through October 22nd. If you attend an upcoming event, be sure to allow time to visit the Super Car exhibit.

There are always some treats at British Car Day and this year did not disappoint. A 1947 HRG 1100 Roadster was one of the rarest cars on the field. Elizabeth and Michael Crawford brought their 1933 MG J2. James Bond himself was sitting in an Aston Martin DB5. (Okay, it was a cardboard cutout.) There was a pair of 1970-71 Marcos GTs, one in pristine condition and the other a daily driver.

I exited the Super Car exhibit through the main Museum entrance into the upper parking lot and walked straight into the biggest Rolls-Royce I have ever seen, a 1966 Phantom V Limousine. (Parking on the grass is clearly for lesser cars.) The Phantom V interior had gorgeous polished woodwork and was decorated with proper details — chauffeur’s cap, crystal decanter and glasses, top hat and gloves, mink stole, silver hair brush set, and, of course, a bottle of Grey Poupon.

The award for Best Mini went to Wendy Birchmire’s 1977 Mini Cooper. Her car, decorated inside and out in a Union Jack motif, is a huge hit with the public and will be the car to beat until something cuter comes along.

Best MG was awarded to the Crawfords’ 1933 J2.

August 2017

NEMO Calendar

August-October 8 — Kringle Cars & Coffee 2017, Kringle Candle, Bernardston, Mass., 2nd Sundays, 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Free to exhibit, people’s choice awards, inside.kringlecandle.com/events/calendar.

August 5 — Monadnock Berries MINI Cooper BBQ, Troy, N.H., 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (food served 12 noon to 1:30 p.m.), monadnockberries.com/events.

August 5 — MINI on the Mack, Mackinac Bridge, Mackinaw City, Mich., www.minionthemack.com.

August 10 — British Car Night at Wings & Wheels, Minute Man Air Field, Stow, Mass., 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., wingsandwheelsma.com.

August 9-13 — MINIs in the Mountains, Steamboat Springs, Colo., minisinthemountains.com.

August 26 — Faneuil Hall British Car Show, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., hosted by the Boston Area MG Club, Boston Mass., www.bostonareamg.com.

August 31-September 4 — Lime Rock Historic Festival, Lime Rock Park, Lakeville, Conn., limerock historics.com.

September 3 — Sunday in the Park and Gathering of the Marques, limerockhistorics.com.

September 15-17 — British Invasion XXVII, Stowe, Vt., www.britishinvasion.com.

September 24 — Boston Cup Concours d’Elegance, Boston, Mass., thebostoncup.com.

September 27-October 1 — MINIs in Foliage, Scotty’s Lakeside Resort, Lake George, N.Y., www.minisinfoliage.com.

October 6-8 — British Legends Weekend, Cape Cod British Car Club, North Falmouth, Mass., www.cape codbritishcarclub.org.

The NEMO Facebook page, www.facebook.com/NewEnglandMiniOwners, and website, www.nemomini.org, contain additional information.





 

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