Sunday, April 6, 2008

Join Your Many MINI Friends

Sure your MINI will be great for all the normal stuff, getting to work and out in the evenings, transporting you and your luggage on trips, or moving furniture, plants, or whatever else has to be moved from one place to another on the weekends. But there’s no substitute for just taking the car out on a weekend for the sheer pleasure of driving.

If you can combine that with some friendly comaraderie, all the better. And there is where the MINI will excel. When Minis were first introduced in the sixties, their owners immediately recognized that they were a special group of people, able to appreciate the finer things in automobiling, and Mini clubs rapidly grew up all over the world.

Those clubs remained active throughout the dark years when Minis weren’t even sold in the United States, and were a ready-made network of friendship and support when the new MINIs were first introduced. Recognizing the common appeal of old and new Minis, the club members were among the first to line up to try and buy the new MINIs, and the clubs welcomed the new owners with open arms.

Today, any assembly of club members will still include a few of the old classics, but the majority of the members will be driving new MINIs. It’s easy to become one of those members.

All clubs arrange frequent tours to allow members to get their cars out on the good roads in their areas, as well as organizing social and charitable activities around their cars. You’ll be surprised at how many activities are available.

You’ll also probably be surprised at the wide range of backgrounds and interests represented by people who have been drawn together by the attraction of this new car. Membership in most of these clubs will span every age, from new drivers to old veterans, and their day jobs will cover every occupation and endeavor.

The nice thing is that, regardless of how much different the members are from one another, you’ll all have one common interest in your MINI, which means there will always be something to talk about as you get to know one another. As one member said recently, “I was surprised at how many friends I had that I hadn’t even met yet.”

In the appendix to this book, we’ve listed the contacts for as many of the clubs as we could find at press time. For current information, check with your local MINI dealer, who will know if there is a MINI club in your area, and it won’t take you long with an internet browser to find a current list of clubs.

If you can’t find a local MINI club, maybe now is the time for you to start one. It won’t take much effort. Find a local restaurant or pizza parlor with a back room you can reserve, make up some flyers announcing a meeting in a month or so, then stick them on any MINIs you see. Offer to work with your MINI dealer to start a club. In no time, you can have your own local club.

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