Saturday, August 24
Orange County Fair Grounds
Costa Mesa, California

24a 24b 24c 24d

It was before dawn when the British invaded!!!! The regular crew at Donut Derelicts were amazed when Mini after Mini pulled into the lot. And in turn, the Mini Meet West Crew was thrilled to see so many wild and exotic cars all in one place ? all before Sunrise. Everyone made the ceremonial trek to the two competing Donut Vendors; The classic old school vs. the Pizza Parlor with Krispy Kremes. Hmmm? Old vs. New. Where have we heard that before? The entire Autin America contingent showed, plus threre were Woodies, Steelies, Pick Ups, Cabrios, SportPacks. Coopers, Coopers "S"s, even the Fiberglass/carbon fibre MiniSprint was there. No Elfs or Hornets though!

And just before 8 am, as the late summer sun crept into the sky, the Minis blasted off into the sunrise to get spiffed up for the concours /carshow and RC Racing. Did you know an F250 Crew carb with a V10 can't keep up with a heavy footed Mini Driver? (And oh, by the way, if you ever get a chance to see the short film, "The Mini Driver", be sure to it's a nice bit of work!)

David Haight

 24e  24f  24g  24h 24i  24j
24k   24l  24m  24n  24o 24p
24q 24r 24s 24t 24u 24v
24w   24x 24y 24z  24z1  24z2
 24z3 24z4  25a 25b  25d 25e
 25g  25h  25i Photos by Neal Weinmann

Another perfect day in Paradise! The Fairground was a beehive of activity. As you followed the signs into MMW, Indians in full headress strolled by on the sidewalk with the sounds of tribal drums in the background. The Concourse and car show set up were already in place early, with chalk marked spots for the cars. And with 177 cars that was a good thing.

The Couscous judging took all day, the cars were that good. The point spread was really narrow... and just by chance I think I got the 1st and second place cars side by side in the same photo... (now if I only had names that would make me a real reporter -DH!)

The really HUGE class was Street SWB, with so many cars it was tough getting a look at them all, at least it was for me as I had to to walk the entire show 5 times before I with a count that matched for the attendance. The votes were really close for the top cars in that class too, with the beautiful red Cooper "S" of Jim Keeter getting the "Best of Show". The one overheard comment from a Concourse participant was " God I'm glad he's not in MY class!" Best Beater was the the "Military" Moke, which I understand also barely beat the Kids hand painted "Special" . The LWB class was won some guy with a Grey and Tan Woody (Yahoo!... made up for my 9th place in the Autocross!) The Variant winners were all Austin Americas, with another well know MM board Poster "ADO-16" taking the honours. Here again, better reporting would give you his name but...."I forgot"! The Britax Coooper of Scott Crawford once again scored big as the Competition Class winner, and the custom class went to the "Cover Car" Fiberglass/carbon fibre MiniSprint! I think the best Moke was from New Mexico, but don't quote me on that! Chuck Heleker, also well known on the MM board, spent the entire selling parts, which kept his mind off the fact that not one Elf or Hornet showed.

Plenty of shade, places to sit and things to see made it even more enjoyable. If you happened to wonder out the front gate into the swap meet you were into bargain hunters heaven. Although I did hear one Mini Gearhead comment that "There was nothing to buy, just clothes, jewellery and all that chick stuff!"

The rescheduled RC were were right at the end of vendor Row. The Toy class ran first and the "Miniguys" three sons cleaned up with a 1-2-3 sweep! There was an official sibling complaint file though. It appears there was another kid playing with his "Canned Heat" Mini nearby and son #2 car just ran in wild circles as the baby of the family relentlessly ran
a perfect race into First place.

Staging the photo shoot was a real logistic endeavour, with the cars being pre-staged in rows by some loud pushy guys (Ohh nooo not me, never been called that!), and the final visual line done by the photographer on a lift.

The Banquet was a sell-out, and the really fast footwork of the hotel had lots of additional sets -up and food ready to go! The only complaint was that some of the trophies were delivered by boat (dropped in the pool from the Bridge that ran over the Pool that was used as the Podium...ooops!) And with over $8000 in raffle prizes the diehards had to wait till last to get the free tires, which were ANY sizes you wanted!!! (even for a big evil SUV if you had one!)

And on one final note, I heard from the Product development Manager of MiniUSA, (a really nice group of Diehard Mini / MINI fans) that any Woody MINI that may be developed will NOT be called a Clubman! ("..how about Traveller or Countryman Dave?" was the reply to my hard-hitting journalist inquiries!

David Haight


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