This past year was an incredible one for MINI. Apart from all the great national club events here in the U.S., this past summer's MNI United in Holland was a blast and when you add in the introduction of the MINI Challenge package racer PLUS the World Debut of the long-awaited Clubman, it all adds up to one of the best years yet for MINI enthusiasts. Furthermore, MC2 was at all the major world events. We had a pavilion at MINI United, attended the Frankfurt Auto Show for the introduction of the MINI Challenge car and were on location in Spain to see and drive the all-new Clubman model -- both of which are main features in the November-December 2007 (#11) issue now on newsstands and in the mail. However our Holiday issue is chock full of other MINI news, too. Here's a brief outline of this issue's highlights:
As already mentioned, the cover story for this issue is the World Debut of the Clubman model. Publisher Barry Brazier jetted over to Spain for the press introduction, took some great photos and managed to get some time behind the wheel as well in the First Test Drive of the 2007 MINI Clubman S. It's the kind of in-depth analysis of a new MINI model that you'd expect from MC2 and we are one of the first publications to hit the newsstands with the story starting on page 24.
Then it was off to Frankfort, Germany for Barry to have a gander of the new MINI Challenge car that factory is introducing. In The John Cooper Works Challenge starting on page 38, Barry gets a look at the new class racer, talks with Dr. Kay Segler, Senior VP of Brand Management at Mini and makes some surprisingly astute comments on the odds of this car coming to the U.S.
Mini history buffs among you will probably be interested in Who Engineered the R50 MINI...and When? (page 30) written by our Senior European Correspondent, Graham Robson. In this month's installment about the development of the R50 MINI, Graham discusses how the engine was decided upon, details prototype testing, talks about internal politics at BMW/MINI and generally gives readers the low down on the design and production development of our favourite automobile.
Next up, noted automotive journalist, James Sly discusses the TC Kline approach to handling in A Simple Philosophy: TC's MINI (page 34). Sly, a long-time contributor to European Car magazine writes about TC Kline's pragmatic approach to handling and how the new Kline kit is easily installed and is adjustable, as well as providing both improved street and track handling -- just by turning a dial. What could be easier or simpler?
Then on page 41, our UK Correspondent, Rob Marshall travels to London to check out MINI Mania's new twin-screw supercharger, in No Screw Ups. This new power booster is currently under development at MINI Mania's UK facility and it looks a practical, albeit expensive way to improve the performance of older S-model Coopers.
After that, Editor at Large, Gary Anderson, takes a gander at One Woman's MINI (page 44). It's no chick car, either and any "macho" guy would love to own this Ferrari eater. Owner Jennifer Powers spent over $80K in getting this car just right. She had the car stripped down to a body in white at a shop in California and then had it exquisitely revamped into a subtle, but powerful performance car.
Our classic Mini feature this issue starts on page 47 with some Flaming Fun, when editor Peter D. DuPre travels to Longview, WA to take some snaps of Rick Terrell's 1966 Austin Mini. But rather than write the article himself, Peter decided to let Rick tell the story of the car in his own words. One thing is for sure, this Hot Wheels-inspiried Mini is certainly unique and features some unusual paint treatment that promises to delight anyone who looks it over.
With the Holidays fast approaching and gift giving about to become rampant, we decided to publish our biggest MC2 Holiday Catalogue yet. This 6-page Holiday buyer's guide is chock full of gift ideas for your favourite MINI owner -- you! Whether you are looking for a leather portfolio for your owner's manual, a car care kit, brake upgrade, power upgrade, new clothes. jewelery, wall decorations or just a good read, our mega gift guide has it. Check out all the holiday fun starting on page 50.
Many MINI owners are Looking For Adventure and according to Gary Anderson, Eric and Colin Herrick have found the ultimate MINI thrill. They have prepared an R53 for entry into one of the great road race/rallies of all time -- La Carrera Panamericana. Gary talks with this father/son duo, takes a look at their racer (MC2 is one of the sponsors!) and wishes them well starting on page 56.
If you've ever wondered about how exhaust systems work and how to get more performance from them, you won't want to miss Technical Editor, Matt Richter's piece It's Exhausting! starting on page 60. We've all heard about how improving back pressure help performance but according to Matt, this is a myth and he says he can prove it. Plus, he gives numerous ideas for exhaust systems for both street and track use, explaining the pros and cons of each.
MINI owners are among the most traveled automotive enthusiasts in the country and every weekend throughout the year sees numerous MINIs traveling hundreds of miles to participate with their MINI comrades in both local and national club events. Rick Gonzales takes us along for MINIs in the Mountains starting on page 70 to get a Colorado Rocky Mountain MINI High as the Coopers return to Copper Mountain.
Well that's the synopsis of this month's main features, but as they say on the television infomercials..."But wait, there's more!" We of course are talking about all the usual features, product reviews and columns by our publisher, racing editor, historian, your editor and a few other folks. We won't tell you what pages Your Wheels, Clubs and Events, Minimal Thinking, Across the Pond and The Doctor is In are on, but we will say that by the time you get to page 82, you'll be wanting a cuppa, just to relax at bit. Also, publisher Barry Brazier says not to toss the polywrap that your issue comes in. The MCSQ number on the label is valuable. If your number is printed in the magazine, we will send you a prize. Read about the details in his column.
Till next month, keep the rubber side down and Happy Holidays! ~ Peter D. DuPre, Editor