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MINI Takes The States (MTTS) 2014

I'm back from MINI Takes The States 2014!  I only did 2.5 legs of the Rally this year . . . traveling down to Memphis TN and then back up through St. Louis, MO, my hometown of Bloomington, IL and then just short of Chicago, IL.  

The Illinois stretch of the trip was on historic Route 66.  Here a a few pictures of my trip.  More of  them will be put into photo albums on this blog.

Brian at Soulsby's Mt Olive B&W   IMG_2524


Min's first stop heading south at the Shirley Depot (Just North of Funks Grove)

IMG_2537   IMG_2542

Next stop . . . Atlanta, IL to see Paul Bunyon and a historic grain elevator.


Paddy Odell IL Standard Oil

Paddy in Odell, IL


2014 MINIs On The Dragon - MOTD - Photos

Paddy and I are back from MINIs On The Dragon 2014.  This was my fourth year and each year I find myself "refining" what things I like to do and what things I don't.  

My first year was pretty much just trying to figure out what MOTD was all about!  Is it a driving event, is it a social event, or ???.  Luckily a veteran MOTD "local" (Harold Hall) took me under his wing and really helped me understand what's what.

The second year, armed with my previous experience, I knew that I wanted to do more dinners and events where I could MEET people . . . since I was traveling by myself.  Those that travel with a spouse/friend/group really have an advantage.   

The third year, since I had done the "social" thing, I signed up for more DRIVES.  I found that I needed to be more selective on which drives I take and when I take them!  There are always those that think this area is a "closed course race track" and just don't use common sense when speeding down unknown roads in a group.   We're in the beautiful Smoky Mountains!  Slow down a bit and ENJOY them! (wink)

THIS YEAR . . . I really had a GREAT time.  I did lots of NEW things that I hadn't tried before including:

  • The car show (won 1st place in the Classic Mini category)
  • The panoramic group photo
  • The Bridal Veil Falls drive and lunch
  • The Cherokee and Clingmans Dome drive 

Here are a few photos (I'll put more in an album on this site)


Paddy On The Dragon


Paddy on Lake Fontana


Paddy at Bridal Veils Falls - North Carolina


Italian Job gathering at the Lake Fontana Resort


Clingman's Dome Drive (NC/TN)


Old Friends after the Car Show

Classic Mini - Engine Bay Photos

 It's Winter and I'm getting ready to start a few projects . . . .but before that, I thought I'd take a few pictures of Paddy's engine bay to show the progress that's been made up to this point..



 Last Fall I decided to "clean up" the engine (motor) bay a bit by re-routing the fuel lines and upgrading the hoses to steel and wire braided.   I also swapped out the after-market plastic fuel filter for a glass one with a bit more bling.    The Lucas Sport Coil used to be located up on the firewall.  I've relocated it to the more common (for Mini) location to the front of the motor. 

                  IMG_4423   IMG_4422





 The oil breather can has been cleaned and repainted and a K&N breather filter has been fitted.  I removed the large hose that used to connect the breather to the carburetor for a cleaner look.  The stock tappet cover has been re-sprayed and new chrome bolts added.  The SU HS4 carburettor dash pots were removed during the last tuning and given a polish with some aluminum metal polish.


Paddy At Classic Minis United (CMU) 54 - Wytheville, AV

Last year the Classic Minis United (CMU) group chose Wytheville, VA as the base for the 3 day driving adventure - Mini 54. It was located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Wytheville is known as "The Hub of Southwest Virginia" and "the Crossroads of the Blue Ridge". As with all CMU events, we like to drive, and that's what we did. We had drives each of the three days with plenty of stops and things to see. Add in the nighttime activities, scavenger hunt, live Bluegrass band, swap meet, and we had the most amazing classic Mini event in North America!

Below are a few pictures of Paddy during the event -



Paddy - Mini 54 Backroad VA

Paddy - Mini 54 2013


Mini 54 Rear View


Paddy The Snake 2013


Paddy 37 Front


Paddy 37 Profile

Keep Calm and Drink a Milkshake - Mini Logo

Steak 'n Shake [ ] originated in my hometown of Bloomington, IL.  I've always been aware that their company logo looked strangely familiar to that of a small British automotive icon . . . .the Mini! 

Mini Steak n Shake
The other day, Steak 'n Shake posted the picture below on their facebook page and the connection became even MORE clear.  A brief history of the "Keep Calm and Carry On" slogan can be found here.



What other company logos do YOU think resemble the Mini/MINI logo?