3rd Times a Charm–The 2007 R56 Mini

#1–2003 Cooper S

Mini #1

#2–2006 Cooper S Convertible

Mini #2

#3–2007 Cooper S

Mini #3

After picking up and moving across the country in the winter of 2006 we decided that a 4-wheel drive truck (Honda Ridgeline) was no longer a necessity for hauling home landscaping supplies.  That sole factor started us thinking of Mini again and the fun you can have with go-kart like handling and acceleration.

Deb set her mind on it and started searching for a Mini dealer a little closer to our new home. The first two Mini’s came from Flow Mini in Greensboro, NC. They were easy and great to deal with and only 2 hours away–more like 3 days away now. Yes, we did even discus the potential for such a trip as a last resort. She found Brecht Mini in San Diego, CA; feedback on the Mini boards was pretty positive. After a couple of evenings building the perfect Mini on the website we were ready to commit.

Brecht Mini

Jump ahead a couple of month’s and we were off for a Saturday morning flight to get the car. We had grand plans of driving the car in CA and enjoying the coast. None of that was meant to be–San Diego and Riverside Counties had just been ravished by careless wildfires in the previous weeks and the area was still in upheaval. All along the highways the burnt landscape was visible and workers worked to put barriers in place to prevent further damage from upcoming rains. Given the situation we grabbed a quick lunch and piloted the new Mini back to Phoenix via the I-10 and the desert.

The Desert

Visit to the Photo Gallery to see more photos from the Pick-up and drive home.

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Faces in Places–Car’s Edition #1

I was watching the TV one morning half awake in a hotel room and CNN carried a story about a website that looked for faces in the most mundane places; electric outlets, chairs and other misc items.  The site, Faces in Places, won one of Yahoo’s Finds of the Year awards with a unique prospective on the everyday items that we see and touch. Browse the site and you will be amazed at how often and where the faces pop up.  No, I am not having some kind of moment–these faces are everywhere once you are tuned into where they are hiding.

I started to think about Cars–the movie and the personalization of automobiles.  Two headlights, windshield, grill and a chrome bumper make the perfect face. If Pixar could build a movie out of cars I should definitely be able to find the same inspiration in photos we have taken. I started the search the thousands of photos we have taken and decided to try to chronicle as many faces as I could find in an ongoing series at articles.  Below are my first few photos to kick-off the series.

Not an Good Example of Faces in Places. The face should be a feature of the photo or the object, nothing so defined as the skull sitting as a hood ornament.

Skull on VonDutch Ford

This is a Good Example of Faces in Places.  This Ak Millar Roadster sure shows a great face with a mouth wide agasp and bright eyes. This face looks as if it is set on chasing apexes and competitors.

Ak Miller Roadster

This Jaguar D-Type takes a simple approach with a smooth skin and inset eyes. The radiator opening almost appears to add a whimiscal feel to the face. This face looks more suited for a role in Ghostbusters–The Cars version.

Jaguar D-Type

I will continue to search the photo database and pull a few photos at a time when I come across them to continue this series. So next time you are driving to work don’t get to hung up on the faces staring at you from outside the passing cars–they are only watching the road for the next curve or an abrupt set of brake lights up ahead.

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Desert Classic Concours d’ Elegance–Palm Springs

Ferrari & Palms Tree

All I can say is “What a Backdrop?” for this inaugural event. The manicured green fairways of the O’Donnell Golf Club are nestled at the base of a rugged mountain in downtown Palm Springs, California. The organizers?featured Maserati as the honored marque for the event but I think the Ferrari owners clearly chose to show their Italian dominance. couple dozen Ferrari’s found their way onto the field including the first Ferrari built (Chassis #01C). This was the first time this car has been seen in public?in nearly 20 years. Up close, this beauty carries the scars of racing on her body but is a true survivor in the world of automobiles. Enzo would be proud to see her in unrestored state.

Ferrari and tree

The show also featured several race cars from the Riverside International Automobile Museum. The museum’s goal is to share the rich history of California Motorsports with the population; many who may never watched a race at Ontario Motor Speedway or Riverside International Raceway. This young organization is trying desperately to preserve the heritage, sites and machinery?but most of it is being lost in the?rapidly developing Inland Empire.

RIAM Race Car

One of the funniest sites of the day had to be the gentleman taking in the classic car display atop his Segway. He rolled from car to car gazing at the features and snapping photos. My question is, “When will we be riding hovercrafts around a golf course looking at the Segways and trying to imagine how we actually could be comfortable riding on wheels?”


Take a few minutes and browse the complete photo gallery from the event with over 130 photos.

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