International Mini Meeting '99 / Mini 40th
'Become, Be or Acquire'

Sunday 22nd
Was the 2nd day of the 'Computacenter Summerfest', 'The mother of all parties' or what we called Mini 40th.

Mini in a box Mini-Bus Exterior Mini Beep-beep Mini

Mostly though this was a normal race day at Silverstone, with all kinds of machinery taking part, but no Mini's, so I didn't watch much of it.
Boris had bought a set of wheels that morning, which still had the tires on them. Since he only wanted the wheels, on the plane that is, the rubber would only be extra ballast. So we went to the Mini7 paddock to see if we could find someone to help getting the tires off. The guys from Pitstop Racing Andy and I had met during the Spa/Francorchamps race were also there, working hard on the Mini7 racer that was going to be raffled that weekend. Amazingly enough their main mechanic recognized us and he pointed Boris towards the 'tire-guys'. Andy and I stayed and chatted a bit more about the Francorchamps event. A memorable one for them, since they worked day and night getting their Mini's ready for the start (See the report on the MLM at Spa/Francorchamps), only to find out that they had missed the gear-selector coming loose too...

Around noon it was time for the last M.I.N.I. meet that week and some other listers had come over for the day.
In the pic you see; Boris (green cap), Bas (AKA Loonybin, blue cap), Nigel (with pants on), Ian (AKA Spag), Greg (holding the banner), Carl (with hat & sunglasses), Ade (just above the banner, with sunglasses), Nick (AKA Trace, behind the banner), me (head sticking out above Trace), Andy (sitting down to the right). Of the rest I recognize; Helene (behind the guy with the green Mini on his shirt), Russ (3rd from the right with hat) and is that Paul standing to the right ?
(I also recognize the guy behind Carl, but I'm sure he's not a Lister :)

All of us there signed the banner (and even some that weren't Listers, but hey, we don't discriminate :) and took another groupphoto before all going our own way again. I went to look for MTB in Area 20 but didn't find them there. Since it had been a long week I just lay in the sun for a while, trying to catch up some sleep, with the sound of the big engines of the racecars in the back. After the nap I walked over the grounds and found MTB in another area, the one they evidently had parked the day before too. After hanging out there for a while it was time to meet some of the others at the main entrance as we were going to watch Russ Swift do his tricks with Mini's. Only Carl and Andy showed up and we spent the next hour or so trying to find where exactly this display would take place. In the end I gave up and went back to MTB, while Carl and Andy continued their search, only to find it when the Mini's came driving back into the paddock.

Waiting for Andy 'Another car'

Although Carl only bought a clutch-plate and a yet to assemble model of a Mini with ERA kit, some of the others, specially Boris, were going at it with a lot more enthusiasm. In the end there was a big stack of parts stored next to the cars of MTB, including the wheels with the tires still on them. Boris had had no luck finding the 'tire-guys', so I went back over to Pitstop racing who said there had to be some in the GT-paddock. Walking in there I eventually found a large Bridgestone truck that was already packed up. After explaining the problem, turned out they were Dutch too, and some very much into Mini's, they promised to give us a hand. So we loaded the wheels onto the MTB Pickup and drove over to the truck. The guys there in the mean time had unpacked a bit and started taking the tires off.
While talking to them one mentioned he had 13 Mini's back home, at which Boris commented that there weren't that many Mini's in Israel.
After getting back to the other MTB cars it turned out that these Bridgestone guys were friends of friends of MTB's Inmar, so they went over to have a chat with them too. What a small world we live in.

StarTrek Mini Vtec Engine Scaled Mini Dutch Mini Clogs ?

The next issue at hand was Carl's transportation. His flight was leaving at 11am the next morning from gatwick and he wanted to make a stop near London on the way to pick up a Mini-'pushcart'. Earlier that they I'd met the guys from Mini parts (my Mini-shop remember :) on the grounds, where they had been displaying their 6-wheeler pickup. They had told me they would be leaving at 6pm that evening, since they had to open the shop again the next day. So I gave them a call and they would be more then happy to give Carl a ride, providing he would meet them at 6, all packed up to go. With that settled I guess I had earned my unofficial title of 'Logistics Officer', as given to me by Greg before the events :)

John & Yvonne came by to say goodbye as they were leaving for home again. I hang out at the MTB Mini's a bit more and lateron met the guys from Mini Parts again. Got in the back of their pickup and drove over to the drawing of the raffle for the Mini7 racer. Even though they guys from Pitstop racing had worked very hard on it, and know very well what they were doing, the Mini wouldn't start, now where did I read that before ? :) Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately; wouldn't have known what to do with it) I nor any of the others won.

Tom Francis
Working hard selling tickets
Pitstop Racing crew
Working on the Mini7 racer

When I came back at the MTB (which was sort of the central meeting point for that day), noone had seen Carl for a while and his time of departure was closing...
Walking over to the camp site to see if he might already be there I met Arnoud who needed a hand (or three :) with some very rare interior for his 997 Cooper.
He had spend most of the day trying to find some money and had been unsuccessful, but they guy he had bought it from (who by then was already packed up to go, engine running) was kind enough to accept a check, so we walked off with two chairs and a backbench.
On the way back we finally spotted Carl, who indeed was already packed up to go and was going over to MTB to say his good-bye's.
After dropping off the interior in Arnoud's caravan, which incidentally was filling up with parts, we crossed the street to MTB HQ and waited for things to happen.

Carl arrived there with the rest about 1 minute before his scheduled departure. He was indeed packed up and ready to go.... minus his souvenirs from Stonehenge.
After a quick search, with no result he said his good-bye's and we walked over to the Mini Parts HQ, only to find they themselves were not packed up yet.
Turned out that some of them were to tired to drive all the way home and they were discussing on what to do. As they had made a promise to Carl, and needed to be back at the shop the next morning they decided to drive down to London and stay in a hotel there before continuing the trip the next day.
This gave Carl and me ample time to do another thorough search of my Van for the Stonehenge souvenirs, which were not found.
So we walked back to MTB HQ, who were very surprised (and delighted of course) to see Carl again.

Carl about to leave Mini on a plane ?

After retracing his steps since he had gotten his stuff out of my Van, the souvenirs were found again in the MTB 'pursuit van'.
About an hour later we walked over to Mini Parts HQ again and found them just about ready to leave.
All of them ? Well, not all; Frank and Saskia(?) had decided to stay afterall and leave the next day.
So I had to say goodbye to my bloodbrother, room-mate and kindred spirit Carl, knowing we might never meet again...
Talked to Frank & Saskia for a bit more and said goodbye to Henk whom I met on the way back to MTB HQ.

There it was about time to start thinking of dinner again. Since it was the last night, the supplies had run out a bit. After soup and some hors d'euvres we decided to go out and eat. So we got in the Mini's and set off for the closest ATM as a number of us also had run out of cash by then. (I wonder why ? :)
I got to drive the blue MTB Mini, with darkened windows. With enough pocket money again we went to a local pub to have something to eat. But, it being England it turned out they, and all other bars we visited subsequently, already had closed the kitchen. After driving around for a while, losing and finding eachother again and Carmen being my passenger and lateron Bas getting less impressed with my driving (ok, so I didn't see that sidewalk. It was dark !), we eventually found an after hours store where we stacked up and a take-away-pizza-place which took ages to get our order, but as compensation gave us one for free.

With enough food and drink we finally arrived back at camp about 2 hours after we had set off. The pizza was eaten and after a couple of drinks used as target practice. Since the weather was a bit overcast it wasn't as cold as the nights before and this was out last night together (minus Carl, John & Yvonne), we stayed up and talked, drank and were merry for a while still. I said goodnight and the the week long party came to and end...


Saturday 21st IMM'99/
Mini 40th
Monday 23rd