Minis stream into Fontana Village by the moment; the common theme is that every car is uncommon. Mini USA’s build and price website touts 500,000 different creative combinations…and they’re right. No two Minis are exactly the same, reflecting the unique style and personality of the owner. It’s a thrill to watch the cars come in; each Mini announces its arrival with a wonderful exhaust note as they roar up the hill toward the resort. The crowd of spectators grows as each one arrives, flashing by the large patio deck at the banquet hall. Yet the fun is just beginning as old friends reunite, new friendships are being forged and each car is a unique case study on how the owner has made their car better. This is why we are here, and why it did not matter how far we had to go.
Classic Mini or Mini series R50, R53, R56, et al…No matter which “R“ you are, the car’s design architecture and platform is the core strength in every Mini. The beauty of each car seen on the surface reaches throughout the entire chassis. The reason why it’s so easy to customize and personalize a Mini is because the car is great all the way through to the frame. Like an artist with a good canvas, the Mini owner has a palette of options available to enhance the aesthetic beauty that meets the eye.
Beyond model, color and graphics selection, perhaps the most widely chosen option is wheel choice. Mini has one of the largest selections of wheels for any model ever sold in America. After all, it was the classic Mini’s that started the trend in the first place. Remember the Mini-lites, Panasports, and BWA’s of the good old days? Wheel customization for the Mini owner has historic roots that have rolled forward into the current generation. There are nearly 200 choices in Mini wheels today, either OEM or in the aftermarket.
Owners know that wheel choice is especially important to define the image of their car, and their personality. More than anything else, it conveys a message back to the admirer about the purpose of the car and the personal taste of the driver. Looking through the 750 Minis, either on the show field or in the parking lot, the MOTD2012 event has brought out the entire spectrum of road wheels. Sure, there is a lot of visual froth for everyone, but every Mini here this weekend is going to meet “The Dragon”.
Yes, the fabled Dragon. The old serpent’s tail is a 321 turn ribbon of asphalt that tests every “car, chassis, tires, brakes, road wheels and every pilot who dares to enter her domain. So how is your driving skill? Will the Dragon smile or frown on your Mini? She can be your moment’s delight or in an instant become the devil’s daughter. Her courtesy is to rattle your nerves, stir up the contents of your glove box and rearrange what’s in the boot. My friends, she’s bent many a bonnet of the young gun hot shoe and the experienced professional. She’ll seduce you through 10 apexes in a row, but can you hold on to her for a half dozen more without a break? Better treat her like a gentleman! Open the door of that throttle or turbo boost properly because she seeks out your every weakness. The fabled Dragon demands respect; long on promises, short on forgiveness. She’s the ultimate test of street driving, and she grades on a curve. Let’s Motor!
The Dragon tries every car that dares to dance with her. The 11 mile road is more than just a diabolical two lane, it is a crucible of diagnostic testing; bringing out everything right and everything wrong about a car and its driver. The car becomes a rolling classroom, and those who enroll will find that a higher education can be costly. Traveling at speed on the Dragon requires a tuition payment of a better suspension, brakes, wheels, tires a well as developing driving skills. Like any good school, it’s a rounded education that rewards the well prepared and exposes weak spots for remedial instruction.
All Mini drivers brought well prepared cars, since that’s the way they come from Oxford. Consider it an excellent prep school, as the Mini already has best performance engineering as standard equipment in every model. It’s estimated that Mini’s flew over 3000 successful sorties on the Dragon over the long weekend. Photos can be seen at www.killboy.com and then selecting the date of May 3rd , 4th or 5th. Considering the 750 Mini’s in attendance, the safe passage of all through the Dragon is a testament to the cars and the drivers who brought them down tail and back again. Bend the rules, rule the bends… the Mini way!
Throughout these several days, the Dragon experience was just one of dozens of memorable functions at MOTD2012. It is amazing that with so many cars on display, none were exactly alike. Mini owners take pride in making their car uniquely all their own. The Fontana Village resort became an incredible showcase for Mini creativity of aesthetic and performance enhancements. Bonnet to boot there were great modifications including engines, powertrain management, suspensions, brakes, road wheels, tires, seating, custom color schemes and graphics. The Mini is perhaps the best and most versatile canvas for owners to make their cars one of a kind.
Dozens of great vendors from new Mini dealers to decals, vendor row had it all. Take a tour of the vendor paddock:
Borrani Americas is proud to have been a display sponsor for the event, showcasing our S-Ray rims that direct fit Mini Cooper and Mini Cooper S. Our rims are made in 16” x 6.5” and 17” x 7” in traditional silver and satin black, with the proper bolt pattern and offset for all Mini Cooper and Cooper S. Borrani rims are the most exclusive high quality wheel available for your Mini Cooper! This year Luther Shields from NC won 1 st and 3 rd for two of his cars! Luther has the best Classic Mini at Fontana, by the judges’ proclamation. He also won a class award for his blue and yellow Mini Cooper S, fitted with genuine Borrani silver S Ray rims! Congratulations Luther!
Luther Shields’ 3rd Place Blue and Yellow MINI with Borrani Wheels
Outside of winning races and concours awards, what makes Borrani rims different from other brands? Borrani’s metal spinning technology and the most capable manual skills gained over 80 years of wheel centering, balancing, and assembling could make the modern wire wheel possible. 64 stainless steel wires are beautifully woven into the design which is assembled by hand. Our rims are made with ALSi7 alloy low pressure cast aluminum for the absolute best in materials and durability.
When Sir Alec Issigonis designed the first Mini in 1959, Borrani had been already building the unique hand made rims for 37 years. The long history of Borrani includes some of world’s most famous drivers including Enzo Ferrari as early as 1924. Enzo won his first race on Borrani’s, and that tradition has continued when Mr. Ferrari insisted that Borrani be the rim of all his racing and road cars. Between 1946 and 1966, all Ferrari cars were equipped with Borrani wheels as original equipment. There is a long list of Borrani champion drivers including Tazio Nuvolari and Alberto Ascari. Borrani Wheels of Victory has won eight Formula 1 championships and 7482 racing victories. James Bond 007’s Aston Martin had Borranis as well as Steve McQueen and Mick Jaggar. These drivers selected Borrani over all others because they are the best. Join this elite group while making your Mini the very best it can be! E mail John Montgomery at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 770-932-2380 for the show special price!
Thanks again to Barry Patascher and the MOTD2012 team! It was a great show! Every Mini owner took home a boot full of fond memories.
Vendor Row had it all at MINIs On The Dragon!
You could be sure to find Borrani Americas on Vendor Row at MINIs On The Dragon