MINI RALLY: Big Crowd, Long Drive, Little Car
When you call this a “Mini Rally”, you need to clarify — they’re everywhere.
“They always kind of run in packs, very similar to the Harley Davidson group,” says Jason Willis, GM of Mini of Des Moines in Clive.
Call them “Mini People”, and you’ll need to explain…
“They’re very optimistic people, extroverted people, people that are open for new experiences,” says Mini USA boss, Jim McDowell.
Even the name itself perhaps selling them short.
“The original car is 10 feet long and eight feet of that is devoted to the passengers and the luggage,” says Rick Johnson, who bought his first Mini in 1979.
So call it a big gathering of little cars, call it “Mini Takes the States”, a New York to Los Angeles road trip of Lilliputian proportions. For the night, it calls Des Moines “home.”
“We stop every night, we have a common activity together every night and then we start off together again in the morning,” says McDowell.
Mini owners seem as plucky as their cars, and they let it show in their color schemes, add-ons and, in this case, their ironic sense of humor.
“Anyone who owns a British car is, by default, an interesting person,” says Johnson.
Des Moines is the 8th stop of the trip. They’ll buzz off to Lincoln, tomorrow, and reach the Pacific by Sunday.
“Who has ever driven cross country and not had a great time?” McDowell smiles.
And maybe this rally needs no other cause than that. There doesn’t seem to be any shortage of “Mini fun.”