Gabe Bridger of MotoringFile dropped in to MINI Takes The States for a quick visit, and writes about it today – see MotoringFile …
… I got some quality time to the tune of about four hours with the GP. First impressions: better than wow. This car is a complete package like nothing weâ€™ve ever seen before. Itâ€™s not the fastest MINI out there, just the most complete MINI Iâ€™ve ever driven …
I started out the drive telling Hubie that Iâ€™d probably still prefer a normal four seat â€˜06 over the GP if I were ordering today. By the middle I had realized that the GP would have to be given serious thought in the ordering process. At the end of the trip there was no doubt in my mind that I would have to order a GP if I were getting one of the last 2006 MINIs. Itâ€™s that good …
(go to MotoringFile to read the rest, and go here to see Gabe Bridger)
Todays drive was recommended to travel Ohio River Byway 52 – more interesting than the highway. But long and with few passing places, and little chance to see the river …
Unfortunately, the weather deteriorated as we approached Charleston, and suddenly a bad driver travelling with no lights and hassling us too closely, loses control and spirals towards Georges GP in front of me – thankfully he spotted her and braked, avoiding most of the impact, suffering just a split in the front bumper
So everyone’s fine, but we were very glad to reach the hotel tonight!
Total Daily Drive Time: 7 hours or 323 miles (8:00am – 5:00pm)
Main Route Synopsis: From Indianapolis to Cincinnati to the border of West Virginia, today is the day to bring out that picnic lunch and enjoy a stop along the Ohio River Byway. The Ohio River runs the entire Southern and Eastern borders of Ohio and flows for nearly 1000 miles. You’ll cross the river into West Virginia at Huntington, before finally motoring into Charleston, WV, the state capitol. Take some time to wander through the city and explore its past.
Off The Beaten Path: Highway 52 East from Cincinnati along the entire Ohio River route crossing the river towards Charlottesville at Huntington, WV
Special Events: Hurry up the show’s about to start… MINI USA courtesy of Men’s Health magazine will create an open air drive-in theater for 500 MTTS motorists and their guest. Enjoy a new feature film release, popcorn, candy and soft drinks – just like the good ‘ole days.
Points of Interest: Cincinnati Ohio, Ohio River Byway Route
Fun Facts: Charleston is the largest city in the state of West Virginia
Club Connection: MINICCI, Tar Heel MINI Motoring Club
That was a busy day today! Good one though! We started the day next to the St Louis arch, setting up nearly 150 MINIs for an aerial photo …
Since all the MINIs were together for the photo, they all headed out and drove towards Indianapolis together for a while, giving some great pictures …
Many MINIs stopped at Vandalia, IL
(invited by the towns chamber of commerce) – for a photo op under “the dragon” (and discounted gas!)
Then the highlight of day day – Indianapolis Speedway with a chance to drive the track! Maybe for this reason, this was the best attended leg since we left Monterey …
When we completed the lap, MINIs were still entering – there was a lot of MINIs!
Here’s some other pictures from Indianapolis:
And finally to the hotel … dinner … shower … sorting & posting pics …
Total Daily Drive Time: 3-3/4 hours or 243 miles (9:00am – 2:00pm)
Main Route Synopsis: Today is a day to motor through the heartland on your way to Indiana. If you don’t have a current appreciation for the farmers of this area, you soon will. Nearly 80 percent of this land area is devoted to farming. Small towns are abundant in this region and the locals will be happy to recommend the best cup of coffee in town. Just ask. Indianapolis is just a hop, skip and a jump down the highway. Take time to enjoy the heartland and appreciate its bounty.
Off The Beaten Path: If you’d like to get off the Interstate, pick a road that parallels I-70 toward Indianapolis and enjoy lush farmland and quaint town squares.
Special Events: Got a need for speed? Join MINI USA and more than 250 motoring MINI owners and enthusiast for a phenomenal experience at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway & Hall of Fame Museum. MTTS participants are invited to a unique behind the scenes tour of the track, full access to the museum and a private reception all courtesy of Sports Illustrated.
UPDATE: MINItencan of MINICCI just announced that Indianapolis will include a lap around the track 🙂
Points of Interest: Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum
Club Connections: MINICCI, Milwaukee MINIs, Chicago MINI Motoring Club