It’s finally acting like Spring in Michigan, which means car show season is upon us. For anyone who enjoys the car hobby, this is the best part of the year. You will never find a more fun, diverse group of cars than those at your local car show. If you are a beginner to the hobby, attending car shows is a great way to get a fast education into what makes people love their cars!
Of course, not all shows are diverse. Some will have a special theme or focus on a single brand of car. You’ve likely seen gatherings of Corvette, Camaro or Mustang owners at a local show. Those are great events for the owners to share stories and restoration/modification tips.
Sometimes those groups take it beyond just a “cars and coffee” activity to help elevate a cause or bring special attention to their club. In the case of MINI owners, it can also be a sense of pride for breaking a world record.
MINI Thinks Big
MINI owners are always looking for ways to make their small cars do big things. In 2009, the London & Surrey MINI Owners Club set a Guinness World Record by creating the largest parade of MINI cars. This parade was part of the London to Brighton Run in the UK, and consisted of 1,450 MINIs.
That’s a significant amount for cars, especially for a small brand like MINI. Of course, The UK is home to the brand, so they really had the home field advantage.
MINI On The Mack
Not to be outdone by their UK parents, MINI USA wanted to break that record. In 2013, they teamed up with MINI of Grand Rapids (Michigan, USA) to collect a parade of at least 1,451 MINIs to cross the Mackinac Bridge* in northern Michigan.
Unfortunately, they fell short in 2013. Not to be deterred, the group makes the attempt every two years, with the following results:
- 2013: 846
- 2015: 1,319
- 2017: 1,328
- 2019: 1,300
- 2021: Canceled due to COVID-19
- 2023: 1,124 (updated 8/5/23)
My wife and I attended the 2019 challenge and had a ball. You will not find a nicer group of car people than MINI owners. This is more than just a Michigan event. Cars came from all over the country and it was a really well organized activity. Hats off to the team at MINI of Grand Rapids for an excellent event!
Check out the drone footage from 2019 to get an idea of the size of this group:
Final Thoughts and 2023 Plans
MINI of Grand Rapids is organizing the event with the support of MINI USA again this year. With the cancellation in 2021, I sense a lot of pent up interest in beating the world record. If you are a MINI owner who would like to participate, you can learn more HERE. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Van Andel Institute’s Purple Community, which raises awareness and funds for Parkinson’s disease research in Grand Rapids.
Registration is scheduled to close on June 1st, so don’t waste any time. If you are not a MINI owner, go buy one and register for the event. You will never have more fun with a group of car people than at MINI on the Mack!
*Note About the Bridge
The Mackinac Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Straits of Mackinac, connecting the Upper and Lower peninsulas of the U.S. state of Michigan. Opened in 1957, the 26,372-foot-long bridge is the world’s 27th-longest main span and the longest suspension bridge between anchorages in the Western Hemisphere.