The Opel and the MINIs

Beastmaster and Peanut Adventures

Car Events for 2009

The 2009 calendar is jam packed with events. January is a slow start but we have a run in the Brecon Beacons with the MINIS, February sees us at The Breakfast Club at RAF Cosford while March starts the European adventures with a French weekend trip with the MINIS again. MINI are organising a MINI United Event at Siverstone and May finds us making our first road trip to the South of France. In June we have an epic French adventure journeying all around France from Le Havre to La Rochelle, to the Pyrenees to the South of France up to Metz and on to Calais - a stunning trip. Later in the year Mr RVW has organised a "Cheap as Chips" weekend to France and in between all this there are all kinds of other car related events that we will be joining in with!

The Black and White Trail

The 24th October began in awful rain and it did not bode well for a day driving around Herefordshire following the "Black and White Trail" mixing MINI driving with photography. Myself, Peanut, RVW, Storm, Seth, Jon, Dealmaker, Stargirl, MiniFriz and Mandy Moo were the attendees for the run and we met at 10.30 at Ledbury railway station. Photos from there show you how miserable the weather was at the start of the day.

Undaunted we carried on and had a brief glimpse of sunshine at our first village stop - Dilwyn. We carried on for a snack in Kington before getting some great photos and lovely sunshine in Eardisland, which is reputedly Hereford's most lovely village. Awesome driving roads and some lovely black and white villages meant that in the end this was a great day out topped off nicely with a late lunch at the Trumpet at er... Trumpet!

The day was also useful for those who chose to enter the Beastie October Photo Competition as the theme was "black and white" - click for the October Competition entries!

Pistonheads Goes to Mercedes-Benz World

Pistonheads organised a trip to Mercedes-Benz World at Brooklands with the following description taken from their website. (link to here)

Yes, it's time for another PH Sunday Service and this time we are heading to the fantastically weather-friendly Merecedes-Benz World at Brooklands on Sunday 23rd August.

For those who haven't yet visited Mercedes-Benz World, it is a brand centre designed over three floors showcasing all Mercedes-Benz models, from the SLR McLaren and iconic classics from over a century of the pioneering car maker, such as the legendary 1950's 300SL Gullwing. In addition you can watch the Mercedes-Benz film in the cinema and experience other attractions such as the simulator and Motor Sport exhibition that features a 1930's Grand Prix car next to Lewis Hamilton's 2007 racing car.

With the option of a cafe and a restaurant there are plenty of options for refreshment during the morning, and we will not be limited by the weather as there is plenty of space to shelter inside. M-B has also allocated us our own private PH parking area to the right of the building (as you approach), so look out for the PH signs as you enter that will point you in the right direction.

At 12pm the Silver Arrows Display Team will perform driving demonstrations on the tracks and wet skid circle in the latest AMG cars, and there is also the chance to take a passenger ride for just £10. At 1pm the European Grand Prix from Valencia will be shown on the big screen on the ground floor of the venue.

As usual we'll kick things off from 09.00 and we'll run through to the end of the Grand Prix. Please add your name to the list below if you intend to join us, but as we have plenty of parking feel free to simply turn up on the day. We look forward to seeing you there and thanks to Mercedes-Benz for hosting us.

The day was superb with great cars, great weather and a great venue.
Mac Carousel Picture Show

Cotswolds 7 - 15th August 2009

Soggycornflakes organised his seventh Cotswolds MINI run which took place on the 15th August 2009. He outlined the run as follows. "We will enjoy a long first leg across to Sudeley Castle near Winchcombe before heading down into Bourton for the usual fun with all the tourists and then onto the Fosseway down to the Cotswold Water Park Visitor Centre for lunch as we did last year. You can bring a picnic or enjoy a baguette/sandwich and cake from their cafe – along with hot chocolate if the British Summer continues as it has so far!

After a leisurely lunch it’s a short hop to Burford, quick re-group and then a pose down the High Street before heading out towards Charlbury and then back to the Cherwell Valley Service area. From that point onwards we go native and have an unscripted follow the leader mystery tour through some back roads to Northampton and finish at the Park Inn hotel bar for a much needed drink!"

A smaller than usual turn out for this run guaranteed a brisk pace for the run, resulting in a rare treat for CooperBeast as he stretched his legs from one end of The Cotswolds to the other. The stop at Sudeley Castle coincided with a Marcos meet and so we also spent some time drooling over those beauties! Living in Malvern we opted to join the run at the start at Bicester Services but to peel off after lunch as by then we were practically back home. A great day was had by all and we especially liked using our Cooper and enjoying his lovely exhaust note as he worked to keep on the pace. Thanks Soggy once again for your time and effort! (Link to here)

Weekend in Paris - 31st July to 3rd August2009

RVW organised a "Cheap as Chips" camping weekend  via the NewMiniSeverns website, consisting of 3 nights and 4 days staying just outside Paris at 5 couples signed up for the trip - RVW and Storm, Emu_p and Panther, MiniFriz and Mandy Moo, Scream51 and Pixie and ourselves Beastie and Peanut.

Four vehicles went, us in our Opel GT, MiniFriz in his brand new and very shiny Mitsubishi Warrior, Emu_p in his Pepper White MINI One and RVW in his MINI Cooper Dubman. As a formula for a weekend away it could not be faulted, great value, super location and smashing company. It was very relaxing and everyone did their own thing in their own way. We did Paris on Saturday and Fontainbleau on the Sunday having great fun taking HDR photographs at every opportunity. Meanwhile RVW and Storm did Paris and then Disney on the Sunday, while Emu_p and Panther spent both days visiting Paris. Mini Friz and Mandy Moo amused themselves with two days in Paris and a speeding ticket while Scream 51 and Pixie took a more original approach to the weekend - they got engaged at the top of The Eiffel Tower! Well done both of you, you were clearly feeling the love!

We got a real sense of achievement from managing to pack all our clothes and camping gear for a four day trip into the Opel GT and it has definitely given us the confidence to camp using the Opel again.

Anyway here is our slideshow of the weekend. (Link to here)

Opel GT UK Owners Club - VBOA 2009

We were very kindly invited to join the Opel GT Owners Club on their stand at the VBOA National Meet at Billing Aquadrome. The club is for the first generation of Opel GTs which were built between 1968 and 1973, so it was very generous of them to invite the new style Opel GTs onto their stand. It was a chance for us to show off our pride and joy and to have a little fun camping just for one night.

The boot on our Opel GT is not huge and initially camping seemed impossible, but we had tested the available space and discovered you could fit a tent, airbed, two sleeping bags, stove, kettle, holdall of clothes etc., two fold up chairs, a fold up table and two pillows into this baby! So we were ready to go. The site at Billing was very large and full of every conceivable type of Vauxhall, Bedford and Opel and an interesting variety of trade stands. The Opel GT stand itself was very centrally placed and on arrival we parked next to our friend Glynn, who has the only other new Opel GT registered in the UK.

The Opel GT UK Owners Club made us feel very welcome and we were pleased to see real classic Opel GTs in the flesh, all lovingly restored and maintained by their owners - some to as near original spec. as possible, others to a more modern take on an old theme. This was the first time we had ever seen the original GT at first hand and quite simply we were both blown away by its beauty. We are very biased about our new shape Opel GT and much of why we bought that was to do with its beauty but upon seeing the original Opel GT we realised we had found a rival for it in the beauty stakes! The original Opel GT looks like a super car from every angle and so clearly was years ahead of its time when it appeared in 1968 - some 40 years ago! Methinks we will have to start saving, it's as simple as that!

Once we had finally finished drooling at these classic beauties, we spent some time looking at the trade stands and once it looked as if the drizzle had stopped we finally pitched our tent and made a cuppa. The evening was spent in the company of the club members in their large gazebo sharing their BBQ, some beers and some tales of adventure and heroism relating to the joys of GT ownership. As it got dark it began to rain and soon after we went to bed. Our trusty tent didn't let us down and we were snug and dry all night.

The next day we were given a plaque by the club to commemorate our attendance at the show and managed to get a fair few photos taken too. Interestingly, one of the cars there, SFL 301K was one that I use a photo of on this site, to illustrate what the original GT looked like, so it was great to see this car for real! We also had a lot of positive comments and admiration for our Opel GT from people who had never seen the new Opel GT before, which was very pleasing.

All in all we had a very pleasant weekend indeed, so thanks again Opel GT UK Owners for making us feel so welcome and we hope to see you all again soon!

View photos on Mac Carousel

MINI United 2009 - May 22-24

This is without doubt the biggest event in the 2009 MINI Calendar and we were there for the Saturday and Sunday. We had  managed to bag one of the 100  "in field" places to "Flaunt Your MINI", which got us off to a great start as we were able to breeze straight into the very heart of the meet and park up. We saw loads of our friends old and new from the MINI scene and quite simply had a great time from start to finish. It was this social element that made MINI United and you could see that the event really did have a unifying effect as Mini lovers from all over the world descended on Silverstone and basked in the camaraderie that the meet created. It was great to see clubs from the world over -  Russia, Belarus, Spain, Italy, Latvia and many many more - all proud to be there and already excited about the next MINI United!

MINI had pulled out all the stops for the event and there was loads of things going on at the festival from track drives, to test drives to Challenge Car Taxis all climaxing with Paul Weller live on the Saturday evening! Three MINI special editions were also revealed at the event, the Camden, Mayfair and the mouth wateringly desirable JCW WC50 limited to just 250 models. MINI and Mini celebs were there too awarding prizes and doing autograph signings, Paddy Hopkirk and Mike Cooper to name just two. Our Good friends Ray and Gail were there too with their Diesel Clubman Doglet (named after Gail's own affectionate nickname) and their Clubman won a prestigious award for best modified MINI with original modifications. Well done both! were live at the event and covered all the news coming out of the event and here are a few links to their event news.

WC50 in detail    MINI United Photo of The Day   Mot File Interview with Paddy Hopkirk   Mayfair and Camden Debut   MINI F1 Debut

View Photos on Mac Carousel
MINI United 2009 - May 22-24

Midlands Breakfast Club - April 2009

April was a special meet for us. Our Opel Gt was joined by the only other UK registered Opel GT - a very sexy black one with black leather interior. The sun shone and there was a great turn out for the event. Good turnouts too from some of our local car clubs, MiniAddiction and FunkyAutos. Will, was showing off his lovely Alfa GT, The Gidfather was posing with his Cooper S cabriolet and neo-draven was looking good in their Fiat 500.

Midlands Breakfast Club March 2009

March and we are back at RAF Cosford. This is a great day out - bacon butties, cars and planes. The day has it all, which is why we keep going back. Next time we go though our mission is HDR photography!

Newminiseverns Celebrate Their 5th Birthday

March 2009 was the 5th birthday of the Bristol based Newminiseverns Club and to celebrate they organised a run to Gaydon Motor Museum. this was a rerun of the first run the club organised and it attracted a very healthy turn out of MINIS to a fun day out. A guided tour of the museum was thrown into the event and this combined with the fun drive across the Cotswolds for the drive to the museum made for a great day out.

Midlands Breakfast Club February 2009

February saw us once more at the Breakfast Club at RAF Cosford, this time taking our Opel GT. Today it was in the shadow of a gorgeous Yellow TVR - the one wonderfully designed by The Klingons - but it still got its share of admiring looks. Both Funky Autos and were there in force and a fine turn out saw an interesting and eclectic mix from exotic Corvettes to a beautiful E- Type with all sorts in between - even White Van man showed his face. Disturbingly rather a lot of us quite liked his slammed down van. Credit to ya mate! (White van courtesy of Seth -

Brecon Beacons January 2008

This was our first MINI Run of the year and it was ClubBeast who had the honour of starting things off for 2009. A very good attendance was seen with about 15 cars turning up. The run ended with a meal in a pub and a fun chin wag as we all caught up with old friends and new. Heading home we followed PAA100 in his R56 JCW who gently put us through our paces. As you would expect keeping up was easy enough for the most part, as to expose the differences the JCW would have to be breaking all kinds of speed limits and that isn't what it is about. However, when the twisties got narrower and twistier, then keeping up did become a challenge, the JCW R56 is just so much more nimble than the Clubman and we quickly became very aware of that. Thanks for the convoy home Paa100! In summary, a fun way to start the Events year.