Most iconic cars have legions of fans who often form fan clubs. The Ford Mustang, which is only now making it's way outside of the North American market has clubs all around the globe. Each of these vehicles has it's own culture, and the MINI and it's network of car clubs is no exception.
MINI fans in Canada often join a local MINI car club. There is a Toronto MINI Club, a 610-member MINI Club of Quebec, and many more such clubs around the country. This summer, members of the Toronto MINI Club drove in a convoy to the MINI Invasion, a celebration of all things MINI in Niagara-on-the-Lake. On the grounds were 162 MINIs, no two alike.
Described as "Miniacs" this group of fun loving drivers. One such fan who attended the Niagara event said: "I challenge anyone to get into this car and not end up saying, Okay, the MINI is the most fun car you’ll ever drive." He added: "I’m not a car guy – I’m a MINI guy."
One of the highlights of MINI ownership is the delight enjoyed by making one's MINI distinct. Owners often modify, customize and accessorize their vehicles to show off to other MINI aficionados.
Like all car clubs, members may seem a little cult-like in their passion for their cars. MINI fans differentiate themselves somewhat, by not fitting into any particular demographic. While a car such as the Chevy Corvette seems to attract 50-something white males, MINI owners don't skew for age, gender or income. It's more of a mindset than a quantifiable group, young at heart with an enthusiasm for driving MINIs.
Kirk Henry, president of the MINI Club of Quebec said: “The handling is the only way I can describe it. You feel like you’re driving a go-kart."
The Toronto MINI Club has about 100 members, a website, a Facebook group, and an active membership that is happy to share information and technological knowledge to support one another.
More than 6,000 MINIs were sold in Canada last year, and MINI Canada expects to sell it's 50,000th car here by the end of 2014.
By Linda Aylesworth - autoExpert.ca