8th Annual “Spring has Sprung” Meet-n-Eat — 3/21 in Cedar Rapids

8th Annual

Spring cannot get here soon enough…

…but of course it will, along with the new motoring season. We’ll celebrate that fact at the 8th Annual EIM “Spring has Sprung” Meet-n-Eat on Saturday, March 21st at its traditional location in Cedar Rapids — the Granite City Food and Brewery located right across 1st Ave SE and just to the east of the Lindale Mall.

Rendezvous time is 10:30 am. We will plan to park where we always do, lined up on the northwest/east edge of the lot adjacent to 1st Ave SE and the Marion Bypass. If the weather cooperates, we’ll enjoy some outside MINI photo ops and socializing prior to lunch, which will start at 11:00 am.

We need an accurate head count for the restaurant, so please let us know you’re coming by following the sign-up instructions below (click on the **Read More** button from the Home Page). The restaurant contact info is also available after the jump.

We’ll see ya there.

All Kinds of Goodies

All Kinds of Goodies

Our February EIM Meet-n-Eat-n-Swap took place this past Saturday the 21st in Davenport. Our MINI folk are deeply appreciative of Denny and Sandy B. for hosting us again in such classy and generous fashion!

The MINI atmosphere was thoroughly enjoyable with all the MINI-related decor, the slide show of our past adventures, videos of racing MINIs and Minis, and the movie room with The Italian Job (of course) as the featured matinee. The food was tremendous and plentiful (sincere thanks to ALL of the contributors who brought such yummy stuff) with the absolutely decadent Tiffany’s Tipton Bakery crescents getting honorable mention (thanks Cindy!), the superb Bent River Brew (thanks Steve!), and the Hot Buttered Bourbon so smooth it was, indeed, dangerous (thanks Alyce!).

The MINI parts Swap Meet was a first-time effort and turned out to be a lot of fun. We had a great venue in the heated garage already being graced by our hosts’ impeccable MINI Roadster. Lots of great deals to be had…and plenty of leftovers too so if you’re looking for parts, check with Bill S. or Jim M. before you go elsewhere. These two guys seemed to have one of everything!

Thanks to everyone who came out and joined us. You can find photos from this event in our Photo Gallery. They are directly accessible using the following link:

Photos from the EIM Meet-n-Eat-n-Swap in Davenport, 2-21-15

Next month is the “Spring has Sprung” meet in Cedar Rapids on the 21st. Hope to see you there!

Kicking Off 2015 at the Wig and Pen Pub

Kicking Off 2015 at the Wig and Pen Pub

After getting snowed out last year, Mother Nature owed us one…and she delivered in full with a beautiful, blue skied, 50 degree day for our first event of the new calendar year — the EIM Meet-n-Eat at the Wig and Pen Pub this past Saturday in Iowa City. It was a pleasure to meet up with MINI friends again in a great atmosphere, get caught up on current events, and start making plans for the upcoming motoring year.

Our group enjoyed meeting new EIMers Chris and Deb G. who came up from Hayesville to join the MINIs. We give a nod to Pete and Chris N. who made the trip over from Bolingbrook, IL to hook up with us. Lastly, we knew that Cindy D. was bringing along a “special friend” but who would have guessed that that friend was a brand new MCS Coupe? Nice ride!

We hope everyone had a great time. The photos from this event can be found in our Photo Gallery and are directly accessible using the following link:

Photos from the EIM Meet-n-Eat at the Wig and Pen Pub, Iowa City, 1-24-15

Hope to see you in Davenport on 2/21!

Seasons Greetings

(c) Ryan Connors. Used with permission.

The Eastern Iowa MINIs family sends along its sincere wishes to everyone for a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


See more Ryan Connors Cat Folk Art at KilkennycatArt


At the Miles Ahead MINI Performance Motoring School

Several adventurous, thrill-seeking motorists from Eastern Iowa MINIs and the Central Iowa MINI Club recently took advantage of the opportunity to participate in the Miles Ahead MINI Performance Motoring School at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, IN on 11/2/14. The MINI Performance Motoring School offers fundamental driving skills used by professional race car drivers to effectively handle a car at speed, providing classroom instruction and instructor-led hot laps on the track.

We extend our sincere gratitude to Rob Melick, Central West MINI Area Manager, for the discounted registration graciously provided to the Iowa MINI clubs.

Photos from this once-in-a-lifetime motoring experience are linked up in our Photo Gallery and are directly accessible using the following link:

EIM and CIMC at the Miles Ahead MINI Performance Motoring School, Indianapolis, IN, 11-2-14

More information on the Miles Ahead Program can be found here:

Miles Ahead MINI Performance Motoring School

Back from the Ozarks

A spirited group of EIMers had the recent pleasure of participating in MINIs in the Ozarks 2014, conducted at its traditional location in and around Eureka Springs, Arkansas from 23-26 October. The beautiful Autumn colors, the plentiful blue skies, daytime temperatures in the 80’s, and (of course) the plethora of twisty Ozark Mountain roads contributed to a fun and exciting adventure for everyone. Our EIM base of operations at the Brackenridge Lodge turned out to be a great experience, with our MINIs essentially taking over the place during our stay. The proprietors, Scott and Jenny Johnson, couldn’t have been nicer and accommodated us at every turn. All in all, it was a great four-day experience of motoring and making memories with good MINI friends!

For a glimpse into some of the fun times, feel free to check out the Photo Gallery. You can jump directly to the pictures of this trip by using the following link:

EIM at MINIs in the Ozarks 2014, Eureka Springs, AR, 10-23-14 to 10-26-14

A Fairly Cool Tour

A Fairly Cool Tour

The chilly morning temperatures did little to curb the enthusiasm of the MINI Cooper faithful from Eastern Iowa MINIs and the Central Iowa MINI Club as our numbers climbed to 30 MINIs and over 50 participants for the 12th Annual MINICooperIowa Fall Tour on Saturday, October 4th. Our route kicked off with the morning rendezvous in La Porte City and passed by much Iowa fall scenery on the way to lunch in Anamosa and a superb buffet supper at the historic Decker Hotel 1875 Restaurant in Maquoketa, with fun stops along the way at Pleasant Creek State Park, the National Motorcycle Museum, cave exploring at Maquoketa Caves State Park, and the Hurstville Interpretive Center.

We enjoyed an added bonus upon our arrival in downtown Maquoketa, as our MINIs were extended an ad hoc invitation to join the “Muscle on Main” Car Show. We were enthusiastically ushered from our discrete parking spots near the restaurant to prominent show-off spots right along Main Street!

It was great to see lots of familiar faces, to catch up with friends we hadn’t seen in a while, and to meet and greet a bunch of new MINI friends. Sincere thanks to all who came out and joined us!

A few photos from the day are available in our Photo Gallery. You can access them directly by using the following link:

Photos from the 12th Annual MINICooperIowa Fall Tour, La Porte City to Maquoketa, 10-4-14

Happy motoring!

Swamp Fox MINIs

Swamp Fox MINIs

Eastern Iowa MINIs would like to extend our sincerest thanks to long time EIMers Larry and Pam H. for their support and generosity in hosting our MINIs again this year at the 2014 Swamp Fox Festival Parade in Marion on September 6th. Our parade participants enjoyed what was probably the most perfect weather day of the year, which contributed to record crowds along the parade route. As usual, our MINIs were one of the parade highlights. The delicious soups, pies, and other food and drink at our hosts’ home after the parade were absolutely fantastic and deeply appreciated.

We enjoyed the pre-parade car wash and the staging area, where we found ourselves lined up adjacent to the local Corvette club (and you wouldn’t hear it from them, but our MINIs won the race to the reviewing stand!). It was also a pleasure meeting new EIMer Rod H. and his rare Solid Gold Metallic MINI Cooper. It was fun seeing the Chili Red MINIs awarded driveway privileges too!

Photos from the parade are available in our Photo Gallery. You can access them directly by using the following link:

Photos from the 2014 Swamp Fox Festival Parade, Marion, 9-6-14

See you at the Fall Tour…

Iowa MINI Yoopers

Yooper. (noun) A nickname for a native or resident of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, derived from the initials “U.P.” And oh by the way, it happens to rhyme with “Cooper.”

And that’s what we were, during our recent, four-day adventure north for the inaugural Keweenaw MINI Rendezvous. This event was hosted from 14-17 August the Keweenaw Peninsula between the picturesque towns of Houghton and Copper Harbor, Michigan. It was yet another fantastically fun time with great MINI friends, both from EIM and new folks that we met along the way. We explored a lot of wonderful new territory, motored on some great stretches of challenging twisties, and visited many interesting and fun stops along the way. Enjoyed some spectacular weather and the view of Portage Lake and Mont Ripley from the backyard of our hotel. Had some mighty fine meals together, including some real homemade pasties. Partied in downtown Houghton with all of the MINI folk in town. Waded in Lake Superior (well, at least the ladies did). Gazed at the huge snowfall thermometer near Calumet. Heard our names and home towns on the radio station during our police escort out of Houghton on Day #1. Made the front page of the local paper — both print and web editions. By most accounts, had the best barbeque brisket ever at the group picnic on Friday. Marveled at the views in all directions from Brockway Mountain Drive. Picked and ate wild thimbleberries (with no adverse reactions). Visited shops, lighthouses, beaches, waterfalls, historic bridges, Art in the Park, a bakery run by monks, a copper mine, and the one and only “Gay Bar.” Enjoyed the superb scenery of the peninsula wherever we motored. Met some great new MINI friends. Oh, and Mike got a lump of coal as a gift (you’ll have to ask him). All in all, a most enjoyable and memorable MINI experience!

We extend our sincere thanks to Houghton locals Keith Riley and Mike Rose for their fantastic planning, organization, coordination with local businesses, media, and law enforcement, and outright leadership in putting on this event. Not one detail was overlooked. The bigger events need to pick these guys’ brains so they can learn how to do it right.

Pictures from our adventure to the Keweenaw have been added to our Photo Gallery and can be accessed directly by using the following link:

EIM at the Keweenaw MINI Rendezvous, Houghton, MI, 8-14-14 to 8-17-14

Thanks to the participating EIMers for making this trip so much fun!

Looking Back on MTTS 2014

Another successful MINI Takes the States is in the books. We want to recognize our fellow EIM folk who were able to participate in all or portions of this 5,200 mile, two-week event — including Denny and Sandy B., Peter N., Jerry and Chris S., Cindy D., Jay T., Mike and Di E., “Thelma and Louise,” and any others who we might have missed. Special kudos and salutations to Bill and Alyce S. who successfully completed the entire coast-to-coast event (and were still smiling at the end). Thanks for carrying the EIM flag for us! A quick nod to our friend Greg B. from CIMC who also made the full trip.

We’ve assembled a collection of photos from our participants in the Photo Gallery for your reminiscing and viewing enjoyment. They’re directly accessible using the following link:

EIM Photos from MINI Takes the States 2014, 7-26-14 to 8-9-14

It’s not too early to start thinking about MTTS 2016!

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