Jiminnimachine 4 MINI of the Month

JiminnimachineWe have another member up for the MINI of the Month on Motoring Alliance. Let’s get one of our own elected. Vote for Jiminnimachine for “MINI of the Month”.  Help Jim and his MINI add to their badge collection and become eligible for great prizes.  Be sure to check out Jim’s Garage.

Jiminnimachine –

Vehicle Name Jiminnimachine
Year 2003
Model S
Color Pure Silver

To read more about Jiminnimachine go Motoring Alliance. To vote for Jiminnimachine for February MINI of the Month, click here – VOTE NOW. (Membership on Motoring AlliaJiminnimachine 2nce required to Vote)

If you are a member of Motoring Alliance, you can enter your MINI for future months and if you are not a member, what are you waiting for?

Help Jim win the MINI of the Month badge. Vote, vote, vote, vote……..



Retirement Ceremony – Master Chief John Dunlap, USN, June 1, 2012

On June 1, 2012, the MidCal MINIs group had the honor and privilege of sharing with Master Chief John Dunlap (Tron Chief) and his family, the celebration of his 30 years of service in the United States Navy and his retirement.  In front of family, friends and his crew, Master Chief received his last piping to shore.

Master Chief Avionics Technician (Air Warfare) John Dunlap enlisted in the Navy on September 1, 1981 at age 17 in Honolulu, Hawaii and went to boot camp at Recruit Training Command, Navy Training Center, San Diego, California.  After graduation from book camp he reported to Navy Advanced Technical Training Center, Millington, Tennessee, for “A” School.  At Millington he became an Aviation Electronics Technician and was selected to report to his first command VA-174 “Hellrazors” stationed in Naval Air Station, Cecil Field, Florida

At sea he served with: VFA-137 “Kestrels” as an Integrated Weapons Technician deploying onboard the USS Coral Sea (CV-43); VFA-151 “Vigilantes” as the Aviation Electronics Leading Petty Officer deploying onboard the USS Constellation (CV-64); VFA-146 “Blue Diamonds” as the Aviation Electronics Leading Petty Officer deploying onboard USS John C Stennis (CVN-74; VFA-151 “Vigilantes” as the Maintenance Master Chief deploying onboard USS Lincoln (CVN-72); and VFA-94 “Mighty Shrikes” as the Maintenance Master Chief deploying to MCAS Iwakuni Japan.  While at sea, he completed one Mediterranean Sea, two UDP, and five Western Pacific and Persian Gulf Deployments in support of Desert Storm, OEF, OIF and Carrier operations.

Ashore, his tours included VA-174 “Hellrazors” as a Line Division Plane Captain detaching onboard the USS Lexington (CVANT-16) and USS America (CV-66); Strike Fighter Weapons School Pacific as an A-7 and F/A-18 Special and Conventional Weapons instructor and inspector; NRD Portland Oregon as the Recruiter in Charge for the Naval Recruiting Station Albany, Oregon; and VFA-122 “Flying Eagle’s” as the AV/ARM Branch Chief and the Maintenance Control Senior Chief.

In April 2010, John reported to Strike Fighter Squadron 94 “Mighty Shrikes” located in Lemoore, California as the Maintenance Master Chief.  The Maintenance Master Chief is the Maintenance Department senior enlisted Sailor, and as such he advised the Maintenance Material Control Officer and Maintenance Officer on long-range planning to ensure assets are available for assigned tasks.

Master Chief Dunlap, throughout his career has been supported by his wife of 27 years Suzie and his three daughters, Michelle, Kathleen and Samantha (who just celebrated her High School Graduation).  John also celebrated in May, the achievement of obtaining his MBA from Trident University in Conflict Negotiating Management.

Master Chief Dunlap’s personal awards include Meritorious Service Medal, three Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, nine Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, nine Good Conduct awards and various other unit and campaign awards.

At the conclusion of the Ceremony  Master Chief and his family were saluted with a reading of the Watch and being “piped off the ship”, one last time.

The Watch

For thirty years, This sailor has stood the watch

While some of us were in our bunks at night, this sailor stood the watch

While some of us were in school learning our trade, this shipmate stood the watch

Yes…even before some of us were born into this world, this shipmate stood the watch

In those years when the storm clouds of war were seen brewing on the horizon of history, this shipmate stood the watch

Many times he would cast an eye ashore and see his family standing there, needing his guidance and help, needing that hand to hold during those hard times, but he still stood the watch

He stood the watch for thirty years, he stood the watch so that we, our families, and our fellow countrymen could sleep soundly in safety, each and every night, knowing that a sailor stood the watch

Today we are here to say: “Shipmate…the watch stands relieved. Relieved by those YOU have trained, guided, and lead.  Master Chief Dunlap, you stand relieved…we have the watch!”

“Boatswain…Standby to pipe the side…Shipmate’s going Ashore!” *

Fair Winds and Following Seas Master Chief

Congratulations Master Chief and family as you embark upon this new stage in your lives.  Thank you for allowing your MidCal Family to be a part of this truly remarkable and special event.






See more of John photos by clicking here and here.

*  –William Whiting, 1860

PDQMINI – Robert and Diane in London

The “Adventure” has begun for Robert and Diane as they headed to London this week to catch up with family and friends  and to make the pilgrimage to the MINI birthplace.  Follow along as Robert and Diane send back pictures of their “Most Excellent Adventure” to the Motherland.

London is the capital city of England and the United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area of the country and among the most populated in Europe.  Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its founding by the Romans, who called it Londinium.  London’s ancient core, the City of London, largely retains its square-mile medieval boundaries. Since at least the 19th century, the name London has also referred to the metropolis developed around this core.  The bulk of this conurbation forms the London region and the Greater London administrative area, governed by the elected Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Enough with the history lesson; keep sending us those pictures!


PDQMINI to Visit the MINI Production Triangle

Have you ever thought about what it took to make your MINI come to life?  How many parts go into your car; how many workers it took to personalize it just for you?  What did your MINI see before the two of you saw each other?  Have you ever wanted to visit the birthplace of your car or even pick up your new baby from the MINI birthing center?  Well one of our very own is going to the birthplace of the MINI!  PDQMINI is off to England in late March to visit the Triangle!  Rob will be posting to his Facebook account and allowing all of us to live vicariously through his adventure, so watch this site for links to QDQMINI’s Excellent Adventure to the Homeland.  To set the stage, just a bit of introductory information is presented as follows:

BMW’s 2nd generation R56 MINI Cooper is produced in what is called the MINI production triangle. There are now three plants involved in the production of the new MINI and they are located in what appears to be three points of a triangle on a map. The top of the triangle is the Hams Hall plant, with the right leg of the triangle being the Oxford plant and the left leg being the Swindon plant.
The Ham’s Hall plant builds the engines; Plant Swindon is where the body pressing and sub-assembly manufacturing is done. and Plant Oxford is the body shell, paint shop and final assembly plant.  Body pressings at Ham’s Hall  grew from the bonnets, doors, side panels and rear panels, to now include all the body shell sub-assembly work, of which after completion is delivered to Plant Oxford where final assembly is done. The Swindon plant makes 280 of the 350 different pressed parts for the R56 MINI Cooper.
 Plant Oxford, where the MINI Cooper is actually put together and tested, consists of a mixture of robotics and hand assembly. The plant works in 3 shifts, 20 hours a day, which means there are 2 hour breaks in between shifts. Shift times can be adjusted within 25% ranges of each other.
The final assembly plant is capable of producing MINI Coopers in an extremely vast amount of configurations – the possible variations are said to be in the thousands of trillions!  For starters, there are the 4 body types pf the Cooper, which are left hand drive with sunroof, left hand drive without sunroof, right hand drive with sunroof, and right hand drive without sunroof. Then you also have two engine options. Multiply all of that with all the other customisation features – 372 for interior and 319 for exterior – and the number gets very high.  MINIs are built to order, and once you’ve ordered your MINI, you can actually still change your configuration within 7 days of the day the car is expected to roll off the production line.
In 2006, the MINI Production Triangle employed 6,350 people, which was expected to increase to nearly 6,800 people when production was hiked to 240,000 cars a year from 200,000 cars a year in 2006.  Hams Hall employed about 1000 people, about 4,700 were employed in Oxford and 1,100 in Swindon. The location of suppliers is also crucial, several suppliers have actually moved operations to within an hour of the plants they are supplying to, as MINI production is very time crucial – orders always exceed production capacity.   (From an article written in 2006)


Featured Member – Sandra Lee Scott, Author

Bloomin’ Boomers is insightful, thoroughly researched, entertaining, and inspirational.”  “Bloomin’ Boomers comes at a time when we are wont to look back a bit at the landscape of our journey.”  

These are just a few of the reviews of a new book written by our very own Sandra Lee Scott (known to the MidCal group as Sandee Archer, Ken’s better half).  Sandee has highlighted the lives of 191 leading-edge Baby Boomers* “Bloomers” and their profound impact on popular culture as well as the planet.  The book covers their insights on life, success, aging, mortality, and creating legacies.

Just a few of the Bloomers highlighted in Sandee’s book include Diane Keaton, Dolly Parton, Donald Trump, Sylvester Stallone, Cheech Marin, Linda Ronstadt, Bill Clinton, George Bush, Sally Field, Ben Vereen, Patty Duke, Steven Spielberg and Jimmy Buffett.  Sandee’s latest book includes a concise decade review of 1940 – 2010, which is sure to evoke nostalgia while providing the world context in which the Bloomin’ Boomers bloomed.

Sandra Lee Scott – Archer

Sandra is the child of two World War II veterans and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area.  She graduated from UCLA and holds a masters degree in Counseling from CSULA.  Helping people who are emotionally hurting has been the focus of her life’s work,  Her first book, Reflections of Evil, a novel, called upon her knowledge and experience working with child sexual abuse victims.  Her next creative venture was the inspirational video Healing Images: A Journey Through the Seasons.

Sandee lives with her husband Ken in the Sierra Foothills of California not far from Yosemite where she offers workshops such as “Finding Inner Peace After Loss” and “The Write Retreat.”  She enjoys nature, music, rafting, hiking, photography and spending time with family and friends.  And of course hanging with the MidCal group.

Bloomin’ Boomers: Pop Culture Legacy of the Vanguard Baby Boomers by Sandra Lee Scott. Order your copy at http://bloominboomers.com.

*A Baby Boomer has been defined as a person who was born during the demographic Post-World War II baby boom between the years 1946 and 1959 and by the U.S. Census Bureau as the years 1945 through 1964.  Seventy-six million American children were born between 1945 and 1964, representing a cohort that is significant on account of its size alone.  As a group, they were the healthiest and wealthiest generation to that time, and amongst the first to grow up genuinely expecting the world to improve with time.



January’s Featured Member

January’s featured MidCal MINI member is  Mrs Jiminni

Vehicle Name  Bella
Year 2009
Model Cooper S
Color Laser Blue
Packages All Packages
Birthdate 4/28/2009; Picked up 6/4/2009.

Factory Aero Kit; Union Jack Mirror Caps and Rear-view Mirror; Union Jack Rear Wing


Click the image to open in full size. 

Blue Color Line; Blue Leather/Black Cloth

In-Car Entertainment

Under the Bonnet

M7 Turbo Heat Shield; M7 Strut Plates


Wheels and Tires


December’s Featured Member

December’s featured MidCal MINI member is Firebro17

Vehicle Name  Montag
Year 2005
Model Cooper S
Color Chill Red/Black
Packages Cold Weather, Premium and Sport
Third owner of an original California car, first sold in Long Beach. Re-sold in San
Luis Obispo in early 2008. Sold to me in San Luis in June 2010.

Black Beltline Kit; Custom Cut Bonnet Stripes(Cooper Flags); De-chromed Handles, Side Scuttles,
Headlite Rings and Gas Cap; JCW Aero Grille and Side Skirt Kits; Side Marker Blackout Kit; GP Rear Moulding; Stubby



2003 MINI S Under the Bonnet 2003 MINI S Under the Bonnet 2003 MINI S Under the Bonnet

Marshall Gauges; Craven Speed Mounts; Scangauge II, Tinted Windows; Zippie Shades

In-Car Entertainment

2003 MINI S Interior 2003 MINI S Interior 2003 MINI S Interior

No H/K; Dice; XM Satellite; 6-C/D Changer, with a little Sammy inside; My Beautiful Wife, and of course… The Gas Pedal.

Under the Bonnet

2003 MINI S Suspension 2003 MINI S Suspension 2003 MINI S

Cooper Works CAI w/ Samco Induction Tube; MSD Ignition; BSH Catch Can; TSW
Engine Mount; Alta Intercooler Diverter; M7 16% Pulley


2003 MINI S Wheels and Tires 2003 MINI S Wheels and Tires

M7 Strut Brace; Mini Madness Understrut Brace; MINI Cabrio Braces; H-Sport 19mm
Rear Sway Bar; WMW-TSW V3 Springs Zimmerman Drilled/Slotted Rotors; Hawk HPS Pads

Wheels and Tires

17 x 7 BBS R99 Double Spokes; 215-45R-17 Yokohama Avid Envigor 

2003 MINI S Wheels and Tires 2003 MINI S Wheels and Tires 2003 MINI S Wheels and Tires

November’s Featured Member

November’s featured MidCal MINI member is Jiminni

Vehicle Name  Jiminnimachine
Year 2003
Model S
Color Pure Silver
Packages All major mods done by Steve at Custom Mini Shop
Bought used November 2005. Wife owns a 2009 MCS. Car named by my buddy Fracky…LOL!

Tribal graphics / M7 Ultimate Grills / M7 Ram Air Scoop / GP rear trim kit / Mini rear bumper cover
Clear side marker covers / Clear rear taillights / Custom rear red reflectors  and *Coming soon* – Fubrication GP style wing

Under the Bonnet

  2003 MINI S Under the Bonnet  2003 MINI S Under the Bonnet 2003 MINI S Under the Bonnet

Cosworth BVH / Nitrostick NS1 camshaft / NitroStick Series Valve Spring and Retainer kit
GP Intercooler / Custom GP IC diverter / Protech custom ported and polished intake manifold
M7 16% SC pulley / M7 2% crank pulley / M7 180 deg. thermostat /  M7 Aerogel EX Heat Shield / M7 Air Plate Diverter – Carbon Fiber / Alta CAI /  Alta Sporttone cat back / Alta header – ceramic coated / MSD coil / MSD wires/  K&N Inverted Top air filter / Detroit Tuned Bypass Valve / TSW engine damper / MYNES/ByteTroniK tuning / Bosch 550 fuel injectors /  NGK spark plugs / Craven oil dip stick / Clutchmaster FX400 clutch / Fidanza aluminum flywheel /05 6 speed conversion / Phantom Grip LSD


2003 MINI S Interior 2003 MINI S Interior 2003 MINI S Interior

Whalen Shift knob / Whalen E-brake handle / Marshall Water temp stepper motor gauge
Marshall mechanical vac boost gauge / Marshall custom designed analog / AFR gauge / Innovate LC-1 / Scangauge ll /  Craven pods / Valentine V1- Custom rear remote mounted / Valentine remote audio unit / VEI – Valentine remote display unit / FES Ian Cull’s Auto-Up circuit / B&M short shifter / CG locks / Under tray / LED dome lights / Odyssey PC925 battery-26lbs

2003 MINI S Suspension 2003 MINI S Suspension  2003 MINI S

M7 coilovers / M7 Under Strut System / M7 Strut Tower Brace / Hotchkis camber plates / Alta 19mm rear sway bar /  Helix rear control arms / PowerGrid endlinks / PowerFlex bushings / BSH/CMS custom lower motor

M7 front and rear rotors / Hawk HPS pads / SS lines

Wheels and Tires

2003 MINI S Wheels and Tires 2003 MINI S Wheels and Tires 2003 MINI S

O.Z. Ultraleggera 17×7 / Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec 215×40 / Turner Motorsports lug bolts


October’s Featured Member

October’s featured MidCal MINI member is Tron Chief

Vehicle Name Master Blaster
Year 2008
Model S
Color Dark Silver / Black
Packages Sports Package, JCW Body Kit

JCW Body Kit with second generation lip, JCW Carbon Fiber hood scoop, JCW Carbon Fiber Mirror Caps, JCW Carbon Fiber Wing. Asthetic Creations Black Jack Side Marker Covers and door handle black out covers. Go Mini Go third brake flasher, No holes license plate holder.

Under the Bonnet

2008 MINI S Under the Bonnet 2008 MINI S Under the Bonnet 2008 MINI S Under the Bonnet

M7 Strut Tower Brace, M7 Super AGS Cold Air Intake, M7 Heat Shield. BSH Catch Can and Direct Dual Boost Port Adapter. Craven R56 Oil Dip Stick. Borla touring exhaust custom welded to protect rear bumper.


2008 MINI S Interior 2008 MINI S Interior 2008 MINI S Interior

Limo tint to rear three and front visor strip. Panic Button decal over glove box button. M7 Carbon Electric Boost/Vac Gauge, Electric Fiber knob. Marshall’s Electric guage, Electric Boost/Vac Guage, Electric Oil Pressure Guage Water Temp Gauge, Electric Oil Pressure Gauge mounted using multiple Craven Cups and adapters.


2008 MINI S Suspension 2008 MINI S Suspension 2008 MINI S Suspension

TSW Lowering Springs, ProLink end links, Helix lower control arms. M7 Under Strut Suspension.

Wheels and Tires

2008 MINI S Wheels and Tires 2008 MINI S Wheels and Tires 2008 MINI S Wheels and Tires

R98 Wheels with 215/45/17 General UHP NON RUNFLAT tires.


For more information contact us at mcm@midcalminis.org
All information copyright MidCal MINIs.