Sunday, June 20, 2021

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Colusa hosts March of the Minis

Late and vintage models of small vehicles (mostly Mini Coopers) parade along the Levee Park access road for Saturday’s March of the Minis event in Colusa.

Dozens of small vehicles, mostly late-model Mini Coopers, converged on Colusa on Saturday.

The City of Colusa opened the levee access road, typically reserved for emergency and maintenance vehicles, for a parade of the small vehicles.

“It turned out to be a really nice day for this,” said Colusa Mayor Josh Hill, who helped man the pinata station at the top of the Levee Park stairs for Mini passengers to take a swing at some candy.

Mini car drivers lined up at the start of the route at the Sacramento State Recreation Area, before traversing the levee road to Bridge Street.

Several drivers made multiple trips, including crowd favorite Jesse Nelson, of Shasta, in a 1962 miniature pickup called “Little Hooker” that is a tribute to the tow truck industry.
BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke) has manufactured the Mini since 2000. Still, many of the small cars appearing in Colusa on Saturday were original and rare British economy cars that British Motor Corporation first produced in 1959 due to a fuel shortage in the United Kingdom.

The cars were initially marketed under the Austin Mini name, and the Morris Mini name and Colusa had both.

“Mini” has been the traditional marque for small vehicles since 1969 and used by a range of small cars, including Leyland Mini and Rover Mini.

The Rover badge was applied on models exported from the U.K. to Japan in the 1990s.

The Colusa parade also boosted an Australian-made Mini and Italian-made Mini, and a Rover named “Mini Fuzz,” dressed as a police K-9 unit and sported a working siren. Another vintage Mini was decked out as a fire engine.

The British models were popular with spectators because of their steering wheel placement on the car’s right side.

Most, however, were modern Mini Coopers, manufactured by BMW, which are known for their unique style, turbocharged engines, and performance control.

Several of the drivers came up from Sacramento and were members of the same Sports Car Club. Others came from the Redding area. The Minis came in all colors and models, including two-door, four-door, and convertible.

The most popular Mini on the parade route was the iconic 134 horsepower Mini Cooper two-door hardtop, the successor to the original Mini that started it all.

Some of the drivers were local, including Supervisor Denise Carter, who pulled her Little Blue Mini from storage for Saturday’s March of the Minis.

Jami Cain, of Colusa, showed off a recent purchase. Her white and black Mini replaces her previous show car – named Tic Tac – which she lost in a vehicle accident.

“This is my first parade with this Mini,” Cain said. “I call her Tic Tac Two.”

Cain said she only purchased her Mini last weekend and hoped by the next event to have the car painted white and pink for the show.

After the parade, Mini drivers parked at various reserved locations throughout Colusa so they could talk to spectators. Many stayed and enjoyed “mini” meals at participating restaurants.

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