I’ve noticed something this year, or rather the lack of something. MINI drivers in the London area are not waving at each other. Forest City MINI Club, get the word out – we wave at each other. We are MINI.
Just because MINI now has tv commercials, that does not mean that our cars are just like every other car out there. We’re still distinct, we get attention, we’re still a community within the larger sedan and minivan driving population.
First thing I discovered, after buying our 2002 MINI in 2004, was everyone waved. People walking down the street turned and waved. Other drivers smiled and waved. I thought I must know a lot more people than I thought I did. So I’d wave back, thinking ‘oh dear who are you?’ Then I realized it was the car.
That brought another driving responsibility – you have to be nice when you’re driving a MINI. Sometimes, if someone had cut me off or done something stupid, I’d be cursing at them and wanting to make a rude gesture. Then at the next light, I might be pulled up next to them, still mad, and they’d wave and smile and point to the car and smile more. How can you then give them the finger? You can’t, so you wave and smile back.
But even when the sight of a MINI became more commonplace and passersby stopped waving their arms off at you, MINI drivers still always waved. Might be a full wave, maybe just a forefinger raised off the steering wheel, but it was an acknowledgement.
Until 2007 the closest MINI dealers to London/St. Thomas were in Waterloo and Windsor. Either way, an hour drive. So there weren’t many MINIs around here. Having Grand Touring Auto, the BMW dealer, also open as MINI London was wonderful. It made it easier to get your MINI fixed and your MINI fix. And, as it should have, it increased the number of MINIs on roads around here. Still, MINIs waved at MINIs.
Until this year. I’ve noticed a lot more MINIs this summer and very, very few have waved back at me. Especially in London. In St. Thomas and Aylmer, yes, there is sometimes acknowledgement. But London, no. Come on, people. We drive a car that has clubs and model toys. We drive a car that looks cute in packs. We recognize our fellow MINI drivers.
If you’re interested in the Forest City MINI Club, call MINI London for contact information. The book below is really good on Mini’s history.