October 29, 2011 – The 9th Annual Fall Colors Drive

Drivers meeting Pella (1) Drivers meeting Pella (2) Greg and MINI Mouse address the crowd Imes Bridge St Charles (1) Imes Bridge St Charles (2) John Wayne House (2) MINI Mouse Beachy Parked in Pella (1) Parked in Pella (2) Rest stop Indianola (1) Starting for Pella (1) Starting for Pella (2)

A little History:

Beginning in 2003, MINI owners state-wide have been invited to join the annual Fall Colors Drive – this year was the ninth consecutive year MINI owners have taken our cars out for some exercise amidst the glories of an Iowa fall.

This year’s route started in Pella, where everyone assembled for lunch. Following lunch, we meandered by way of several twisty and curvy back roads west to St. Charles to view the Imes Covered Bridge, then we headed over to Winterset to visit the John Wayne home (those who elected not to tour the home visited the Cutler-Donohoe Covered Bridge instead), and finally we ended our drive at MINI of Des Moines where the dealership will provided us with refreshments and some entertaining MINI-related challenges – as part of M of DSM’s participation in the national MINI “Motor-tober” promotion. The total distance covered between Pella and M of DSM was about 150 miles.

As this was a statewide event, we were also lucky enough to meet a number of Eastern Iowa MINI owners who came to enjoy the drive.

September 27, 2011 – MINI of Des Moines New Car Show

In lieu of a monthly event, CIMC members attended the annual New Car Show on Tuesday, September 27, 2011, at Willis Auto Campus, which featured the new 2012 MINI Coupe.

Willis Auto Campus, parent organization of MINI of Des Moines, had special parking for MINI owners and refreshments for attendees. In addition, Jason Willis provided some “special perks” at the MINI building.

Willis’ MINI of Des Moines has been extremely supportive of the CIMC’s efforts to provide MINI-related motoring fun and enjoyment for owners, and members were happy to show our appreciation of that support on this special night.

July 23, 2011 – Burma Shave Signs Drive

Roger Sitterly put together a catchy draw to bring out our MINIs for a little rural highway enjoyment. It started like this:

If you don’t know

Whose signs

These are,

You can’t have

Driven very far.

If you can supply the final line to the above jingle, you’ve already guessed what we did in July. If not, try this one:

Slow down Pa

Sakes alive!

Ma missed signs


And five.

So you’ve been given a huge clue in the title, CIMC drove out to go find the Burma Shave signs. “Our Iowa” magazine was in the process of placing one complete set of Burma Shave jingle signs in each county throughout the state. At the time, the closest sets of signs for those of us living in Central Iowa were in Boone, Story, and Marshall counties as none had yet been posted in Polk or Madison counties. No other state in the country had any of these signs posted, though one original set is on display at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. and Roger had seen a couple of sets in various car museums.

The drive took place Saturday, July 23, and again departed from Willis’ MINI of Des Moines.

It was a perfect chance to get some pictures of our cars next to some truly amazing Americana.

What do you think the signs we found said? Maybe…


Has spring

The grass has riz

Where last year’s

Careless drivers is.

Or perhaps

The one who

Drives when

He’s been drinking

Depends on you

To do his thinking.

Or perhaps it was something else? Come join us at one of our monthly meetings or drives to find out!

June 11, 2011 – Balloons, Trains, Ice Cream and Wildlife

Starting at MINI of Des Moines, everyone left at 12:30 p.m for a full afternoon of driving, friendship, and just all around fun. The scenic back roads route provided lots of twists and turns so the MINIs could strut their stuff a bit in the sunshine.

  • A stop at the Nation Balloon Museum in Indianola answered the question, “Will a hot air balloon lift a MINI Cooper?”
  • We learned that there (are / are not) a few MINIs on the  Trainland USA layouts.
  • At the Colfax Ice Cream stop, we discovered the most popular flavor among MINI Cooper owners.
  • We wondered what a herd of buffalo at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge thought of MINIs.

The route included: an hour or so at the Balloon Museum,  scenic byways to the Neil Smith Wildlife Refuge near Prairie City, where we saw a short film describing the area and spend about an hour there as well.

There was the “absolute must” stop at Goldies Ice Cream Shoppe in Prairie City, before everyone proceeded to Trainland USA near Colfax. Most people had seen the billboards on I-80 advertising Trainland USA, but few had ever stopped to see it. We were amazed at this great display of electric trains and all their surroundings!

April 30, 2011 – Tiptoe Through the Tulips

Randy and Deb Anderson were kind enough to put together a wonderful Spring Drive to Pella, Iowa, to enjoy all the tulips in bloom – and before the hordes descended in just a few more days for the annual Tulip Time festival.

Beginning promptly at 10 am from MINI of Des Moines, this meandering drive found everyone in Pella by noon. There, the sights (such as the authentic Dutch windmill and quaint shops located in the Netherlands-inspired buildings surrounding the traditional town square), smells of literally thousands of tulips in bloom, and tastes (Dutch Letters at Jaarsma Bakery!) were enjoyed by all. Once in Pella, everyone was able to enjoy lunch and all the sights at their own pace, heading back home at their leisure.

April 2, 2011 – Shortest Distance Rally

April opened with a Shortest Distance Rally. Participants received a list of several unique locations within the greater Des Moines area. Their task was to visit each location, answer a specific question to prove they arrived there, and return to MINI of Des Moines while logging the fewest miles on their MINIs and having the most correct answers. The drivers registered began between 10:30-11:30 am at MINO of DSM, learned the details at the drivers’ meeting at 11:45 am and cars began to leave the dealership at noon, departing in two minute intervals. The driving portion of the even lasted between two and three hours.

CIMC Shortest Distance Rally Results


Place Participant(s) Correct Answers Total Miles Driven
1 Sage Evans and Jon Wise 9 47
2 Teresa Kruse and Harrison Kruse 9 49
3 Randy and Deb Anderson 9 51
4 Andrew Shipley 9 52
5 Kim Carstens 9 53
5 Linda Harding 9 53
7 Janis Fox and Daryl Hanneman 9 54
8 Lyle and Sharon Kreps 8 50
8 Doug and Michelle Walker 8 50
10 Laura Rettig 8 51
10 Ann and Joe Jeffries 8 51
12 Joe and Tammy Bechen 8 52
12 Dawn Stonehocker 8 52
12 Kathy Williams 8 52
15 Matt and Tara Osborne 8 53
16 Jordan and Steve Cox 8 54
16 Katy Robertson Hammer 8 54
18 David and LaDonna Walker 7 50
19 Jeremiah Snyder 7 53
20 Gary and Penni Warren 7 54
21 Shannon Dudley 6.5 51
22 Bill Steig 6 58