SMOC Summer Social 31/7/22

Well, it’s been a bit quiet on here hasn’t it? The club has still been here and meeting and showing as much as the last couple of years have allowed but hopefully that is behind us now and we can get back to spending a bit more time on our little hobby.

Today was an informal event aimed at encouraging people back into the fold, a chance to catch up and lounge about with a few nibbles in the sun, well, posh marquee actually 🙂

We cast the invitation out to other car clubs to bring a bit of variety and maybe sow some seeds for future runs and, for a little event like this we had a really good mix of cars but still keeping it mainly Mini’s.

The weather was very kind and the food was good and everyone seemed to be mingling so a great success I think.

Anyway, here’s a few pictures:

Show Highlights – 2020 so far



I’ve still not changed my rear springs, and we were quickly told ‘no unnecessary journeys’ so never met up in a diner car park.

Keep smiling, staying in is better than the possible alternative, get on Facebook, share your tales of tinkering or just pop by for a chat.

2020, A year to remember?

So, it got off to an exciting(?) start with the long awaited end to the Brexit saga. We then into February and start thinking about the little winter jobs that need finishing off, the list of shows the club will be attending is starting to come out and thoughts turn to how we will be spending our weekends for the next 6 months. Then, out of nowhere, the national toilet paper crisis hits us! The shelves are bare and venues are getting concerned, ‘How can we accept all these visitors without providing for the inevitable comfort breaks?’. Then steadily they start to cancel or postpone, as I write we should all be wandering around in the chilly sunshine at Brooklands for, what is for many, the first show of the season.

So, what do we do instead? I, personally was supposed to have changed the rear suspension over winter but never quite got round to the task of removing the twin tanks in the cold confines of my garage, but now it’s a bit warmer and there are no shows, perhaps I’ll get onto it. Always look for the silver lining, this virus may have us reducing our social interaction and even keeping us at home altogether, but now, maybe your favourite car can get a bit more of your time and come back even shinier when we eventually get back to normal.

At the moment, there’s no reason we can’t go out for a drive, maybe meet up at a drive-thru somewhere and shout across the car park to each other from the safety of our Mini’s. Go out anyway, remember, you were hoping to be at a show, you don’t even have to stop anywhere, just enjoy your car.

If all else fails, we’ll still be there on Facebook. Post a bit of chat, ask for tech advice or just check in to say ‘hello’. Perhaps post some pics of your winter project progress or the stuff you did in preparation for the show season, we may not be out there kicking each others tyres and talking nonsense but maybe we can amuse ourselves online until all this blows over.

Stay safe and see you all on the other side.

Brands Hatch Mini Festival 21/7/19

An annual weekend show that’s been running for a number of years with a full day of Mini & Bini (can I say that & sound unbiased?) racing, various off circuit displays and trade to look at, and, if you hang on until the end, you get to take your car around the circuit. This year obviously includes a few anniversaries, one of them being 50yrs since the Italian Job was released and someone is going to a lot of trouble to get together a full range of vehicles from the film. On display at Brands were the coach, the mini’s, E type Jag & bullion truck, these also did a parade lap – not sure why though as you could have a much better look at them parked.

It may be me but it felt like this show was a lot smaller this year, very little in the way of trade, no stunt show and not crowded, I always feel sorry for the music acts they put on, they generally play to themselves and are put out of the way somewhere. That said, it was an enjoyable and easy day out.

Weather was good on Sunday without being too hot, Brands is a funny place for weather but a quick splash of sun cream at the start of the day did the trick.

There are more people on the track than watching by the time you get to the club parade but its a good chance to see the circuit properly and get a feel for the scale, it’s very different when you’re out there.


Whitstable Classic Car Show (& Focus ST’s) 14/7/19

Despite the chaos caused by a lack of M2 and some well placed roadworks we had a good turn out and enough company to open a book on whether the weather was going to be kind. After a few spits early on things improved and ice creams were enjoyed by all. This show stretches along the Tankerton Slopes from Whitstable Castle to somewhere near the south of France, well maybe not that far but when you have a 5yr old it can seem like a long way!

There’s a bit of everything here, including, and I don’t understand why, a load of Focus ST’s, but those aside its a nice mix of big american stuff, some customs and home grown classics, some varied trade & live music too if you fancied it.

I did have some more photo’s but they wouldn’t upload so, if you want to see what it was like make sure to come next year!