After an exciting month filled with some great shows & events; Mike Guido, Mini Sport USA representative has come to the end of his European adventure. Mike who resides in Florida, travelled to Mini Sport on his annual trip to our headquarters in Padiham, Lancashire just before the prestigious Himley Hall & Park event, hosted by the British Mini Club in the picturesque landscape of Staffordshire.
Mike landed in Manchester a week before, escorted by Mini Sport’s very own Rob Eastwood and got ready to prepare his Mini, homed here at Mini Sport for an epic road trip across Europe to IMM Lithuania and back – with a few stops on the way; of course. Mike Guido has coined the nickname as ‘The World’s Fastest Clown’ on account of his occupation and his passion for cars & motorsport and it was certainly time to put this recognition to the test in this European journey.
Mikes Mini underwent a little preparation in the Mini Sport garage with some new parts replacements and necessary changes where needed. Unfortunately Mike had forgotten the risks of working in a busy garage and accidently walked directly into the ramp – leaving him with a few questionable face wounds and an embarrassing story to tell – not to worry tho!
Once the Mini was prepped; the flowery finishing touches; associated with Mike’s ‘happy go hippy’ lifestyle were adorned and Mike was ready for the road. Joining us at Himley Hall on the 10th May, Mike helped assist at our trade stand and took advantage of another excited photo opportunity with our good friend, Paddy Hopkirk. Himley was a great show with an abundance of fantastic Mini’s on show – a positive start for Mike’s pursuit to IMM.
Following Himley, Mike continued in his Hippy Mini to Germany where he picked up his wife, Rhonda who had also flown in from Florida. Rhonda hopped on this Journey to IMM and the pair travelled up to Denmark; where they met with friends they had made through the international love for Mini. In Denmark they bumped into some of the trendiest Hells Angels, they had seen, took their Mini’s to the funfair and set up office for Mini Sport USA – just for the night! The highlight of their time in Denmark? A trip around the Queens Courtyard in Copenhagen.
From Denamrk, Mike and Rhonda moved onto Sweden and then across the Baltic Sea to Latvia. Mike offered us a little advice on Latvia driving; that Mini maniacs may want to bare in mind for future road trips to Latvia. It goes like this:
- If you must, use someone else’s car.
- Take 15 pounds of pressure out of the tires, have 2 spares…
- Set your shocks to full soft (have new ones on order…)
- Wonder why you turned left off the Ferry….
- Dream of the moment when you see a sign, “Welcome to Lithuania”
- Make a list of new parts needed at the IMM so you can make it back to the UK….
- Have the wife (Rhonda) drive in case it breaks so it’s not your fault….
On the 19th May, 2 days before the event Mike & Rhonda successfully made it to Lithuania! After Mike had caught up on sleep and recovered from the stress of dodging potholes on the way out of Latvia; Rhonda took a moment to try out the swings!
Throughout the whole weekend at IMM, Mike, Rhonda and the Mini had a fantastic time. They got stuck in with the Rally Day, risked the Mini with some BMX stunts and even managed to take gifts to a local orphanage. In light of Lithuania’s year of the IMM Mike thanked them, stating:
“It was such a pleasure to see everyone and get to know others better. This small Lithuanian Mini club is one of the best we’ve met and hope they carry on with their contagious enthusiasm. Lots of love to them for all of their hard work that certainly paid off.”
From IMM, Mike & Rhonda travelled to Warsaw and Krakow; where he bumped into more Mini fans and had to say hello. Once back in Germany, Rhonda caught a plane back home and Mike carried on back to the UK to visit friends in the Shire County of Devon.
Now the Mini is back at it’s home in Mini Sport and Mike claims that his European road trip to IMM Lithuania has been “The trip of a lifetime…after 4,800 miles, two tires, two shocks, 1.5 gallons of oil, through 12 countries while visiting many Mini friends to and from the International Mini Meet in Lithuania. Between the perfect IMM (Amazing!), seeing so many friends in almost every county, no Mini problems, and having the experience with Rhonnie, made this a surreal journey. Thank you to everybody that was a part of this!
Thank you Mike! And as ‘The World’s Fastest Clown’, would say ‘Peace, Love Mini’