Mini Cooper owners unable to set world record crossing the Mackinac Bridge

Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Caption: This is just a small glimpse of the 1328 Mini Coopers lined up prior to driving over the Mackinac Bridge last Saturday in hopes of breaking a world record. -Scott Seal photo

MACKINAW CITY, MI - This is the third time Mini Coopers invaded the Mackinaw City/St. Ignace area.

This event is held every other year, odd number year. On the even numbered years, MINI USA sponsors an event called, Mini Takes the States. That is basically a coast to coast drive with event planned in different parts of the country by local Mini dealerships.

In 2015, a herd of 1319 MINI Coopers migrated across the Mackinac Bridge in an effort to break the British-held world record for largest parade of the UK import.

While it was an impressive turnout, the MINI of Grand Rapids-organized attempt fell short by 131 cars. However, the 2017 unofficial total was 1328.

As MINI on the Mack returned, the Seal family from Lilbourn, MO did their part in hopes of another attempt to break the record. Scott, Linda and son, Rodger Seal, took both of their Mini Coopers for the bridge road trip.

Scott drives a 2012 Mini Cooper S Clubman, and Linda drives a 2014 Mini Cooper S Convertible. Yes, the cars have names too, Dash Rip Rok and Foxie Roxie.

The current record, which was set by the London & Surrey MINI Club Owners in the UK, is a whopping 1,450 MINIs.

The final tally came in at about 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5, with 1,328 fun-sized Mini Coopers driving in a single-file line across the Mackinac Bridge. The effort was nine vehicles better than a 2015 attempt, but missed the 2009 world record of 1,450 set in London by 122 cars.

This marked the third organized attempt at a world record for the longest parade of the British-made vehicle over a suspended bridge. The Sharpe Collection, which operates the Mini of Grand Rapids dealerships, first put on the event in 2013.

When you break it down, people are traveling from Florida, California, Alaska, Texas to get here to park, jump in a parade, eat some food and head home," said George Sharpe Jr., general manager of the Grand Rapids Mini Cooper dealership.

The 1,328 vehicles that participated Saturday did break the record for the largest gathering of Mini owners in the United States.

"There are many that say we are nuts," said Scott Seal, "and, they are right! We are nuts about our Mini Coopers. Mini owners don't just buy a car, they adopt a Mini Cooper. There's not one Mini that's alike, and they take on the owners personality. They can be modified in so many ways. That's the incredible part."

As part of their week long journey, the Seal family traveled to several different Mini Cooper dealerships in their effort of visiting all of the many Mini Cooper dealers in the United States. Thus far, they have been to 25 dealers. Five in this trip.