ROAD TRIP MEMORIES THAT LAST A LIFETIME.
MINI CANADA TRIP.
An adventurous spirit, a new car, and a desire to do things slightly differently. Mini roadtrips might have changed over the years, but there are a few things that remain the same.
One of the earliest orders in MINI’s history was placed by John and Maud Field, who bought their classic Mini from Brampton Motors in Canada in late 1959. As Maud’s granddaughter, Sonja Lanchbury, says, the car took the young couple on an adventure through the Northeastern United States and Canada.
“Grandad wanted a new car and couldn’t afford to buy a big American [or] Canadian car, but could afford to buy the Mini brand new and have it imported over,” she says.
“Having a Mini was also something different, having an English car over in the States.” Making the switch from much larger cars turned out to be no problem for Sonja’s grandparents, who enjoyed the reliability and resilience of their new car.
“Compared to other cars it was one of the best,” Maud remembers.
“No matter what we put it through it always ran.”
There were countless highlights from the trip, but the memories that have endured for Maud involve other motorists’ reactions to their new Mini. One such memory is of Dolly Copp campsite, a vast camping ground surrounded by New Hampshire’s tallest Appalachian peaks.
“We were camping in the grounds during low season, so there were very few other campers around.” Maud began, recalling the adventure in the White Mountains.
“Another couple asked to camp with us, they were scared and nervous being on their own in such a vast site.”
After sitting and chatting with their new companions for a while, Maud realised that the couple’s concern had shifted.
“They were amazed that we didn’t have a gun with us whilst we were travelling and camping in woodland areas,” she said, adding that it was apparently the norm for anyone camping to have a gun in the car as protection against large animals, especially those travelling in a smaller vehicle.
“[That] baffled us, it didn’t even cross our minds to carry a gun,” she said.
Of course, their trip was not without its challenges and navigating the rugged countryside through the winter was no easy task.
“Going over the mountain passes in the Mini, [John] did all the driving and that was a difficult stretch,” Maud remembered.
“We never had a row, never fell out, just enjoyed every moment. Anything difficult was overcome.” It sounds like on their early MINI adventure, John and Maud unknowingly set the standard for intrepid MINI motorists of the future.
Years after they finished this rambling inaugural road trip, John and Maud moved to England and had their Mini shipped back with them. Converting it to right hand drive allowed them to continue motoring around the countryside, enjoying family holidays in the summers. As the 1970s rolled around, the Mini was passed along in the family to continue making memories.