Chicago Auto Show Sneak Peak with MINIUSA


Two groups of MINI's converged downtown for a quick Channel 7 photo shoot before heading on to the Auto Show. We were treated to breakfast snacks and drinks and had a chance to talk with Fireball Tim and his 500 horespower twin-turbo charged, supercharged, nitro drag car.

The rest of the Auto Show was a blast, and we had the huge advantage of being inside before the main doors opened.

HUGE thanks to Chris W. from MINIUSA for making this all happen for us!!! Thanks for Dustin for leading one of the drive legs, and getting a film crew out there!

Here is the Channel 7 news clip.. Thanks Taylor!

Here are the Auto Show Drive pictures from Greg and Dustin.

More pictures from Brian.

For those who cannot make the show, be sure to check us out on the Live webcam (North Hall East View)


The CMMC (along with MINI USA and the Chicago Auto Show) are proud to bring you the show before the show.

MINIUSA has arranged for CMMC members to get in to the Chicago Auto show before it opens to the general public on Saturday February 11th.

Chris Weiler from MINI USA will be on hand to answer questions and show off what is on display for 2006 from MINI. You'll also be set loose to see the show before the usual madness descends on McCormick Place.

This is a great way to see the MINI display up close without having to jockey for position with 500 other non-MINI owners. You'll get to spend time with the cars, check out the new options, and talk one on one with an exec from MINI USA.

All CMMC members are invited plus up to two guests. Just download the PDF at the end of this post and send it to the address on the form with a check for your tickets and you're in. Then just show up at the McCormick entrance at 8:30 am sharp (no later than 8:45 or you won't get in) and we'll take it from there.

When: Saturday February 11th 8:30 sharp! (once we leave as a group for the show floor at around 8:45 am we will not be able to let anyone in).

Where: The front of the new McCormick Center near the fountains.

Who's invited: Club Members plus up to two guests.

Cost: Tickets are $10 each. Just download the following PDF and send it in (with a check) to the address listed on the form (NOTE:The form information is temporarily incorrect and will be fixed shortly. Cost is $10 and 2 guests are allowed):

CMMC Autoshow Tickets 2006

But act fast. We only have a certain number of tickets and once they're gone that's it!

  • Steve Rosenblum (Club Vice President)

    I am in for 1!!

    Is anyone up for an early morning group drive down Sheridan and Lakeshore Drive starting at Northwestern campus in Evanston?

  • Gabe

    I'm in for two!

  • dennis

    i'm in. i will have 2 guests. i'm up for the morning drive as well.

  • Steve Rosenblum (Club Vice President)

    Dennis: Gnomes get in for free (as long as they are under 2 feet tall).

    I will get information posted about the drive down to the Auto Show sometime next week.

  • I'm in for 3 and am up for the drive too. Good idea Steve on the drive.

    Gabe – thanks for your persistence on this. Great job!


  • J/C

    I'll look forward to meeting you's guys. Make sure to check out the (MINIUSA/FTR) Dragster.

    Look for a bleary-eyed Chicano with a Nikon. (since I'll still be on L.A. time)

  • gary and cathy

    were in, sounds like fun

  • Angelo

    Count me in for 3.

  • Greg Shives

    I'm in too plus 2 guests. Morning drive sounds great!


  • Marco

    Im a maybe, cause i might be working and may already be there, and so might my MINI…i offered to have it on display at the SCCA booth at the show, so if its there, itll be sweet.

  • Dustin

    I'll be there with bells on.

    If any of the Mini owners in West Chicagoland would like to meet near Oak Brook we could caravan into the city together. If you do let me know, thinking we could meet at 730am in front of that really nice Mc Donalds on the SE corner of Oak Shopping center, they have a “cafe” for all you coffee lovers.

  • Donna

    I'm in for two.

  • GSKChicago

    I may be up for the drive – depending on where it's start, etc. I would have been up for the show as well, but I am going to the Auto Show First Look on the 9th and think I'll likely be “auto showed” out by then. I'll check back on the drive.

  • Adam

    I am there… it will be a good chance to use that free ticket i won go carting.

  • Luis

    I am in with two guests. I am still not sure about the drive. Are we going to park together as a group in a cetain lot/garage?

  • Richard

    Count me in for two.

  • Dustin

    Sending in a check today for me, myself and I, thats still just one ticket.

  • Cathy

    Money sent for 3. Can't wait!! Alway went to Cobo Arena in Detroit. This will be a first for Chicago!

  • The Seeker

    I'm in. Morning drive sounds good too.

  • mfatta

    im a no go, but i may meet you all there cause ill bee working the show at the SCCA booth, stop by and say hi!

  • Alan

    I'm in for 1.

    I want to drive with Steve (et al.) from Evanston, too.

  • I'm in for 2.
    My daughter Kacey wants to know if any other kids are coming, especially girl(s).

  • john & tommy

    We'll be there, so at least one kid age 10… and Jim, he is not allergic to girls other than his 2 sisters. Plus we'll be bringing a mystery guest. See everyone in Evanston. Where?

  • Paul Flint

    I'm in for two. I understand that there is a group motoring in from Oak Brook. Will this group be heading down the Ike? If so, approximately what time? I live in Oak Park and can just link up with you as you pass by.

  • Steve Rosenblum (Club Vice President)

    Evanston group will leave at 7:30 from the upper level of the Parking Garage at the south end of the Northwestern campus (the Purple/grey/red/green blob on the bottom of the link.

    Evanston starting point

    Oak Brook meetup is Here:
    Oak Brook McDonalds

    I will try to get more details posted soon.

  • Dustin


    Looks like a few of us will be meeting Sat at 730am in front of the McDonald's at; 1120 W 22nd St
    Oak Brook, IL 60523.

    We will Motor out of there at 745am. If you want to plan on getting in line along the Ike/290, just guess about what time you will need to look for us.

    Feel free to call my cell that morning for current location on the Ike.

    More-Smiles-Per-Mini-Mile, Dustin

  • dennis

    whoa. 7:30 departure eh?, that means i have to leave IN around 6am (for either e-ton or o-brook), which means I have to get up before that… hmmm…

  • Dennis – please don't feel obligated to do one of the drives. You're better off just meeting us there if you'd rather sleep in a bit. I live in Evanston and I even gave it some thought 🙂

  • David Quednau

    I'm in for two.

  • Jean

    I'm in for two tickets and will join the drive from Evanston.

  • I'm in for two; check'll be in the mail tomorrow. Leaving at o'dark-thirty from Indy. *yawn*

  • Steve Rosenblum (Club Vice President)

    Brian.. You are a wild man!!! Glad you are heading up.

  • Miguel Salgado

    I am in but only for one. To early for the wife and little one. Will take advantage of the ticket won from Go-Karting this past weekend. Was great fun racing you all who participated that event.

  • Ernie Chan

    I'm in + 2 guests.

  • Francis Macasieb

    I'm in for 1 ! Catch ya in Evanston.

  • Hope to see you all there!

  • Amy

    I will be there + 2 guests. Also, I plan on being part of the caravan from Evanston.

    Anyone know about parking? How much do we pay? Where do we park? etc…

  • Dustin

    PARKING, the two caravans are going to “try” and meet up on MI Ave South of Congress, then turn left on Cermak and park in the “A” garage together. I don't know how much it is, but plan on $10.00 or more to park, Welcome to Chicago :).

    We will post more details by Wed night.

  • marco

    Im gonna be at the SCCA booth at 9, but if i can crash the MINI party around then will they let me? or will they shoo me away?

  • john & tommy

    $$$ From the auto show FAQ page:

    what is the cost of parking for the auto show?
    Parking in the lots surrounding McCormick Place is $16 a day.

  • Adam

    Dude all you have to do is flash the MINI keys and they will see you are one of us.

  • Bill Murphy

    I'm in for one ticket and will most likely join the drive from Evanston.

  • Dustin

    I was just watching the 4pm news on 7 and the weather guy was at the Auto Show and talked to Co-Anchor Linda Yu about the Minis. Does she have one?

    I'll email her an invite to our Sat Caravan and Show.

  • Dustin

    Here are the details for Saturdays Auto Show event:

    Optional Pre-event meetups:

    Both groups leaving at 7:30 am:

    A group will be meeting 7:30am in Evanston at the top of the parking
    garage on the South end of the Northwestern Campus:,+Evanston,+IL+60201

    Emergency contact: Steve (contact number sent already in e-mail)

    A second group will meet 7:30am in Oakbrook at the McDonalds in the Oak
    Brook Shopping Center:,+60523

    Emergency contact: Dustin 312-388-4263

    McCormick Place meetup:

    We are planning to park at Parking Lot A at McCormick Place:

    I have heard parking is $16 (ouch)

    The group will meet inside McCormick Place at the fountains near the Auto
    Show entrance area. I believe the BMW club is meeting in the same area.

    You MUST be there at 8:30.. We will distribute the tickets there, and
    then be lead into the Auto Show at about 8:45. Once we are in, we will
    not be able to get out until the main gates open, we won't be able to get
    tickets to you until after the gates open again if you are late.

    Emergency contact: Steve (contact number sent already in e-mail)

    We will be able to hang at the MINI exhibit until the Auto Show officially
    opens, and then we will be turned loose on the rest of the show.

  • Dustin


    Linda from 7 News just called me, and is going to ask the weekend crew to call us and try to cover our two caravans meeting in Grant park. Someone will call me 1st thing Sat to see if it's going to work out.

    Linda doesn't have a Mini, YET!, but is really thinking she wants one, having grown up with small British sports cars.

    See YOU all Sat, Dustin

  • Dustin


    Could happen. With the hope of ABC Chicago News team meeting our caravans I wanted to give you the details.

    If you are not going to be in one of the caravans but would like to be in the “last mile” and maybe on TV, meet us at 8am on S Columbus Dr & Congress Pkwy 60605. Be headed SOUTH on Columbus just south of Congress.

    The West and North Caravans are going to try and meet there at 8am, link our Mini's together for the last mile to the show. I'll be talking with Steve while on the road, to insure our timing.

    Are Mini's in a caravan, a Mini-van? LOL

  • Steve Rosenblum (Club Vice President)

    Washing my MINI in the dark during snow flurries.. What depths have I sunk to?

  • Jim Cowen

    I will meet Dustin in Oak Brook by 7:30 with my daughter Kacey.

  • Dustin

    Good Morning,

    I'm ready to hit the road, any ??'s feel free to call my cell 312-388-4263.

    See The West Burb Minis at 715-730 and the rest at 8am-ish.


  • Steve Rosenblum (Club Vice President)

    Thanks All! I had a great time. Wish I had a chance to chat more with people…

    Saw our MINI's on Channel 7 news at 5pm (they only showed a few seconds of the cars)

  • Francis Macsieb

    I saw my MCC on tv too (got it on Tivo), I wish I had a chance to wash it!! LOL

    We should plan another gathering again soon!

  • Channel 7 Footage is Now Posted!

    I've placed the footage at

    (It's the first movie listed).

    Enjoy it! I had a great time yesterday.


  • Amy

    Great movie! Thanks for putting it together Taylor. Otherwise, I would have completely missed it! 🙂

    Had a great time as always.

  • Dustin

    Thanks goes out to Linda Yu at ABC 7 for asking the weekend crew to be there Sat AM. Thank You Taylor for the great video and I'll be getting my “dash-cam” off to you this week to add to the club site.

    Membership Does Have It's….

  • Greg Shives

    I had a great time as did my neighbors Rob and Justin. Thanks for the video Taylor- I missed it twice trying to do a Tivo auto program. Your slow motion was better than the broadcast!

  • I've got some pics from the show up on Flickr; I've tagged the ones of the CMMC crowd explicitly:

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