Mini continues relentless expansion into... boating?
Posted Oct 19th 2012 7:30PM
With 11 variants available, it's easy to think Mini has already covered almost every possible automotive segment it could. Almost. There's still no Mini pickup truck, no Mini cement mixer, no Mini minivan. And, until now, no seafaring Mini.
But hold off on those Mini-themed life jackets, Admiral. This is one Cooper you probably won't see cruising around your local marina. The Mini Convertible boat is destined to be a one-off promotional vehicle commissioned by the Mini USA Eastern Region dealer network for their "Motor-Tober Not Normal Sales Event."
"We challenged our regional staff and the dealers in their respective areas to identify 'Not Normal' ways to celebrate this Motor-Tober by engaging the Mini community and demonstrate why it's an exciting brand family to be part of," said Tom Salkowsky, Marketing Manager for Mini USA.
The craft will have its official launch this weekend at the Head of the Charles Regatta in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Fred Schoch, executive director of the race says the Mini boat will be the first car allowed to float during the race. The creative craft will be piloted by a member of the regatta's River Control Committee to monitor rowers' safety. Which, we suppose, also makes the Mini boat the regatta's first pace car.
We have no idea why they didn't christen the vessel the Mini Boatman, unless they're saving that for an upcoming model. Hmmm.
For more information on the Mini Convertible boat, check out the press release below.
Related GalleryMini Convertible Boat
MINI CELEBRATES MOTOR-TOBER: MOTORING ON THE CHARLES RIVER MINI CREATES A SEA-WORTHY MINI CONVERTIBLE FOR THE HEAD OF THE CHARLES® REGATTA
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – October 19, 2012... This weekend, attendees at the Head of the Charles Regatta® (HOCR) in Cambridge, Massachusetts will be in for a sight that they weren't expecting... A Chili Red MINI Convertible boat motoring along on the Charles River during the races. The vessel was built as part of the MINI USA's annual Motor-Tober activities, where MINI takes over the month of October to celebrate all that is fun about the brand. This year's program is called the Not Normal Sales Event, and this one-of-a-kind boat was the MINI USA Eastern Region's interpretation of Not Normal.
"We challenged our regional staff and the dealers in their respective areas to identify 'Not Normal' ways to celebrate this Motor-Tober by engaging the MINI community and demonstrate why it's an exciting brand family to be part of," said Tom Salkowsky, Marketing Manager - MINI USA. "The MINI USA Eastern Region has created the perfect example of what the Motor-Tober Not Normal Sales Event is all about with the MINI Convertible boat."
Aside from the rowing competitors, the MINI Convertible boat will be the only vessel on the race course, which is three miles long between the Boston University Boathouse to Christian Herter Park. It is powered by a 6 hp outboard motor, and will be operated by a member of the HOCR River Control Committee to monitor the safety of the rowers. After the HOCR this weekend, the boat will be used at other events, and MINI fans may see it motoring along on the Potomac or Hudson rivers.
"We are pleased and excited to support MINI in this creative activation strategy and look forward working with them this weekend. We have never before allowed a company to float a car on the Charles during racing," said Fred Schoch, executive director of the event.
HOCR racing will take place on Saturday and Sunday (October 20 and 21) from 8 AM to 5 PM. This is the first year that MINI USA is an official sponsor of the HOCR. Since its origin in 1965, the HOCR has welcomed the world's best crew teams to the banks of the Charles River for the ultimate two-day rowing competition. The event attracts over 9,000 athletes from around the world and 300,000 spectators. For additional race information, please visit: http://hocr.org/.
ACI Composites Inc, based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, built the MINI Convertible boat. To construct the one-of-a-kind vessel, ACI Composites made a mould of a 2004 MINI Hardtop, and then created a fiberglass version of the car. It was mounted to a boat hull, and then accessorized with authentic MINI parts, including headlights, taillights, grille, steering wheel, badges, wheels and tires.
The MINI Convertible boat can be seen all weekend on the race course.