Welcome to the starting line…

Hi there! Welcome to my blog. My name is MaeLynn. I love cars, old cars, new cars, cool cars, weird cars. I love old stuff, cameras, furniture, keys. My favorite place to hang out right now are old fashioned Speakeasy type bars that I find in my area. Maybe I’ll open my own one day, but that’s a different story. I created this blog because I want to document the journey that I believe this year will start for me, but in order to explain why I created this, you must first know my story…

The year is 2013, my senior year of high school. I went to get my license and I was so excited. I was moving away from having mom drive me around and felt like I was gaining my first bit of independence. The day also happened to be my Papa’s Birthday, September 18, I’ll never forget it. After I completed my driving test I went back upstairs to wait to take my picture, get my little paper license and go pick up my new car.. However, things don’t always go as planned. As I was sitting there waiting, my mother and I heard the people behind the desk say that their systems were down. WHAT? I immediately became upset. We had an appointment at the dealership in about an hour, and I couldn’t drive the car off the lot without my license. We waited around for a little bit longer, but had to leave. Thankfully, my dad was in the area and picked us both up and drove us over to the MINI Dealership in Bedford. Now, this had been in the works since that Summer. I can remember being the pool when my mom made the first phone call to the dealership. The color was picked and the search was on. Several weeks went by and the dealership finally called and told us that they had found one. She was destined for New Jersey, but was being rerouted for New Hampshire. I still remember how I felt when I first laid eyes on her…

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She was beautiful, she was perfect and she was mine. So the process started, and Cliff, our dealer showed me around the car and all her features and flare. I didn’t stop smiling the entire time. My mom and I hopped into the car and I drove her back to the DMV. We had another hour before they were supposed to close and figured that it wouldn’t hurt to wait a little long in case their system came back up. And guess what… IT DID! I took my picture, signed my name, got my paper license and drove my brand new car home by myself. And so it all started…

Since that day, I added personality to her, and gave her a name, LuLu.

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Her first sticker! (There have since been MANY more added..)

I went to MINI Takes the States the following summer, a national event where hundreds of MINI owners come together and travel the country, making stops, making friends, making waves. A truly wonderful event. Sadly, I only got to join in on the fun at the last stop in Boston, Massachusetts. Here are a few photos from the party.

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A MINI DJ Booth!

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For those who know me, can you find me? 😉

Later on that year, 2014, I joined some Facebook groups and found a home club here in New Hampshire. MINIs of New Hampshire! I went to my first dinner get together in the fall and everything took off from there. I made new friends, all of whom I still talk to today and have just continued to make more. I now Admin the Facebook group MINIs of New Hampshire, alongside my good friend Mike. I have attended countless dinner get togethers and rallies with my home club, and our sister club MINIs of Boston. The past few years have been filled with memories, new friends, and old friends. I have no doubt these friendships that I have made will last a lifetime.

In 2015 I attended MINIs On Top, another event that takes place in the Northern Part of New Hampshire. Hundreds more MINI drivers gather for a weekend with enthusiasts. The main event is Saturday evening where we all take to the road and make the drive to the top of Mount Washington. I have since been to three MOTs and am sure I will be attending many many more.

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Here is LuLu last year(2017) at the top of the mountain!

My love for cars started with the MINI. I went to car shows here and there, but I never thought that it was for me. In the fall of 2016 I set up a Cars and Coffee style event with a local coffee shop in Salem, New Hampshire. I invited some friends, who invited some friends and we had a turnout of about 30 people. Some I knew very well, and some I did not know at all. Several were asking when the next one would be. I decided that I would set up a Facebook page to keep the events going, and going they did. Since then, my Facebook page has 700+ likes, and our first event for 2018 is turning out to be a big one. Check us out on Facebook! @snhcarsandcoffee .

While I enjoyed myself in my MINI world for several years, the real adventure began in June of 2017, right after MINIs on Top. While browsing Facebook one day, my attention was brought to a ‘For sale’ post that was published to the MINIs on Top Facebook group. The sale post was for a classic MINI, a coveted item in the MINI community. I had dreamed of owning one, some day, and often browsed posts to see what they were selling for. All of them were far out of my price range. I clicked on the link for kicks, and fell in love with the little Baby that appeared on my screen…

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A beautifully restored, 1962 Morris MINI-Minor was looking for a new home. Her previous owner, Shawn, who lives in New Brunswick, Canada was searching for someone who love and take care of her. Impulsively, I reached out to him via Facebook message and asked about the car. Would he negotiate price? Would he deliver? How would he accept payment? After having a very promising conversation with him, the gears began turning in my head and they wouldn’t stop. The price was doable, I had been saving money since I started working at 16, my credit was great if I needed a loan. I made a plan. I made it happen..

On July 14, 2017, after a long 24 hours in a Uhaul to Canada and back, BabyLou, formally Louisa, came home.

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LuLu and Louisa meeting for the first time!

The rest of last summer consisted of me scrambling to get her show ready. Registration proved to be a process, multiple trips to the DMV. After a couple weeks, she was inspected, registered and ready for her first show. She was a show stopper, no doubt. Everyone loved her. It was a wonderful experience, however, it was also a discouraging one. When I thought about buying the car, I thought about how much fun I would have driving her around, getting waves, taking her to shows, having everyone love her, and while that did all happen, something else did too. More than a few people, too many in my opinion, questioned if the car was mine. “Is this yours?” One would ask to my male friend standing next to me, or a random man observing the car. “Where is your boyfriend?” Excuse me? Sir, I don’t have one, this is my car. “You don’t see too many woman who know how to drive stick,” and so it continued. And while not everyone was as narrow-minded as some, there were enough that I felt the need to point it out.

I also met a lot of spectacular people, and earned a lot of support. Louisa’s first big show was at Concorso Italiano at Tuscan Kitchen in Salem New Hampshire. While my attendance to the show was last minute, I was unable to register. However upon arrival, Louisa got waved in and was added to the array of cars being shown off.

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Cruise Downtown in Manchester, New Hampshire, was the next show where she won her very first award. I was a proud mama.

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Her next big one was the Kiwanis Car Club Show in Concord, New Hampshire, where she placed second in her class, British Cars. I had a lot of support from the Cobra Club that I was asked to join, at the previous show.

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The summer continued with car shows here and there, and in November (Surprisingly) I had to put her away for the winter. In the few short months with my brand new car I had experiences that I will never forget. I will no doubt have more this year. I will be sharing my adventures with LuLu and Louisa here. I will be posting videos, pictures and maybe even some interviews. My first big car event that I will be attending is World of Wheels on Sunday, March 25th in Boston, Massachusetts. Louisa will not be shown, but I will be going to check it out. It will be my first time attending this event, and I can’t wait. Car show season 2018, BRING IT!

~MaeLynn