"Boink" is actually the license plate of my former 1973 Austin Mini Cooper (that I sold in July of 2005). The Mini was a revolutionary car in its day (front wheel drive and really tiny); production began in 1959 and ended in 2000. One of the reasons for their rare appearance on our streets is that they were only legally imported up to about 1967 (and can be imported up to 1974 now here in Oregon).
There were many types of Minis made (dozens). Mine is Austin Mini Mark III Cooper (though for you pure-ists out there <and you know who you are J > it was “Cooperized” in 1992 and lacks the full pedigree – and has the so-called “sports pack” look). This means that it has lots of extras that Coopers had. It has a 1293cc engine that develops maybe 70hp or so, and has disk brakes. It measures 4' wide by 10' long by 4' tall making it one of the smallest cars ever on the road (and those new BMW “Mini’s” are huge in comparison). However, they are remarkably roomy inside (OK, so you have to be sitting in the front seats to make that claim). They are VERY fast. Regardless of what type of Mini one is considering, they are absolutely the best cornering cars ever made... you have to hold onto your teeth if you turn the steering wheel hard!
One thing is certain, you'll draw a smile wherever you go in a Mini. Some giggle; some point; some roll their window down and give you a thumb's up; and some break out into hysterical laughter when they see it... of course some might also be reacting to the license plate. And what about the license plate? If you want to know more about he word "boink" click HERE. Click on the swirly red buttons below to see a few pictures of Boink!
is a shot of me (Mark) next to my original 1962 Mini (a stock 850) as it sits
in the driveway of my old house on 132nd.
It was fairly original, complete with 10” wheels. Much more Spartan than my current one.
Now the plates are on my 1959 Austin Healy Bugeye (Frogeye in the UK) Sprite. It’s the iconic Sprite that had the bulging headlights and no trunk (boot) hatch. VERY small and harder to get in and out of than the Mini. It’s very much like a go-kart and a thrill to drive. This car is different than the “big Healeys” (of which I used to have a 100-4 long ago). This one has been updated (during a full restoration) to include a 1275cc engine, disk brakes and a new “ribcase” transmission (and Minilite wheels).