What else would I be doing on a beautiful summer morning in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, other than watching over a thousand Mini Coopers drive over the Mackinac Bridge in an effort to break the world record?
I wasn’t alone.
Dozens of people were lined up along Bridge View Park in St. Ignace, waving at the cars driving over the five-mile long suspension bridge connecting the Upper and Lower Peninsulas of Michigan.
One of those parade-watchers was Jim, who stood next to me. Last time Jim was at the Mackinac Bridge was 25 years ago. He didn’t think it would take so long to return.
“I was a truck driver, delivering goods. I never had time to stop and look around,” he told me as we stood on the edge of the grass at the park watching the parade of Mini Cooper cars drive over the bridge in single file.
“We drove in from Iowa. I wasn’t going to miss this parade. My daughter has a Mini Cooper, but she couldn’t make it to the parade since she had to work.”
MINI on the Mack
Organized by the Mini Cooper dealership in Grand Rapids, Michigan, MINI on the Mack is the third attempt at breaking the record for the most Mini Coopers in a parade over a suspension bridge.
Not surprising, the record was set in London, England in 2009, with 1,450 cars in a parade.
I met families from Indianapolis, Indiana as well as a family from Jackson, Michigan (who owned five Mini Coopers over the years) who participated in the parade.
One family drove all the way from California to join this weekend’s parade; they told me how much they enjoyed traveling through Wyoming and seeing Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.
Did They Break the World Record?
This is the third time the parade was held at the Mackinac Bridge. While it was the largest gathering of Mini Cooper owners in the United States, I was sorry to hear the 2017 MINI on the Mack parade missed breaking the record.
According to Mlive, the final count was 1,328 vehicles that crossed the bridge in a single-file line. That was nine more vehicles than the 2015 parade, but over 100 vehicles short of breaking the record.
Still, it was fun to chat with the Mini Cooper owners and cheer them on as they crossed the bridge. Hoping they’re able to break the record in their next attempt!