MINIac Love Story
Meet Chris and Lisa
At Schomp MINI, we love hearing about local MINIacs and adventures that they’ve had in their MINIs. Since it’s nearly Valentine’s Day, we connected with a MINIac couple, both of which own MINIs, about their experiences in their MINIs so far, how they met, and where they are headed next – including the altar!
Get to know Chris and Lisa, this week’s MINIac couple.
Lisa, tell us about your MINI.
Lisa: I have a 2013 MINI Cooper Clubman in Silver-White with purple bonnet and side graphics. His name is Zippy.
Why did you name it Zippy?
Lisa: I was told I needed to name my car and my mom came up with the name Zippy since it is a Cooper S and super fast. I love to zip in and out of traffic.
You purchased it from Schomp. What was that experience like?
Lisa: I purchased from Schomp because it is convenient and close to where I live and work. Chris was picking up his car from service and I looked around at the cars. I had always wanted a MINI but didn’t think it could ever be a reality. Then I saw Zippy and was smitten. It had every package I would ever consider adding to a MINI I would custom order. I dreamed about the car all night, then Chris called Schomp and put it on hold the next day. Within the week I traded in my Toyota Rav 4 and have never looked back. I had a great experience. Devin Scott was awesome and Chris already knew everyone at Schomp. The buying experience couldn’t have been better.
Do you think the MINI is a good car for families?
Lisa: It is the perfect car for our family. I take Annabelle 30 minutes to and from school each day and it is a great commuter car. We always have fun. When we go on vacations as a whole family we are able to pack Chris’ chair, Annabelle, 2 coolers, and luggage for all of us with room to spare. We love the MINIs!
And Chris, you’ve had a MINI since 2007. Why did you want to drive a MINI?
Chris: I’ve always been a car guy since teenage years. When I was injured (spinal cord injury – paralysis, wheelchair user) in 2000 I had to give up my then sports car – a Honda S2000 – because of its clutch/manual transmission setup. I was relegated to a Minivan with hand controls and ramp – very depressing. One day, I was volunteering at Craig Hospital when one of my injured brethren cruised up in his dad’s MINI. He got out, assembled his chair from the rear, transferred into his chair, then wheeled away. I was awestruck! “Hey, John, tell me about your car!?” He handed me the keys, I drove around Denver, tears rolling down my face, smiling at the same time. I went home that night, read up on MINIs and ordered MINerva right there. Six weeks later, I was beyond happiness, hooked for life on this little HotRod with the quirky personality and the chutzpah to challenge any driver to compare skills with or without a clutch’s auto-transmission with paddle shifters. As my MINI friends will tell you, I may steer one-handed but my other hand can manage the gas and brake as well as anyone.
Why did you name it MINerva?
Chris: Back in 2010 I was returning from a national MINI event (AMVIV) in Las Vegas with some other MINIacs. Heading over Vail pass on I-70 in a snow squall I hit a BIG pothole which shook my MINI to the core, flattened the tire and bent the rim. I limped into Denver and the next day took it to Schomp for a new rim/tire. While driving there my MINI started to stop, stutter, start, stop. It seemed to fix itself, onward I went. A couple of weeks later, the same start, stop, stutter problem although this time my MINI was really dead and it put me into some precarious situations. I had it towed to Schomp to check it out, head to toe. Erik Abbott, then a MINI technician, spent three weeks of dedicated labor trying to find the mechanical, electrical, ghost-like culprit. Well, by this point, my beloved MINI was getting on my last nerve – hence MINerva. The happy ending is that since that time and probably 35,000 fun MINI miles, MINerva is kicking asphalt and Motoring On.
What makes your MINI unique and perfect for you as the owner?
Chris: My MINI is the perfect car for me. Decked out in my own personal style, graphics, mechanics, ergonomics and performance pieces, I’ve traveled 75,000+ miles coast to coast and north to south enjoying every minute of it. MINI equals fun and I’m looking forward to continuing to have many more adventures in MINerva for years to come. MINIs, like me, never grow old, we just become classics.
You get your MINI serviced at Schomp. Why and what has the experience been like?
Chris: I’ve had very good experience at Schomp. They are a quality dealership with quality people. I’ve met many MINI friends and professionals through their doors. Timely, thorough, friendly to work with, I’m sure I’ll be a customer for many years to come.
How did you two meet?
Lisa: Chris and I met at Craig Hospital, a specialty rehabilitation center for patients who suffer traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries. He was injured in a mountain biking accident 15 years ago and did his rehab at Craig. I was a Spinal Cord Injury Nurse for 6 years there, then moved into nursing administration and education. Chris came back to work at Craig Hospital as a Graduate Relations/Spinal Cord Injury advocacy guy. I never took care of Chris as a patient but we hit it off when we met. Chris and I have each been there for each other during difficult times in our lives. We clung together and have never been apart since. He is the love of my life and I feel so lucky to have found him!
Can you tell us about the engagement and when you’re getting married?
Lisa: Chris and I have known we wanted to get married since the day we had our first phone conversation. Every day for the past two years Chris has asked me, “Will you marry me?” I always said yes. Last month he asked me officially at our favorite Sushi restaurant and gave me the most beautiful ring. Of course I said yes! We plan to get married in Summer of 2016. We would love to be married as a part of MINIs in the mountains or MINIs Takes the States.
Any fun adventures you’ve had with your MINIs so far?
Chris: About two years ago the Denver/CO MINI club (MINI5280.org) organized a 10-day vacation/drive from Denver, north through Wyoming, west through Montana, Idaho, Washington and out to Seattle. We had a great time with about 10 other MINIs and their drivers, owners and friends. Once we left Seattle (Boeing, Pike’s Market, Tacoma MINI) we motored down the coast through Oregon and incredible seaside views. We headed back east catching Moab, Utah and some other gorgeous sites along the way. 10 days, 4,000 miles, a typical MINI trip for the 5280 crew. The trip was comfortable, fun, sometimes fast and economical (MINerva gets about 30+ mpg at 8 yrs old).
Where are you going to take your MINIs next?
Chris: Our dream is to visit the MINI factory in Oxford England. I don’t think we will be able to take our MINIs that far, but we will rent a MINI to get us around!