Polls: Do You Wave at Other MINIs?

MTTS 2010 (Dodge City to Denver)

MotoringFile reader David Bromberg sent us this question the other day.

Does anyone wave anymore?

When I got my R53 in early 2005, one of the great things about owning the car was the sense of community. If you saw another MINI on the road, you knew how much fun they were having and would share a wave, a peace-sign, or some other gesture. There was even a manual of sorts from MINI exploring the different gestures. I’ve noticed that this acknowledgement has been decreasing lately, especially near where I live (metro-Atlanta).

Is this not a “thing” anymore?

So let’s ask you the readers. Do you wave? Do people wave back? Take our poll after the break.

[poll id=”25″]

[poll id=”26″]

Written By: Nathaniel Salzman

  • Garrick

    Got my first wave today :)

  • Bob Hayhurst

    …coming south out of D.C. this morning on I-95 @ Quantico, I passed a blue R56 with bonnet stripes. I waved and got a smile and wave from the lady driver. It was something very simple and it went unnoticed by the surrounding traffic. It made my morning. All right, I know… I know…, but to me it sums up all the reasons why I drive a MINI. Thanks Nathanial for hitting the bullseye with just the right question. I’m impressed that a simple hand gesture could elict 100 comments… or is it really about something else?

  • Cory

    If you don’t wave back, you’re driving the wrong car.

  • that.guy
    I think MINI needs to bring out a “save the wave” campaign. This will show the sense of community that MINI owners have and enlighten current motorers to recognize other MINIs on the road.

    But this will also show that the wave is dying out and that new buyers missed out on a “golden age” when the MINIs were more distinctive and relatively rare. Maybe pointing out that current buyers are late to the party, or worse that the party is over, is not the best marketing strategy.

  • Wolfgang Gullich

    So, I noticed that this was an alarming trend a while ago…when my wife and I both had MINIs together in 06, seems almost every MINI driver waved back…now it’s almost nil. Now when I drive my Jeep JK (’10 Wrangler Unlimited) I’ve noticed about 60-70% of other drivers still wave back (and that’s for all generations: CJ, YJ, TJ, LJ).

    Unfortunately, it seems the MINI community isn’t as tight-knit as I once thought with most people buying them for the cute/fun car factor to heck with everyone else and another reason my daily car is a Wrangler…fellow owners generally care about each other. My wife has since given up waving to other MINI drivers now unless they wave first…sad it had to come to that.

  • RAugie

    I will wave at a mini that looks like its been modified or has an enthusiast driver. Stock coopers that look like they are just driven for their fuel economy dont seem like ones that will wave back..

  • JON M

    Hey Hoover, Of course I don’t mean your type specifically, I love pepper white. What I meant was, I have had more success with people who has some sort of “flavor” added to it, than those who don’t. Obviously your on here, so it’s clear your not one of them. Where did you buy your MINI? I believe your MINI has the painted fenders… certainly one in a few.

  • Volkan

    As evident by the number of people who still wave AND own an R50/53, the wave was limited to the early enthusiasts. When I did a cross country trip in May 2003, every gas station took 30 minutes to get out after educating the public about this “toy car”. At my stop at the grand canyon, a father from Arizona put his 4 year on the wheel of my MCS and filmed him pretending racing the car, because there was nothing like it… Those were the days. Now, the metropolitan area that I live in, I only wave at R53 owners and receive few replies back. I am guessing that the R56 owners who still wave must have moved from an R53 :)

  • Roy

    We live in the mountains of NC and everybody waves at everybody. These are friendly country folk, but they probably don’t wave at the revenuers. People wave if they see me walking to the mailbox. Children on bikes wave if I’m driving by. You don’t need a MINI.

  • cletus

    In 2003 nearly every MINI owner waved back. And the “I LOVE your car!” comments from others were rampant. Gradually, both experiences dwindled to the point that hardly any MINI owners noticed me waving by 2008 or so, and the comments from others were extremely rare.

    But interestingly, I’ve started hearing more of those “I LOVE your car!” comments … probably half a dozen in the past couple of months. And if other MINI owners don’t initiate a wave, a lot more are waving back these days.

    I can’t explain the change, though.

  • agranger

    I stopped waving a few years ago, but decided to wave at every MINI I see for a month. After 3 weeks (3-4 waives a day), I only got 1 wave back and that was from a very well modded car… obviously an enthusiast.

  • Hoover

    Time to get that badge holder and those blackjack side scuttles. That should help.

  • Don

    Every time I see a MINI I wave. Most of the time, if the other driver even notices, I get an “are you weird or something” look back. The sense of comradeship that originally existed throughout the MINI community has dissipated over the years.

  • Paul

    I drive a 1959 Morris mini and the the BMW Mini drivers have never ever waved back at me…..although one guy took the time to laugh at me.

  • Harry Dill

    The solution is very simple. Give us something to wave about and we will wave. Give us something to shield our eyes from (like the abysmally deformed and hopefully aborted 2012 S prototype) and we will soon start to channel waving energy into shock waves of horror. Please, oh lords of CAD, create that which will inspire our enthusiasm anew.

  • Harry Dill

    Another plausible fix — Create the “new town” of Minipolis (not to be confused with Minneapolis)somewhere Far From The Maddening Crowd in exurbia. Implement a zoning ordinance requiring all residents to bear proof of MINI ownership and watch the jubilant waves of MINI pride soon triumph over the amber waves of grain.

  • Harry Dill

    “amber waves of grain and … groan!”

  • andrej

    @Paul just a few days ago I gave a “thumb up” to a classic Mini driver, and he waved back.

    On the other hand, I pretty much stopped waving, just too many Minis around, and too many fancy chicks who’d think I was waving because I think they’re hot and not for the car :/

    If I see a Mini pretty much the same as mine, R50, liquid yellow, I wave, or sometimes just randomly.

    Recently I was taking off from a gas station and a middle-aged lady had just arrived in a Mini and bitterly complained something about how she’s going crazy with spending 20euros every other day on gas. I drove pass her and gave her a thumb up, and instantly she changed from bitterness to a happy smile and a wave back. It’s just these moments that make Mini an awesome car to have and drive. Like when you’re stressed and angry about some every-day real-life things, only a look at your car can point out that some things are there just for fun. :)

  • Hans

    I have only gotten 4-5 waves tops. I do wave back if I get a wave, but I’ve long stopped waving to others. Part of this may be due to living in the Los Angeles area where MINI’s are all too common of a sight.

  • Julie-Anne

    I find that even when on the Harley I wave at Mini’s, I wonder why they don’t “wink” back…:)

  • Harry Dill

    Of course if you are feeling the agonized pangs of severe “wave deficiency” (not to mention the heartbreak of psoriasis) stop “motoring” and start motorcycling atop a Harley … but make sure your colors are biker correct before venturing off into unchartered territory — better yet become a HOG member and “ride to live, live to ride” forevermore my brothers and sisters!

  • Eric

    I suspect that most of those who wave probably are not visiting websites such as MF or are “into” their car like the rest of us.

  • works4me

    Yes, I wave whenever I see another MINI. I “met” another MINI several times a week for two weeks until she got it and waved enthusiastically back. I’ll bet she now waves to all MINIs.

    I even had a wave from an original Mini. I waved back.

  • okeeton

    Have had my Cooper S since 2003… when I first got the car and for the first two years waves seemed a given. But the density in the bay Area of Minis on the Highway got to be a little absurd… in my neighborhood alone there is almost a mini on every block within a three block radiusof my house… I quit waving due to fatigue from saturation! Still love my Mini tho if someone waves I waves at m I wave back – reminds me of the old days… I miss those days!

  • John

    I always wave, not getting as many in return as we did, and as Adam said, I always wave even when we’re in the Subaru wagon, my wife just shakes her head and laughs.

  • Andre

    I honk my horn if we make eye contact…most will honk back!

  • Eric

    I’ll say 90%, because I miss the occasional MINI (shocking, I know).  In return, I might be getting 50% or less.

  • Eric

    I’ll say 90%, because I miss the occasional MINI (shocking, I know).  In return, I might be getting 50% or less.

  • earthyAK

    I notice people don’t wave as much anymore! I think more “non-mini” enthusiasts are buying mini’s, and that’s the problem. Those people know nothing of this site either…probably. So that’s the consulation I give myself when I feel the bit of rejection from a non reciprical mini gesture!

    • postofficemike

      That’s probably more accurate. Some people just buy a car and it happens to be a Mini.  It’ll be traded in after a couple of years.

  • postofficemike

    Kids are more likely to wave than stuffy older folks that “think” they’re cool.  I’m older, but KNOW I’m not “cool”, just lucky!

  • Hot Rod Hemi

    I notice that the countrymen don’t seem to be of the Mini Community and hardly ever wave. Just opinion here in idea.

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