In one of those "just because" moments, a motorboat in the shape of a Mini Cooper convertible will patrol the Charles River during this weekend's Head of the Charles Regatta.
At first glance, the boat appears to be a real Mini supported by an invisible barge, as the tires just skim the water's surface. A closer inspection reveals the truth: the entire body is a fiberglass mockup, complete with real tires, wheels, headlamps, and other factory parts. Real or not, rowing coaches would agree it's far more stylish than their own motor boats, but they don't need a Mini to bark at their athletes during practice.
Instead of the Mini's zippy four-cylinder engines -- some of which produce more than 200 horsepower, all this Mini has is a dinky 6-horsepower outboard. Speed won't matter, however, as the Mini boat only needs to ferry safety officials alongside hundreds of rowing teams. The Regatta typically attracts more than 9,000 teams and 300,000 spectators lining the three-mile route from the Boston University Boathouse to Christian Herter Park (heading west right after the river curves left).
In April, Mini grafted the bow of a DUKW-style vessel on the front of a blue Cooper hatch, dubbing its creation the "Yachtsman." This concept, which was "endorsed" by the Royal Navy, had a pirate flag and eye patch stuffed in the glovebox, an exhaust snorkel, and a "shark-resistant undercoating." "Simply downshift, grab a life vest, and let the Mini Yachtsman take care of the rest," the company said.
Just wait what these folks dream up for the next April Fool's day.
About Boston Overdrive
|Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
|Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
In the garage: 2006 Subaru Baja
|John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
In the garage: Hyundai Sante Fe, Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible
|Craig Fitzgerald has been writing about cars, motorcycles, and the automotive industry since 1999. He is the former editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
In the garage: 1968 Buick Riviera, 1996 Buick Roadmaster, 1974 Honda CB450
|Keith Griffin is president of the New England Motor Press Association and edits the used car section on About.com. He also writes for the Hartford Business Journal and various weekly newspapers in Connecticut.
In the garage: Mazda 5, Dodge Neon
|George Kennedy is a senior writer for WheelsTV in Acton, which produces video reviews for Yahoo, MSN, and other auto websites.
In the garage: Lifted 1999 Jeep Cherokee