Mini's bi-annual Mini Takes the States cross-country rally began on July 26 in the San Francisco Bay Area. Hundreds of Mini owners from all over the world gathered for the two-week event, which ends in Boston on August 10.

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The Minis on hand covered the model ranges, from the basic Hardtop to the Countryman to the Roadster. Oddly, no original Minis were to be seen at the launch event.

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More than just an owners' event, Mini Takes the States benefits a charity. For 2014 Mini's partner is Best Friends Animal Society, a US organization that seeks to prevent animal shelters across the nation from killing cats and dogs.

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The participating Mini owners demonstrated their originality. This Hot Wheels Mini makes a wry comment on the car's toy-like size.

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This lowered Mini probably handles very well, but may not be the best mod for a cross-country road trip.

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Both Spitfires and Mustangs sported teeth paintings, but shouldn't this Mini have an RAF roundel?

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This Mini verges on art.

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This AC Schnitzer-modified Mini Cooper Coupe sports gold metallic paint and red stripes, and has nothing to do with the San Francisco 49ers.

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This Mini joins the Mini Takes the States rally as one leg of a round-the-world trip from Germany.

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Participants must become expert at packing their small cars.

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Of course, a Mini roof rack can hold a lot of extra shoes.

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Not all roof racks came from the Mini accessory line.

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With a spare tire and two water jugs, this driver is prepared for trouble.

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A custom trailer for your Cooper Clubman means nothing gets left behind.

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A Sony Action camera mounted between the seats will capture a lot of the journey.

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This GoPro is aimed for exciting footage of the Mini badge.

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And what modern event would be complete without a drone or two?

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The Mini flag flies over the sea of rally participants.

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And the Union Jack was flown by more than one car.

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This British bulldog looks eager for the trip to begin.

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This carbon fiber spoiler looks like it's done plenty of track-day service.

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Quad foglights on this Mini have been the death of many an insect.

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Yellow headlights give this Mini a European flavor.

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And of course someone had to decorate their car with lashes.

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The front plate makes a good place for your motto.

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Stickers adorned many of the cars, helping passerby to figure out why all these Minis are about.

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This sticker lays out the rally route.

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"Actual Size" proves a very popular meme among Mini owners.

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This driver looks ready for shenanigans.

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Smile when you get behind this Mini.

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The German world-trekking Mini sports the best stickers of all.

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If you are about to drive off on a two-week road trip, make a pit stop first.

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These Minis are ready to go.

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Mini Roadside Assistance is ready to help.

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Mini is bringing along a mobile hotspot to keep the participants connected.

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Before any of the drivers could leave, Tony Hawk insisted on jumping some of the cars on his skateboard.

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This Mini Cooper parts and accessory supplier brought a sick racing Mini to the rally start.

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SiriusXM satellite radio was on hand as a sponsor of the rally.

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For some reason, Peeps marshmallow chicks are also a sponsor.

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Local Mini dealers came out to show their support for the rally. East Bay Mini brought its own Guardsman in a Cooper Roadster.

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San Francisco Mini brought a merrily painted Cooper Clubman.

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The support staff for the Mini Takes the States rally rides comfortably in a tour bus sporting the logo, "Mark your Territory from Coast to Coast." Nice work, guys.

Photo by: Wayne Cunningham/CNET
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