What Became of Bill Johnson and the Mini-Coupe
I posted this question as part of my first introduction post in these forums but had no replies. I've copied it across here. Maybe someone can answer my question for me.
: and before any of them and the reason I'm posting here today I was building a Chris Tena/Bill Johnson Mini Coupe.
I was the first and as far as I was ever able to establish the only Aussie to be building a Mini coupe.. I used to communicate with Bill (Johnson) by mail (no internet back then) and once as a special treat I phoned him in Hillsboro Oregon.
I was going to install a new Revmaster 2100D engine which I'd purchased, had all the instruments, the fueslage and tail section were completed and it was on it's undercarriage but sadly I never got to complete it and sold it. For many years was out of aviation entirely. That was a long time ago and to this day I've never seen nor heard of my Mini Coupe again nor known of any others that got built over here.
Feeling nostalgic I thought I'd join up with the EAA forums for some chat and reminiscing but especially to ask what became of the MiniCoupe and Bill and Jerry Johnson, did they go onto bigger and better things or fall into history? Are there many Minicoupes (of Bills original design) flying.
I'd be really interested to know what became of Bill and his design.
Ron Dixon now ownes the Minicoupe design, he lives in Bowie, MD USA and his email used to be email@example.com. I am not sure if that is still current
Thanks for that. I'll shoot him off an email. I don't suppose anyone hears from Bill & Jerry Johnson? Are there many Minicoupes flying in the States now?
Originally Posted by Delmarvair
According to the Wiki article, Bill Johnson was the second "keeper" of the design, following Chris Tena. After Johnson, it was passed to "Buck Sport Aviation".
I don't have any personal knowledge of the design. I'm just an avid Google.com user.
hope this helps,
Originally Posted by av8rBlake
I first became aware of the Minicoupe from an article in 1974 in the "Homebuilt Aircraft" magazine. I think Don Dwiggans might have been the editor back then.
I first tried contacting Chris Tena aircraft corp. and after a few unanswered letters they replied they were no longer dealing in the aircraft. I eventually made contact with Bill Johnson whom I subsequently purchased the kit from.. All postal mail in those days, no internet.
Bill was always the one I dealt with when I had a construction query and have always been under the impreesion he was the designer, though I may stand to be corrected on that. From anything I was ever to read Bill was the man behind it all.
The MiniCoupe still has a small following and as was stated, Ron Dixon is indeed the keeper of the keys – still sells plans, DVD and manual for around $100. The MiniCoupe doesn’t have the broad following of the smaller Teenie Two (rights also owned by Ron Dixon), but there is one builder approaching the finishing point – had a minor mishap last summer when the bird broke its tether on an engine run-up, but is repaired and nearing completion.
A VW powered MiniCoupe was recently for sale and last summer Ron let me crawl all over his. Ron has tweaked his MiniCoupe here and there over the years, flush-riveting in strategic places, extended wing tips, not to mention Ron is not a small guy and built his many years ago with a wider cockpit (one of the reasons I wanted to see his, as I am generously proportioned). Ron divides his flying between a pristine Luscomb and his MiniCoupe – he has flown his MiniCoupe across much of the U.S. over the past 40 years and runs a 85hp Continental (I think, can’t recall, but something in the C85-C90 range). Another recent rebuilder installed VGs with good results I understand.
The Yahoo site stay’s intermittently active – but usually if you pose a question, Ron will answer as he monitors both the Teenie Two and MiniCoupe sites.
The main site:
Last edited by dcstrng; 12-13-2012 at 06:43 AM.
Bill Johnson, Jerry Johnson and the Mini Coupe
Originally Posted by Mychael
My name is Mark Johnson, Jerry Johnson's son.
I was searching the Mini Cooper Car and saw this thread on Google and was very surprised, now feeling inspired to register and answer some of your questions, Not sure if you are going to even get this as it is nearly a year later.
I am always amazed at how many Mini Coupes are still around and how many people share intrest in them.
In response to your inquireing about Bill, Jerry and the Mini Coupe
Basically the long and short of it is My Grandfather Bill died of cancer about 25-30 years ago. My father, Jerry Johnson married and with the help of my mom raised my brother and I and his interest in the Mini faded. I am not sure when or why the plans of the Mini Coupe were sold but I do know that My Dad never lost his love for flying, only grounding himself after realizing that he was getting to an age where he felt his feet were better placed firmly on the ground than in the clouds. As a family we lived near Portland, Or. My Dad went on to work as a maintenance worker for a couple of companies where is natural knowledge of mechanics were recognized as better than avarage. After he had his fill of working, he retired and is now enjoying life in Oregon, golfing, restoring old cars and lending a helping had to anyone who asks.
With out getting into a life long list of accomplishments and details that is about it.
I talk to him daily, he is always in good spirits and sometimes reflects upon the times of the Mini Coupe.
I am nearing 37 years old, he is 71 and doing very well.
Thank you for taking the time to share your interest in aviation!
Oh my (Bills Wife) My GRAND MOTHERS name was Christina! as in Chris Tina Air