Last week I bought a 2003 Mini Cooper S.
I’d been looking at Mini’s over the Summer but had decided it wasn’t in the cards to get one just yet. However I’d told my dealer after we bought my Wife’s Impala LTX that if a Mini crossed her path, to give me a shout. Of course I’d decided to keep mu PT Cruiser over the Winter and maybe have another look round for a Mini in the Spring.
Now you might think what exactly does a 6’2″ 220lb guy see in a small car like this? Will it really fit him? And the answer is simple really. Yeah it fits, in fact it has lots of room inside but the real reason I love Mini’s goes back to when I was a small kid in Scotland. I think my Papa took me to my first rally in 1972 and the Minis were in full swing by then. I can still remember seeing one come off a small jump all but sideways to get round a hard corner. So from then on the hook was in and I’ve lusted after Minis ever since.
Of course, there was one small fly in the ointment. They were a British built car and at one point they were even owned by the dreaded British Leyland Corporation and I’ve had a long standing policy of not buying any sort of vehicle built by my country of origin. So any Mini pre 2000 is right out. I’ll stick to admiring them at car shows. But in 2001 the marque was taken over by BMW and the Germans worked the concept over well and their new execution was very good too. I have no reservation about owning a BMW plus you could do it and not look like a knob.
So for a reasonable amount of cash I got a car that weighs 1585 Kg with a supercharged 1600cc motor with 163 BHP, capable of 155 ft Lbs of torque, built like a go kart. In other words, it goes. It puts a smile on my face.
A big smile.
And for those who go on about it being a woman’s car, well that’s the kind of woman you marry (if she opted for the full sport package – with a manual transmission). That sort of BS falls into the whole, “Starter bike,” argument. I know of more than a few people who have ridden 250cc bikes round the world. The difference between them and the guys on the big 1200cc bikes? When they have a drop, they just dust themselves off pick the bike up and keep going. They don’t need help.
This thing makes me smile and it takes the sting off of not being able to ride. That in and of itself is worth it.
I hope you all have Happy Holidays and a prosperous new year.