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Mini Me

There are many Mini Coopers...

This one is mine.

(More or less. I don't have an actual photo yet.) It's extremely cute, and yeah, there was squealing and cooing, even at the dealership. (Telepresence can verify.) It's all very exciting and still seems a bit unreal -- this fell into place very suddenly this week, and when I'm motivated, I move swiftly -- and I'm still getting used to, well, everything about the new car in comparison to the old Saturn (its size, the way it drives, what height the clutch likes to release at, figuring out all the adjustments to make it feel comfortable, etc.). It happened *so* suddenly that I still haven't quite processed that a thing that has been a definite goal ever since the *concept* of the new Mini redesign was announced (I want to say, in 2000? first model year was 2002), but that I thought would still be quite a while before I made happen, has actually happened.

To be honest, while I don't want to diss the Saturn, which was in quite good shape for a car of its age, it was true that I was starting to get a little concerned about it. I know there are much older cars on the road that aren't even "classic" cars. (It was 11 years old and was about to turn over 140,000 miles.) But it was at that point where I was acutely aware of every little unexpected noise or smell, and I would often think to myself about scenarios in which something truly important would go wrong with it. But I was figuring I'd eke a few more years out of it, because heck, it can be done, with reliable cars. Getting the new Mini... is suddenly a huge load off my mind. My god -- it has a *warranty*! They're going to do all the little maintenance-y stuff (like oil changes) for the next *3 years*!!! I almost cannot imagine.

So, add another entry to Cars I Have Owned (click for a photo-essay I did 2 years ago). A car I expect to have for a good long time (insh'allah).

I would take proposals for car names, except I've discovered that when left to my own devices I don't really name my cars, I just give them diminutive endearments. The Saturn was "the Little Car" (however inappropriate that was, as it was bigger than any car owned by anyone else I knew), and I expect the Mini will be "the Little Car" from here on out (in a much more plausible way).

Still haven't figured out where to put the koi, though.



( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 12th, 2006 11:33 am (UTC)
There is not enough SQUEE in the world...
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 12th, 2006 11:46 am (UTC)
Harman Kardon. :) No, this one didn't come with the Harman Kardon speaker system, and even if I'd been ordering a new one with a completely custom configuration, I probably would not have sprung for that. It's pretty expensive. And just the standard speaker system in this car is so much better than what was in the Saturn, it's not even funny.

I have to contemplate what cool Mini gear I might want... Of course, I have the *ultimate* cool Mini accessory, now, which is the car itself. ;-) (The dealership did give me a complimentary keychair, though.)
Apr. 12th, 2006 07:39 am (UTC)
Nice car. :-)
Apr. 12th, 2006 11:32 am (UTC)
Thenkew. :)
Apr. 12th, 2006 07:45 am (UTC)
Meanwhile, I played that delightful wordless game with the dealership guy called "What is my relationship to eregyrn?" He played well, to the extent that he skillfully included me in the conversations, without forgetting eregyrn was the actual buyer. It probably helps that she was getting a MINI and not a... I dunno, pickup truck or something.
Apr. 12th, 2006 07:55 am (UTC)
And it got a lot more interesting after I dropped the bit into the conversation about the trip to P-town...

Yeah, I did notice that at first when we went in and sat down, and I was signing all the paperwork stuff and he was telling us stuff, he tended to look over at you a lot. Though, in his defense -- I had not met him before, either. I mean, I sat down with a totally different guy the night before, working out all the details. So it's not like yesterday's guy had that experience and *then* fixated on the Guy I'd Brought With Me rather than me.

When I was reading reviews, a bunch of them noted that the interesting thing about the Mini is that it is considered *neither* a Guy Car nor a Chick Car. Somehow, it's both. (While, I imagine that the New Beetle is more of a Chick Car -- what other reason is there for it to come *standard* with a FLOWER VASE next to the steering wheel?) I think the guy who was getting the pepper-and-black S that was next to mine was the same guy who was in the dealership when I was in the night before. So, one evening, one guy buying a Mini, one chick buying a Mini.
Apr. 12th, 2006 08:00 am (UTC)
Yeah, I just figured he was covering his bases, not ignoring me. When it came to everything important, the money stuff, the paperwork stuff, the tour of the car function stuff, he always oriented towards you, as was proper.
Apr. 12th, 2006 08:15 am (UTC)
OMG, the oh-so-appropriateness. AND the cuteness. Congrats!!
Apr. 12th, 2006 11:33 am (UTC)
Apr. 12th, 2006 08:29 am (UTC)
Whee!! And congrats!!! Yours is the same green color? I *so* have Mini Cooper envy right now. *Cool* car. Yay, you!
Apr. 12th, 2006 11:38 am (UTC)
:D Yay yay yay! Thanks!

Yeah, I ended up with this color combo -- British Racing Green [sic] with the black top and mirrors. (I say "sic" because that's what they call it, but it's metallic. Which is very pretty. But to me, the classic original BRG of the Mini is a non-metallic color. I can't quite figure out why they made this one metallic, because they do offer several quite nice non-metallic paintjobs, so it's not a prejudice against them or anything.)

This happened to be on the lot, for the right price, in the right configuration, with the package I actually wanted and not a lot of frou-frou that I didn't actually want. And it happens that from the beginning, it was the BRG that most appealed to me, both aesthetically and for the history of it with the car. I originally wanted it with the white top, but lately I'd been seen more with the contrasting black top on the roads, and liked that look too. Basically, though... none of the colors were really dealbreakers, and I particularly lucked out with this being what the car with the specs I wanted came in.
Apr. 12th, 2006 08:37 am (UTC)
there is no end to your car-squee rights. i am so 'appy for uuuu!
Apr. 12th, 2006 11:38 am (UTC)
Oh yeah, there'll be squeeing for some time to come...
Apr. 12th, 2006 09:18 am (UTC)
Oooh, nice choice :-) I've always had a soft spot for minis, since I had mine - waaay back when. She was called Ellen, after her number plate - LLN 703D (some things, you never forget *g*)
Apr. 12th, 2006 11:42 am (UTC)
:D I have always had a fondness for actual classic cars, and if I were able to afford it better, I would have liked to own one. And the original Mini was high on the list. :)

I'm also kind of interested in the idea of car design and updating classics, which a number of companies seem to be doing, and I have thought, since the concept first was shown, that the New Mini was a quite good example of a well-updated design. (As opposed, say, to all the Mustang updates except for the very latest one.) I love the idea of something that has both fun form and good function. It pleases me that the New Mini has done so well, too, especially in this Age of the SUV in America.
Apr. 12th, 2006 12:06 pm (UTC)
I suspect that if you actually owned the classic version - you'd wish you'd bought the one you already have ;-) The new ones look absolutely fabulous compared with dear old Ellen! Nice handling little motor, but she had the old 'soup stirrer' gear stick, no power steering therefore a steering wheel like a carwheel, and shook so bad at any speed aproaching 70 mph that you couldn't see a thing in the rear mirror ;-) Mind you, even that was a mixed blessing: a female on the motorway, driving a mini? All you could generally bank on seeing in the rear mirror was 'ODG', from the nameplate on the radiator of the truck that was tailgating you *g*

But last week, in Seattle, I was amazed to see how many minis there are on the road in the States. I saw way more than I'd ever have expected!
Apr. 12th, 2006 12:07 pm (UTC)
And 'steering wheel like a carwheel' should, of course, have read 'like a cartwheel' ::sigh::
Apr. 12th, 2006 12:38 pm (UTC)
Heh! Yeah, it's got to be said... I'm a little too fond of going fast to truly put up with a car that would have delicate sensibilities about it.

From what I hear, the Mini is the best-selling small car in America. (And in fact, the salesman I had at this dealership had won "most successful Mini salesman in America" for 2 years running.) That said, I think you see a higher concentration of them in certain places. It doesn't at all surprise me that two of those places would be the Boston metropolitan area, and the Seattle metropolitan area. ;-) I suspect another up high on the list would be SanFran.
Apr. 12th, 2006 09:57 am (UTC)
So cute!
Apr. 12th, 2006 11:43 am (UTC)
It and the New Beetle really do duke it out for the title of Most Fubsy Car Design, don't they? (In America, at least, where we don't have a lot of those really micro car thingies yet.)
Apr. 12th, 2006 01:01 pm (UTC)

I'm sooooo jealous. My lil Saturn is just passed the 189,000 mark. Would love to get a Subaru Forester, but being in school full-time means $ is tight. I think you should drive down and visit Ben and me in the ATL sometime and show off the car...

nudge nudge wink wink

It's name will just suddenly occur to you one day, and that will be it.

Apr. 12th, 2006 01:08 pm (UTC)
I should add - I don't really consider the Forester to be an SUV, certainly not in the way most people think of SUVs. More like a slightly classier station wagon. And since Ben and I are getting back into that SCA thang (particularly fencing), we need something that can haul gear. And room for Natasha (just look at that face - you don't think she'd take up the entire back of a car if she could?)

Oh, but if I thought a Mini would work for me... mmmmm...
Apr. 12th, 2006 01:13 pm (UTC)
*nods* Yeah, a Forester's not an SUV. It's a station wagon pretending to be an SUV. And the gas mileage is good, too. Funnily enough, my main exposure to the Forester, about which I've always heard good things, is through one of the local fencers who owns one. (Though I should point out that with the back seats folded down, the Mini would be capable of hauling my fencing bag and schlager and all. And probably another person's gear. But not a huge amount else. Of course, then my brain thinks back to Dr. Mark, going to Pennsic driving the Festiva...)

Apr. 12th, 2006 01:15 pm (UTC)
Road trips are indeed possible. :) It's finding the time that's the tough part... (I drove down to visit a friend in SC a few years ago; it makes the idea of a driving trip down to Atlanta conceivable.)

It suddenly occurs to me that I've also been saying to myself for several years that I'd like to drive across the country at some point... oh, but that will be when I get a Mini. o.O I'd better start thinking about that more seriously...
Apr. 12th, 2006 02:35 pm (UTC)

They are so much fun to drive, although it's a little weird being so close to the ground. Plus, mini!
Apr. 13th, 2006 03:11 pm (UTC)
It's funny -- I don't *really* feel that much closer to the ground than I felt in the Saturn. I wonder if that's illusory, or what? I feel about the same. I didn't think to compare the two for height, even when they were sitting next to each other.
Apr. 12th, 2006 02:39 pm (UTC)
congratulations! those seem like the most delightful cars. :)
Apr. 13th, 2006 05:13 pm (UTC)
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )