Saturday, January 16, 2010

Mini Cooper is images and history

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A Mini Cooper S
A Mini Cooper S

For those that don’t know, one of the funniest, coolest, and entertaining shows on television worldwide is a show out of the UK called Top Gear. Top Gear invovles three presenters, all former car journalists, talking cars. They perform crazy stunts, test hot cars, and have an in-house racing driver only known as . While this might not seem like the formula for great television, the formula is rife with laughs and chemistry. Yanks, of course, don’t know this show very well, but an, starring the very-funny Adam carolla. The British version, however, has changed my life

At one point, I could care less about cars. Today, I love talking and reading car news. My head whips around every time I see a beautiful, exotic car passing by. And, naturally, I’ve begun to love European cars all the more. As you can probably imagine, the middle-aged blokes on Top Gear don’t care much for American cars or, in the case of Jeremy Clarkson (the one in the brown jacket), Americans. A car, what was once just a tool, is now a passion. I need, NEED a sweet ride, and the Mini seems to fit the bill.

Unfortunately for us, my husband and I made a recent trip to a Mini dealership here in St. Louis. My husband is a large man. We figured that our love for the British racing car with character, the Mini Cooper or the turbo-charged Cooper S would be asuaged once we found that my husband couldn’t fit in one. Nope. He fit just fine with room to spare.

These cars may be boxy, but they are delight on the inside. The interior has quite a bit of space for a car that small. The racing pedigree gives a nice flavor to the interior, and the racing-inspired seats and dials make you feel like it’s the sixties and you’re racing around a twisty track, even if you’re taking the kids to school. Even the seemingly-annoying options are charming. Imagine if every Saturn came with the option of an American Flag roof. Minis, however, have the option of an American flag, the Union Jack, or a checkered pattern on your roof and rearview mirrors.

Unfortunately, all this soul does come at a bit of a price. Now a Mini isn’t terribly expensive compared to, say, a Bimmer. However to Cooper base model starts at around $19,000 while a Cooper S starts around $22,000, not including all the fun options. Compared to other compacts, thought, it’s a bit of a stretch. Plus, what fun is a racing car without all the options?

So, my friends, I’m back on my blog with this note: I’ve got a fancy new job in an office, and I vow to brown bag it until the day I can buy the perfect Mini for me. I accept contributions to my cause.

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