2005 MINI pricing

A press release today details changes to the made-in-2005 MINIs, including new pricing applicable from January 1st 2005. Base prices are now:
Cooper $16,950
Cooper S $20,400
Cooper Conv. $21,450
Cooper S Conv. $24,900
(plus $550 destination/handling)
New for 1/2005 options include, for the MCS, the automatic transmission ($1350) and LSD ($500, not compatible with the automatic transmission!)

Happy New Year to all MINI owners, and everyone!

We thought we had it tough …

I am almost embarrassed now about my last post Snow, Wind, Waves.
Any concern over having to dig out a little snow, or worry about a storm surge, becomes worth zero when you read reports or look at pictures of the utter devastation around the Indian Ocean, from the recent Tsunami.
This link to Contemporary Insanity, found via bridger.us offers some shocking videos that really bring home what happened on the other side of the world.
A MINI2 thread started by Cape Cod Mini (now merged with another thread) lists a number of web sites that can accept my & your donations …
(see also this link; and my personal donation target is Doctors Without Borders – they are already present and active in the disaster area)

Snow, Wind, Waves, and Snow Tires!

Yesterday and overnight we had an impressive “nor’easter” – a storm sitting out over the Atlantic Ocean, spinning moisture off the water back over the land as falling snow. Coupled with high winds, we have perhaps 8″ or more of snow, sculpted into pretty patterns, drifts, etc:

After digging out GBMINI I decided to drive to the nearby coast at Bass Rocks – but Police had closed the road due to dangerous waves – so I headed round to Good Harbor Beach instead (normally a bit more sheltered); normally this footbridge crosses a stream and leads to the sandy beach – today all is inundated with ocean!

During my drive, I experimented as much as possible with the performance of GBMINIs new tires. Most of the roads were plowed but still had a layer of packed & slippery snow; in these conditions, GBMINI performed quite well and very predictably. DSC was kept busy but I found that unless I was very aggressive in braking, ABS did not cut in.
I was not able to drive GBMINI from a standing start up a steep driveway – for that I guess you need snow tires at a minimum.

Overall, I will be confident in these tires through the sort of weather we have here – if the roads are not plowed a MINI is no use anyway (I heard snow against the bottom of GBMINI regularly today), and the tires gave me a useful level of grip today.
This is a summary I sent to a friend a week or so back:
Overall I am happy with the tires.
Their dry performance is probably a little better than the runflats, but I can still trip DSC if I push GBMINI.
Their wet performance is definitely better than the runflats, which often hydro-planed in very wet conditions.
Yesterdays snow performance seemed good. On a test on black ice, I had to brake quite hard before the ABS kicked in, and they never surprised me by letting go unexpectedly on the snow.
They don’t improve the ride massively compared with the runflats, which is my only disappointment. I think they help to smooth out the normal small irregularities on the road, but they don’t do anything with bigger ruts and potholes. I guess in the end the MINIs suspension is just very stiff.
They are definitely quieter than my old runflats – but I don’t know how quiet brand new runflats would be (mine were awfully noisy at 20K+ miles).

Happy Christmas!

Margaret has done a great job decorating the tree this year, with all the presents under the tree, ready for us to distribute and open!


Ians presents included Mini socks, a GBMINI jigsaw puzzle, “I Robot” DVD, the traditional Garfield desk calendar, and some books. Margaret got new slippers, English crumpets(!), christmas music CD, and books.
From Sheila & Paul we each got a remote control car (mine a MINI of course), so we can go racing in the spring.

Happy Christmas GBMINI

After the awful state GBMINI was in earlier this week, covered in salt, dirt and other yuk, I had my chance to wash it today – temperature (just) above freezing and no (more) rain for a day or so; as well as a wash for christmas, I recently installed Trico Innovision wiper blades that resists snow and ice clogging – last year I regularly had to twist the stock wiper blades to clear ice build-up in the framing; I hope this year that won’t be a problem.

So far, they performed perfectly in Mondays snow and Tuesdays cold, and did well in the recent rain; although they don’t seem to hold down to the glass quite as well as the stock blades, when travelling at speed. More testing needed!

GBMINI recently received two holiday cards – one from MaxaMINI and one from Eric & Dee:

Eric & Dees gift is a “GBMINI” window decal, which I have not yet decided where to stick – it seems they very generously gave similar gifts to many CooperSpeed members – thanks guys!
MaxaMINI cut out a GBMINI pic from one of my “business” cards, and stuck it to a picture from a theater playbill; very cute – thanks Max!

And with that, I wish Happy Christmas to all MINIs and their owners 🙂

MINI Peabody with Theo

I should have posted this on Monday night, but I was busy – then I forgot … oh well, I am sure no-one is bothered!
On Monday, Theo was at MINI Peabody to have his MINI upgraded with the JCW. I organized with local MINI owners to meet up there and have lunch – but the weather prevented most people coming, but of course Theo was there, and most of his MINI(!)

Dave did the JCW upgrade – here he is (on the left) with Gary:

Jeff (BakerJC), Jared (PezBoy), and Ivan (Snek) were also there for at least some of the day; and Jared and I joined Theo for lunch at TGI Fridays (THANK YOU Theo!)

Theo did get his car back again … he wrote on MINI2 I’m taking it easy so I haven’t explored much over 4500. The couple of times I’ve gone up that far have been quite promising. It’s amazing how smoothIy the torque builds and I do notice a good deal of torque coming on in the low/mid 2000 rpm range that seemed to be absent prior to the 210 upgrade.