GBMINI will be replaced!

Regular readers will not be surprised … a comment in GBMINIs specification back in 2003 (would have liked to order a Chili Red MINI with red interior) and other hints posted more recently … so today is the day that I committed to replacing GBMINI#2.
With another MINI of course:


I have been debating this almost since the ’05s came out and allowed a red interior on the MCS. For a while I wondered about a convertible – but for some unexplained reason you cannot have red seats on the convertible in USA (although you can in England!)
Today I had Scott at MINI Peabody cost out the parts to upgrade the seating and at an estimated $3K+ I abandoned that idea.
With nothing much else to decide, I placed an order with Joel and got a production number – with luck, GBMINI#3 will arrive in time for my birthday in early April.

Here are GBMINI#3 specifications …
2005 MINI Cooper S, Chili Red, Black Roof
Red/Black cloth/leather interior, Anthracite headliner, body color trim
Chrome exterior & interior
MFSW, manual a/c, on-board computer (no sunroof)
DSC, xenon headlamps, front & rear foglamps, 16″ wheels
Cold weather package (heated seats, mirrors & washer jets)
Dimming rearview mirror, rain sensing wipers, auto headlamps
Automatic transmission

I debated forever about the transmission – no doubt there will be dissenting comments but I drive very lazily and I still don’t shift as smoothly as I would like with the “wrong” hand in this country; I have not driven an auto but feedback from the techs at MINI Peabody (thanks Bob & Dave) indicates I won’t be disappointed. Thanks also to Keith for reassurance this afternoon.

So if anyone wants a nice 2003 Indi Blue MCS with many upgrades including JCW, let me know 😉

27 thoughts on “GBMINI will be replaced!

  1. Ha ha!!!

    That’s terrific Ian. I was wondering how long it was going to take you to cave in and buy an 05. [GRIN] I’m telling you that you’re going to absolutely LOVE it. I have to say that I’m a bit surprised to hear that you are buying an automatic, but I don’t have any problems at all with that (in fact I probably would have made my wife’s car an automatic if it was available back in November/December of 2004). I actually like the paddle shifters and the main shifter looks really good as well. You’ve got yourself one heck of a nice spec there.

    BTW, my next door neighbor has the red/black cloth/leather seats and they look great. The only trouble with them (and I found the same to be true with the space gray cloth seats on my first 05 MCS) is that the cloth tends to stain fairly easy (I’ve noticed it a lot when it rains and water drips onto the seats when you open the door). Besides that, they are lovely seats (and will look really good with the body colored dash, etc.).

    Congratulations! I can’t wait to see photos of GBMINI#3.

    — MIKE

  2. Hmmm.. Interesting. Having a Chilie Red with the Red interior I can’t fault your choice. :o)

    Curious on a couple of things however. You mention driving manual with the wrong hand here in th states. I was talking to someone about this the other day and don’t know… Do manual transmission cars in England have the clutch pedal placed on the opposite side as well? In other words, would one press the clutch with their right or left foot. I am not sure and am curious.

    Second… As I am writing this, I think I know the answer, but I could be wrong. Are you going to upgrade to get JCW on #3… I am not sure it’s available on the automatic?

    Congrats! Enjoy and have fun. :o)

  3. Congrats, Ian! I’m about three weeks away from placing the order for my ’05, which will be my first MINI. I’m also doing chili red with a black roof and red interior. If not for the red interior, I might not even do red, but it just looks sooo good! 🙂

    Why no sunroof? That’s the highest-cost single-item option I’m getting, but I really think it will be worth it.

    To further question your choices, why no LSD or 17″ wheels?

  4. Is it #2 or #3..? You call it both..! 😉 I know you had the Cooper first, did that have the GBMINI plate..?
    Looks like a great spec..! #4 will be white, right 😉

  5. Needs stripes :p
    (Of course a little bird told me your idea…)
    If you head over to the sponsors forum in NAM you’ll see someone has been able to do chrome pinstripes, you may also wish to contact him if the paint will be too expensive. The pic he has looks great.

  6. Answers:
    Mike, thanks for the nice comments – with your MINI experience, it is much appreciated 😉

    GSK, yes, I plan to get the JCW again; inside info is that it will be announced maybe by the time GBMINI#3 arrives at the dealership.
    Pedals are in same order on English cars – just in the other footwell! So left foot = clutch.

    Brian, no sunroof because the small height it steals from the roof is enough to make my head touch the roof – I sit up very straight when driving.
    The LSD is not available with auto transmission. And 17″ wheels are a bad choice with pothole laden Boston area roads.

    Gavin, this will be #3; my first (Black Cooper) did have “GBMINI” plates for a few months.

    Josh, Stripes – yes I need stripes! Thanks for the NAM heads up.

  7. Ian,

    Congratulations, sir!

    You must let me know when the JCW is added-on so that I may return your favor. I don’t think you’ll miss the manual with the Steptronic and the JCW…the hell with the “purists”!

    However, I am wondering about the black roof…will be be adorned a la GBMINI #2? Guess you would have got a white roof if that were the case.



  8. Ian, nice car. I was looking for an all red when I found my PS/B MCS car on Ebay, it was such a deal I couldn’t pass it up.

    I personally would drive the automatic before buying but I guess you now what works for you. It’ll be good to get you review on that part of the new MINI.

    I drove a British style car, manual, once in Jamaica and found the shifting part easy it was the left lane thing that kept me awake! Nearly killed the family on numerous occasions. I remember the guy at the rental car place telling me, “remember left side, left side!” I immediately, upon leaving the rental car agency, went to the right side. After a week I was a pro except for the F’n roundabouts.

    One thing on your new site set up. It may be a Safari thing but the comments box gets left out once I post a comment or if you go straight to the article. I have to go directly to the comments window now.

    I may be driving to Chicago this year is that anywhere near you? Probably June/July.


  9. Looks fine Ian! Scotch guard will help keep the fabric clean… spray them when new and after every anual deep clean…

    I notice the same thing when I am in the UK that while I am ‘ok’ shifting with my left hand it is not the totally instinctual thing that shifting with my right is… also if I lived where I had to deal with lots of stop and go traffic I too would have the Auto… the 6 months I had Ghillie on Nantucket gave my left leg a real workout… and I never got above 3rd gear out there anyway

    But I think I would have been tempted to get the Convertable and drop the 3 grand on the conversion… take it out of the auto up profits (DG&R) will you be getting the matching paint job on the fascia?

  10. RB, after alerts from you & Gavin I spent some time on the MoveableType support pages and found why the new comments had been broken, and how to fix it. Chicago sadly is not very close to Boston …

    Randolph, in the end I am not a big convertible fan anyway – it’s only advantage would be solving what to do with the roof! But I prefer hard tops.

  11. Congrats Ian. Chili Red is a sweet color : )

    Funny thing – you’re going from blue to red and I’m considering going from red to blue (Hyper Blue) later this year. I’m also contemplating not selling my existing MINI and just having two.

    I was at the dealer yesterday doing a checkerboard install on one of the first auto MCS cars they got in – just happened to be Chili Red with Black roof. The driving reviews are glowing from sales and service folk who’ve driven the auto. I am eager to hear about the JCW kit for it.


  12. Damn, all these people ordering shiny new MINIs. I am trying sooooo hard right now to resist ‘upgrading’ my ’02 MCS. Living in the CA desert, a convertible would be super sweet…. You guys are killing me! – Paul

  13. Ian…still no comment box if I just go to the article. I have to expressly go to comments.

    No Moonroof GAD!


  14. Ian,
    Congrats. You are right to get those cold weather goodies, heated windshield water. When I was last at MOP, the drive home in that storm had the washers failing to keep much of the windshield viewing area clean. Will you be getting a new UJ for the top? It’s your signature.
    Al on the cape.

  15. I’m SHOCKED, distraught, sad, and happy all at the same time. The jump from an 03 to an 05 is going to be great for you. It’ll be like driving a for the first time all over again. The Red/Black exterior is a great choice, the red interior though…..I wouldn’t choose it, but it’s not for me. I’m really excited for you and I hope you bring it, heavily moded of course, to MOT. Good luck with the waiting for delivery.

  16. Ian, Are you giving up a works 03 for a strait 05 S? Now I am wondering. I hope to hold out for the turbo Peugeot motor but still keep the 03. I too go for the 16s and the heck with the roof. I don’t even like to open windows. cheers. We will look for you in red.

  17. Jordan, not yet figured what to do with the roof but it won’t be another Union Jack.

    Ryan, I agree with you – letting my current MINI go will be tough, but I ALWAYS wanted red in & out and now I can …

    Cleave, I expect the JCW to be available for the auto transmission soon – maybe even before the new MINI arrives at the dealership. I plan to keep the power 😉

  18. Ian,
    Are you planning to sell GBMINI#2 privately or trade it in..? Ebay it maybe..? “As featured in the MINI accessories brochure” would make a good headline..! If you’re breaking it up for parts, I’ll take the JCW bits! 🙂

    Do you think it will be odd to see a car that you have personalised being driven around the area by someone else..?

  19. I don’t think I will actively try to sell GBMINI#2 – selling cars is not a job for me!
    If someone wants to make an offer, that is fine 🙂

    I think so long as I am happily driving around in GBMINI#3, I won’t mind if I see #2 – it would be pretty cool actually …

  20. Wow, I sneak off to Oklahoma and all hell breaks loose!

    I thought it was orange at first. 🙂

    Congrats! Are you going to put the original taillights in it or keep the new style? Not sure if you are one of the ones that really doesn’t like the new style.

    I think my plan is to keep my 03 and pay it off then get a classic. 😀

  21. I’m shocked! Shocked, I tell you!
    But if you must get another, I’m glad you’re going with Chili Red…once you’ve had Indi Blue, no other blue will do.

    Congrats, Ian!
    – Angie

  22. Congrats on ordering your next MINI. I have been tempted to replace my ’02, but just can’t part with the silk green for anything else yet.

  23. Sorry I pointed to the wrong spot for the stripes. The thread is here. He only has 4 sets and is offering them for only $20! Look a the chrome by the badge, the photo probably isn’t doing the stripes justice.

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