GBMINI#6 … first peek

As I wrote yesterday, the R56 simply isn’t my kind of MINI … but having owned GBMINI#5 for less than two months, and due to some other unrelated reasons, I felt that replacing it had to be a zero-cost option – a “straight swap”!

My original plan with the R56 was to evaluate what features I did and did not like, in preparation to trade it in next year for a perfectly spec’ed ’09 Convertible – a Convertible would be a nice alternate drive to GPMINI, and I felt that the R56+ features were worth waiting for.
But, it turned out, the R56 was not worth (me) waiting for!

So I checked around locally to see what R52 Convertible options might be available … having two local & friendly dealerships helps a lot, and with the help of Kerry & Ian at Herb Chambers MINI of Boston, I have found what I need, a “straight swap” into a low mileage MCS Convertible!

It’s not quite spec’ed as I would if ordering from scratch – no Xenons for example … but then GPMINI doesn’t have Xenons either! Kerry will have the 17″ wheels swapped for 16″, and I’ll probably fit a new toggle switch panel to fill up the missing switches (everyone knows how important that is!); the armrest & cupholder are on their way out, too!

The stereo includes the H/K upgrade which I feel is quite important in a Convertible – there’s very little space available to give over to an aftermarket upgrade (and of course, I know how to install an aftermarket HU with H/K, if I want to!); interestingly the previous owner installed a factory iPod adaptor (and yes I know it’s nothing like as useable as the Alpine in GPMINI, or even the R56 interface – but hopefully it’s faster than the R56 interface!)

It’ll be a few days yet till GBMINI#6 is sorted and ready to pick up … Watch this space, as they say.

28 thoughts on “GBMINI#6 … first peek

  1. Ian, I think my guess was close “enough” πŸ˜‰

    Gorgeous car. It seems to me the R52 was the next logical step after the R56.

    How many miles on GBMINI#6?

    Again congratulations!!!

  2. Great choice! I had a feeling you might go with the previous model. I think they look great. btw, I read the previous post and I agree. I test drove the R56 a while back and it just didn’t feel right.
    Congrats Ian.

  3. The Convertible has 8600 miles on it. Strangely, it’s a 2005 – I hear the original owner simply had too big a family to drive it much.
    Herb Chambers has put CPO / MINI Next on it, so it’s warranteed till 2011 πŸ™‚

  4. Yeah that car is still brand new. 2005 was a very good year. Still loving my ’05 R53 S with 36K miles!.

  5. Hey Ian~
    Curt S was in for service today, and we’re talking about the pro’s and con’s of a R53 vs. R56. I was telling him how you prefer the R53 – and when I signed on this morning, WALAAA – you are getting rid of your R56. I wish we had what you were looking for this trip around – I’m shocked you didn’t wait for the Clubman and give that one a try??? I guess if its based off the R56, then you had no interest. Hope all is well – and I hope you enjoy the convertible R53 more then the R56.


  6. I’ve yet to drive a 2007 MINI of any kind – soon though as my ’05 is making a weird noise that needs service. Interesting to read your thoughts/feelings versus so many others online as well. Shows just how personal the experience can be.

    Have fun with the convertible. Waranteed until 2011 is nice, but seriously, there’s no way you’ll own that car for 3 years! You’re trending way under that timeline as of late. πŸ™‚

  7. I think Ian is way too addicted to cars! LOL

    But I would say that perhaps he’ll hold on to his GP and the new R52 for a long time to come, given his obvious displeasure with the second gen MINI.

    I would say this though… “growing old” with your MINI is a fantastic experience. A lot of people trade in so often that they never really givem themselves a chance to truly bond with the car. I plan to keep my R53 S for at least 10 years. The MINI is one of those cars that simply gets better with age, like the finest wine.

  8. C4, not sure I totally agree with all your statements but I do love my ’04 MCS bought with 3000 miles on it. I’m just growing old in my MINI.

    I really had wished BMW hadn’t made as many changes it did but seems a lot of folk, at least the ones I have conversed with, love their R56’s. Me personally, not a fan but may look at a Clubman just because I may need a wagon to go with my ’04 MCS for bizz purposes.

    2011… I’d say He’ll be on GB15 by then. πŸ˜‰

  9. So…back to a manual transmission, eh what? Can the JCW kit be far behind?



  10. How do we know it’s not an automatic trans?

    I have had a my Dension ICE/link for 2-3 years now an other than one brain fade on my part it has worked flawlessly. I understand they are no longer available in the USA.

    Ian, I thought my 3 MINIs were insane! You still be Da King-O-Mini-land…. but ….I think George C, “Cooper C”, as he calls himself now, may be the Emperor!

  11. The manual transmission can be referenced in the MINI NEXT inventory on Herb Chamber’s MINI of Boston website and in one of the pictures in Ian’s gallery.

  12. Congratulations on GBMINI#6! The rest of us R52 owners are hopeful now for a one-touch roof open/close circuit.

    What are your modding plans for GBMINI#6? Specifically for a convertible, I would recommend the following. First, a Multivex mirror on the passenger side for the blind spot. The most recent thread on NAM is here. Second, handling does suffer from the convertible’s body flex and it is helped by additional under bracing. I have the M7 USS and it made big difference. There are other options now such as Texas Speedwerks

  13. I was originally going to buy the multivex mirrors but find that with a good amount of scanning for traffic as I drive I rarely don’t know who is where when it’s time to move. And of course the supercharger sure helps when I make a mistake.

    What I’d like a solution for is the leap of faith reverse out of a space between two parked trucks/SUVs. I feel like I am playing russian roulette every time I do it.

  14. The MossMini mirrors are sourced from Multivex (see the instructions linked on the webpage).

    Paul, one of the benefits of aspherical mirrors is that you can see more with less head turning. The scanning that you’re doing now can be accomplished more effectively and with less effort. As for backing out from between SUVs, a rear view camera helps enormously. I have the OEM rear camera, which requires factory Nav. There are aftermarket versions that are much cheaper (not as cleanly integrated). It doesn’t give you a completely right angle side view, but it is very wide angle and helps a lot. It is one of best and most useful mods I have on my car. I’d even say that with the combination of Multivex and rear camera, I have better rear visibility in my MINI convertible than previous cars I’ve owned.

    BTW, there is also an OEM aspherical mirror. I have one on my drivers side (and Multivex on the passenger side). The OEM doesn’t have as wide angle view as the Multivex, but it is easier to adjust to for judging distance.

  15. I thought I’d order one of the multivex mirrors just to see what it is like but their site is awful to navigate. And every time I go to checkout it says my cart is empty. There is a message that says to email their webmaster if I have trouble but I’m not *that* interested. I think I’ll check out the aspherical ones, though.

  16. rkw,

    I went to MultiVex before buying from MossMini. What a PITA they were. After that I went back to MossMini. I was not impressed with their [mirrors] quality and went back to Multivex and complained. It fell on deaf ears. Never heard from them!


    My complaint was this; the shape was not true to my OEM mirrors and the edges are very rough. They are a PITA to line up to OEM mirrors. If I knew their were OEM aspherical mirrors I would have bought those.

    I still have the mirrors and have gotten used to their oddness, kinda like “Progressive” bifocal eyeglasses, if you have ever tried them. Now I love them.

    Ian, sorry for the highjacking.

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