GBMINI#3, that is – now to be known as “REDSX1” and owned by Paul & Pauline, who collected the car from MINI of Peabody today:

Coincidentally, Paul & Pauline are also British ex-pats, who lived within about 10 miles of me back in the 1980s (near Bath)! Hope to see you again next weekend, at the MINI of Peabody Spring Rally!

And here’s another coincidence …
Saturday, heading back from Pasta For Pat and having recently been listening to Gabe on WhiteRoofRadio singing the praises of the BMW Z4 M coupe, what passed me on I93 north of Boston but that very car!
The Z4 M slowed as it reached me, and checked out the GP, then pulled ahead and then pulled over – so I pulled up to it’s side and returned the compliment 🙂
Thumbs up for both drivers, and then the Z4 headed off …

Today, while I was meeting Paul & Pauline, tech Kevin introduced me to Robert – who had come in to learn more about the cool looking MINI he’d seen at the weekend, while driving his Z4 M coupe!
Robert also drives a very loaded MCS, with HK, NAV, JCW 210 upgraded engine, suspension, etc, etc …

Last Chance To See

This evening Margaret picks up her new BMW, and we leave behind both her old Audi and my ’05 MCSa! I haven’t needed two MINIs since I put winter wheels on the GP but I didn’t want to deal with private selling, so this way is simpler (and with the MA sales tax saving on the trade, I’m close to a no-win if I’d tried to sell, and it’s much less hassle).

However, it’s still a bit sad even though it’s sensible …


Today, for the first time since the snow a month ago, I decided to drive GBMINI#3. Because I feel guilty leaving it parked up forever.
The brakes were very noisy for a while, after sitting so long and getting rusty, and there was a sort of knocking/bumping sound from the back for a while – not sure if it was flat-spotted tires, or just the brakes rubbing.

What surprised me most was the stereo – the $2500+ install in GBMINI is great, and has lots of nice (but not nauseous) bass … although GPMINI with the new Alpine head unit can’t match the bass, it does win on clarity – a bit like comparing the stock MINI system with the Harman Kardon version … so maybe I need to replace the Kenwood in GBMINI with another Alpine!

Other than that, there’s of course the fact that you don’t have to change gears, and that there’s much less “audio feedback” from the engine! Less power too 😦
I did notice that it was smoother on the bump where a bridge is on my route home, so although the GPs suspension is amazing, it still can’t quite make up for the runflats (GBMINI is on 16″ non-runflats).
One other HUGE difference is the steering wheel – after a month driving GPMINI with its JCW wheel, the stock 3-spoker in GBMINI feels cheap and not pleasant to hold! It’s amazing how important the little things are 🙂

Overall, I just don’t have the same “smile factor” in GBMINI now that I get every day in GPMINI. And with tomorrows trip to MINI of Peabody to winterize the GP (although it doesn’t seem necessary so far this year), I’m wondering if I really need two cars … anyone want to buy a nice ’05 MCS auto? 😉