Got overtaken last night by a shiny looking Lotus Elise. I saw a couple in England on my last trip but this was the first one I’ve seen in the USA. If I win the lotto on Saturday, it will be my second purchase.


I have always been in two minds on the issue of speeding (which is a nice way of saying I am a hypocrite). I rarely go above 80 no matter what the prevailing speed is. I hate being overtaken by other MINIs, it makes me feel like I am some kind of wimp, too scared to risk a ticket by letting my MINI go as fast as it wants. On Friday, a red MCS overtook me, we exchanged a wave and I figured I’d come out behind him. When I got to 90 and I wasn’t keeping up I decided to drop the idea.

I usually hope that people who go speeding by me will get a ticket. I’m jealous of them. I need only to step off the pavement 5 foot from a pedestrian crossing and I’d be done for jaywalking, I’m probably the only person in the country who can’t put a European plate on the front of their MINI because the police stop me every time I try: I can never get away with anything.

But mostly I think either speeding laws should be enforced or scrapped. Clearly most of the public thinks they are a joke and if the police aren’t interested in enforcing them then strike them down and lets get racing.

Clutching on to old techniques

Whilst I like to think I am a good driver there have always been two skills that I have been proud of. Parallel parking and holding a car on the clutch: neither skill seems prevalent in the US (thanks mostly to large parking spaces and automatic transmissions).

But the MINI is very difficult to hold on the clutch. And when I do manage it, holding it on a hill, say, when I try to pull away its if the engine is upset with me and stumbles or seems to slip. One time in Vegas I was stuck at a red light for what seemed ages, holding the car on the clutch, and when I tried to pull away the car just would not move. After a while it did but I was scared for a while.

The MINI motoring manual even says that you should not use the clutch to hold the MINI on an incline but this goes against all my previous driving experience and I find it hard to do.

Free shipping on new MINIs!

If you’ve been thinking about buying a new MINI but didn’t want to pay the CA dealer markup or expensive shipping charges to buy out of state, here’s a deal for ya. MINI of Pittsburgh is offering free shipping on all MINIs anywhere in the USA! Their inventory spans more than 5 pages so I am sure you can find one that you want.

And, no, I’m not affiliated with them but if they see this and want to give me something for the advert that’s fine by me.

Carnage on the Highways

I am sad to say that on the way home last night I was responsible for the deaths of many living things. Its spring time in the mountains and last night there must have been thousands of butterflys trying to fly against the traffic flow. By the end of my trip home my windscreen looked like an impressionist painting: random patches of yellow and red littered the window. I washed it off when I got home but this will happen every day now for a while. Its sad, but unavoidable.

46000 and a new problem

Hit 46,000 miles this morning, only 4000 to go under the warranty. I realised on the way to San Diego that I have a new issue: the rear wiper washer isn’t working, no water is coming out even though I filled the reservoirs just this weekend. I’ll get that done in the next couple of months and it will give me an opportunity to get the V.39 upgrade also. The service indicator is telling me that the next service is happening at 50,100 and I assume that will only get larger in the next 4000 miles. Bummer, I was hoping to squeeze one more free oil change out of the warranty.