My First Clubman Sighting

Turning into the street outside my apartment I spotted a super shiny Clubman S parked on the forecourt of a repair shop (for convenience to the local hostelry I think) – my first sighting in the wild. I didn’t really get a great look as I crept by but I must say it looks a whole lot better in the flesh than in pictures on the web. Looked real nice.

Some Fuel Calculations

Spent last night pondering whether to trade in my “gas guzzling” Cooper for something a little less thirsty. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, so let me explain…. my monthly commute is about 1600 miles, most of that highway miles. Unless I take a big cut in pay by working locally, or my boss decides teleworking is not evil, this isn’t going to change. So, my fuel costs:

Gas Cost Regular Driving Boring Driving Civic Hybrid
5.00 $300.00 $270.00 $200.00
6.00 $350.00 $320.00 $235.00
7.00 $415.00 $375.00 $275.00
8.00 $475.00 $425.00 $310.00

In regular driving I can get 27 mpg, if I try real hard I can probably get 30, though I haven’t managed that yet. The Civic Hybrid claims 45 mpg but I figure 40 mpg is more likely.

Why did I use the Civic Hybrid as my comparison? I was looking at cars that I could trade in the ’05 and not spend much more to buy. This puts the Clubman or new MCS out of reach. An MC could be possible but I’m tired of driving to Escondido for servicing, and the outrageous costs involved.

Am I really thinking about getting out of the MINI? Not sure at this point, it’s possible. I’m depressed about the state of the convertible top, why keep a car that you can’t put the top down? I’ve heard a new top could be as much as $4000, I’d rather put that to something new.

The cost of (private) flying has risen worse than the cost of motoring. Plane rentals in my flying club are up to the $100 an hour mark, saving $1-200 on driving could mean the difference between giving up flying, and still being able to do it. As much as I’d hate to give up the fun of the MINI, high gas prices may mean that the auto becomes utility again.

Crazy OBC Readings and Top Wear and Tear

You have to love the optimism displayed by the OBC. Filled up over the weekend ($4.475 for those of you interested) and when I got to work this morning I had traveled approximately 150 miles and the OBC was saying I had 360 left in the tank. I’ve never gotten 360 miles from a full tank, let alone one where I’d already done 150. I’d love to see 400 miles on a tank, let alone 510!

What you don’t have to love is the, now, quite noticeable wear in the fabric of the convertible top. Both sides of the top have two clearly visible dots where the fabric has been worn thin by the underlying mechanism. At 61,000 I’m out of warranty (not that Brecht were willing to do anything about it when it was) so am faced with either a $2200 bill for a new top, or simply not using it any more. Neither seems that good to me. I suppose I shall trawl the forums for some DIY solutions, maybe I can do something to stop it getting worse?