Parallel Parking Redux

It really bothers me that I have great trouble parallel parking the Cooper Convertible. My dad is a great parallel parker (as most drivers in the UK have to be or they would never be able to park anywhere), and I have a memory that I wasn’t so bad myself back in the day. In fact I’m pretty sure I did fine with my ’02 MCS. But more than half the time with the cabriolet it is a disaster, and I can’t stand it.

Last night there was a space opposite my apartment but I could tell I was going to have trouble. Sure enough, after a couple of tries I said ‘sod it’ and parked about a block away. As if my own embarrassment wasn’t enough when I came back down there was a Ford Explorer in the space. I maybe need to find some time and work out strategies for dealing with the poor visibility otherwise MINI are going to come and take their car away from me.

5 thoughts on “Parallel Parking Redux”

  1. I’ve got a pair of blind spot mirrors on my MCS that I got from Pep Boys. They’re like two bucks apiece and just stick to the glass on your mirrors. I love ’em. They make changing lanes a breeze, and when you’re parallel parking you can clearly see the wheel and the curb. Doesn’t help for what’s behind you, tho…

  2. I’m still excellent parallel parking when I go back to England, but I’ve still not got it perfect in this country yet … it’s amazing how much difference it makes when everythings backwards 🙂

  3. Man I’ll say. I had a hell of a time in Jamaica a few years back especially with roundabouts. The guy at the car rental place kept saying think left! think left!… I immediately pulled into the right lane and wondered why those other idiots were in the wrong lane. Also, shifting with the left hand was odd as well. But after 3 days I had it down.

  4. The MINI rear camera is wonderful for parallel parking, and one of the best things I’ve done for my cabrio. I can see the edge of my rear bumper, allowing me to safely and confidently back up to less than an inch from the car behind me. However, it uses and requires the factory SatNav as its display. Someone posted that he found this aftermarket camera for less than $100 at Costco and that it works well: http://www.gadgetshack.com/wibacaw.html

    A Multivex mirror on the passenger side helps a lot for parking and lane changing in the cabrio: http://www.multivexmirror.net/technology.html . It has become fairly popular with cabrio owners in the forums. Search for Multivex at NAM and MINI2. The small stick-on convex mirrors help but a wide angle full size mirror works much better.

    Richard

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