The New Guy


After a solid week, I’m confident in my decision to buy this MINI. Sure, he is not perfect, but overall a solid runner. As you will hear in the next episode of White Roof Radio, I am still coming to grips with the size of this MINI. While not that much larger than the R50, it does feel that much larger, especially from the inside.

I’m finding a few minor issues with the appearance that I will have to correct. First up will be a complete exterior detail. I’m pretty sure this car has never seen the business end of a piece of claybar, let alone polish. That, of course, will have to be done after I remove the roof graphic and all of the clear bra. Speaking of clear bra, it looks horrible. Makes the car look horrible and hides the shine of the paint. I would rather have rock chips than this stuff. I’m also talking with Todd about some stripes for him and hope to get that done at AMVIV.

Moving on to the wheels, they are a bit rough in places and, if I’m honest, one of my least favorite MINI wheels. They look ok, but who among us has tried to clean them? Good grief, I just did that and it took me a solid 1/2 hour and they still aren’t as clean as they can be. Not helped by the fact this car still has factory brake pads.

On the inside, it’s amazingly nice. Piano black interior, cloth seats, rubber mats. All in excellent shape. While I’m not a fan of rubber mats (I live west of the Rockies and prefer carpet), I’m keeping them for a little while. The one thing that will be changed sooner than later is the tint. Sure, it’s plenty dark, but it’s the cheap stuff. Roxy had the top of the line ceramic tint at 30%. He will be getting the same treatment.

Also on the inside is the stereo. Honestly, what an extreme disappointment. The stock system in the R50 sounds like the HK in the R56 by comparison. I will be looking into some kind of upgrades there as budget allows. I don’t need a booming system, but some bass would be nice.

Another in the list of mods will be a JCW body kit. Mine is on order. They are practically giving them away out here, how could I not? I drove an R56 Cooper with that kit and 15″ wheels if you recall and it looked pretty sharp. What will make it look even better will be a little bit more low (including a rear sway bar upgrade happening soon) and different wheels. I’m thinking about trying the extra 5 Stars that I have, possibly powder coating them [insert color here].

Nice to have a post like this, talking about my car and the things I want to do to him, as opposed to things I need to do. Exciting times lie ahead!


A Closer Look

While out in Quartzite this passed weekend, I was able to get some shots of my, as not yet named so stop effing asking, new MINI. Including the roof graphics. Once the weather warms up, all vinyl is coming off of this car (possibly including the tint) and getting redone.

I’m getting a lot of positive feedback on the roof. I think it’s awful. The redo will be with stripes. Still need to talk to Todd about that. And to remove the clear bra.



“Can you read me the current odometer reading”


We then went back in and completed the paper work. Roxy was no longer mine.

It’s no secret that I have been looking for another car for the past few months. With Roxy getting up in miles and the frequency of odd noises and new rattles rapidly increasing, it was time. My plan was to keep her and add another car to the stable, eventually relegating full time track duties to her.

On January 22nd, 2014, I was doing my daily internet check when I found a very rare MINI.


That is a 2008 R56 MINI Cooper. It does not have a sunroof. It does have manual transmission and sport package and less than 60k miles on the clock. And it was listed for less than $10,000. At that price and configuration, I knew a car like this wouldn’t come around again for a while.

So I moved on it.

It was a painless experience, oddly enough, but 3 hours after arriving at my local Auto Nation Nissan dealer, he was mine. All i’s were crossed and t’s dotted. I cleared my stuff out of Roxy, said good bye and signed on the dotted line. Already added an additional 500 miles on him and I have to say I do like an R56. You can here my thoughts, day of, on this week’s show.

Welcome to v2.0 – The R56 Edition. Updates to follow.

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Lots of Threes

Damn. I drive a good lookin' car. #mini

A photo posted by Don Burnside (@donburnside) on

As I’m continuing to drive roxy home from the moon (almost at 301k), teh lad asked me over dinner about how many of this or that I have had to replace on Roxy. Turns out, I’m on the third of many things.

  • Transmission & Clutch
  • A/C
  • Alternator
  • K & N Filter element
  • Windscreen

The top three are items you don’t want to be on the 3rd of, for obvious reasons. And for those of you wondering about the K & N filter, sure you can clean them, but after 100K miles, why not spend the $50 to replace? Standard drop-in filter would be replaced at least 10 times in 100K miles, making the K & N the more frugal choice.

I had to do a half-assed brake job last week to replace the pads that were done. I had a back-up set that were lightly used that I put on and are doing the job for the time being. A full, 4-wheel, brake job is on the short list. Also moving to that short list is an oil change and alignment.

Otherwise, still keeping an eye out for what’s next. Everything is going well on Roxy right now and I’m hoping to be able to put off getting another car until next March. Fingers crossed if you please.