R50 vs R56: Bruce Takes Las Vegas

IMG_2016

Just back from [AMVIV](http://www.amviv.com). Had a great time seeing everyone that I haven’t seen since MTTS, Southwest MINIfest or the last AMVIV (or last week). I love these kinds of events, not for the event part so much, but for the reunion part. Anyway, today’s post isn’t a love fest. More like **Roxy vs. Bruce, part 1**.

The drive from Phoenix to Las Vegas is very challenging for low horsepower automobiles. The elevation change is crazy, starting at approximately 1100′ in Phoenix, passing through 3500′ in Kingman (and higher through some of the passes) and down to about 2200′ in Las Vegas. Sure, that doesn’t sound like much, but some of the grades in a car with 118 HP can’t be pulled with your foot on the floor in 4th gear.

Oh wait, that’s not right. Most of these passes I could easily take at 4th gear, at the speed limit. Just not in a 2008 MINI Cooper R56. For the job, a 2003 MINI Cooper R50 handled the job much easier. Not what I was expecting when driving the newer MINI across the desert.

Part of the problem is gearing. The R56, which is equipped with a 6 speed manual gear box, which is really a 4 speed with 2 overdrive gears. 5th is mostly crap when pulling hills, but if it’s a 1% or less grade, you might be able to maintain speed. 6th is crap unless you are driving level interstates. Hell, 4th gear, on steep hills, isn’t low enough to maintain 65MPH. I was driving in 4th on the steepest grade and watched my speed drop to 56MPH as I crested the hill and finally began to accelerate. I _almost_ had to shift into 3rd. In Roxy, 4th (with either the 5 or 6 speeds) was perfect, 5th would still pull hills and 6th was more like 5th in the R56.

Also, for a car that gets such great fuel economy around town and during my normal commute, making this drive was embarrassing for the amount of fuel needed. I did not compute my MPG this time, but it took more than 2 tanks of fuel (at 14 gallons per fill) to get to Vegas and back, which is roughly 600 miles. This is a trip that should have used slightly more than a single tank, instead, it took **more** than the R50. An R56 S did the same trip in slightly more than a single tank. I don’t understand why I would need twice the amount of fuel as an S. It must be the new math.

And, you remember how I didn’t believe an R56 Cooper with a manual transmission actually existed until I purchased one? I have a new search/mission. I am now looking for a MINI Cooper (not S) that will make the drive from Phoenix to Las Vegas (or Southern California) without throwing codes. Every time I made the trip in Roxy I would get the CEL. It would seem that Bruce suffers a similar hate of leaving Arizona as he also decided to show me the CEL when making the drive, both ways, along with a trip to Bullhead City on different roads, also both ways.

Other than that, Bruce was a hit at AMVIV. Thanks for all of the compliments guys. It’s taken a lot of work to get him looking good. I am more than pleased with my results. Glad that you noticed.

…And to All a Good Night

What a crazy year we’ve had, right? AMVIV was amazing, MTTS was off the chain and I heard the Dragon was a total blast yet again! I expect next year to be almost equally crazy.

This year was MINI’s 10th anniversary. 2013 starts everyone else’s. SCMM turns 10 next month, which makes me super proud. I know a bunch of other clubs are celebrating their 10th anniversary in 2013 also. Exciting stuff.

This blog has actually been around longer than 10 year, just. Back on September 14th, 2002 dbmini came to life. Not as dbmini at that time, but it was a MINI blog.

Then there is the car. The reason we are all here in the first place. I actually started my MINI adventure on 12/31/02 with a BRG/W MCS for those of you that remember that far back. I took delivery of Roxy in March of 2003 and haven’t looked back! She actually turned 10 back in November, and I missed it.

Stick around, I think 2013 will be a lot of fun!

Merry Christmas to all!*

*Insert your holiday of choice where applicable

AMVIV: Close it out.

For those of you not subscribed to the AMVIV email list, you might have missed this message Saturday from Jules.

>You have told and heard the amazing stories and adventures that we all created during AMVIV Lucky Number 7. Fun times were had and legends were made at this Las Vegas event! Our MINI’S were dirty, cleaned, pushed, judged, and broke down, fixed up and even ticketed! We bought swag, danced, cocktailed, met Xiek, got tattoos and some were awarded crystal throwing death stars! Others attended unsavory parties that ended with a call to security (White Roof Radio pod cast 332 for full details), while a couple of pranksters attempted the kidnapping of Mr. and Ms. Cone! These things did happen! Most importantly we all had the opportunity to take loads of photos of our favorite things, our MINI’s and our new friends. Speaking of which, hopefully everyone received an “Agro Hug” and cherished it as much as we do!

>With all that said, please help us put the pieces together of everything that happened in Vegas! We are requesting that you upload your photos and videos to our new AMVIV Facebook page at the following link, so that we will all have one location to view all the evidence and judge our peers and their MINI’s:

>Click here for the new Facebook page

>If you do not have a Facebook account, your photos or videos are hosted on line, and you would like to share them without joining Facebook; feel free to forward me the link to your information and we can add this to the site directly for you.

>Lastly, a REWARD has been offered and will be given to the first person that uploads a photo of “the incident on the Charleston Run”.

>Thank you and we hope to see you all next year!

>Julie Preneta for the AMVIV committee

So, take a minute to become a fan of the page and share your photos, videos or anything else you can think of!

And, for the record, Julie was at the “unsavory party” that resulted in the WRR Hospitality Suite being shut down. Check out Woof 332 for the skinny.

Ready for AMVIV

My MINI is ready at any rate. Washed, rubbed her down with clay bar and gave her a nice coat of NXT. And, if I say so, she is looking pretty sharp!

Before I started this however, I popped the bonnet. Earlier this week I got a set of NGK spark plugs from Detroit Tuned and went ahead and installed them. For those of you out there that think this is a dealer only job, think again! With $40 in parts, a 16mm socket and 10 minutes you can do in your driveway what the dealer will charge you almost **$300** for! No, I’m not kidding.

Again, for those of you that think this is a dealer only job, here is a short video I prepared just for you. As always, please, no wagering.

A busy month ahead

The next 30-some days is shaping up to be pretty busy for me, at least as far as MINI stuff goes. If I’m honest, it’s been too long!

First up, February 27th I’m going to be hanging out at MINI of Ontario for their first Blood Drive. I’m looking forward to seeing some new MINI folks and hopefully meeting up with some old friends. Stop by 10-3 and say hi!

Following that, both Todd and myself will be back at MINI of Ontario on March 6th for their official Grand Opening celebration! All day, 10a – 5p, taking pictures, video, interviewing people and playing air hockey. Yes, MINI of Ontario has an Air Hockey table. You can see it in the video below.

After the grand opening, we will be hanging out and a still unknown location and would like any of you to come by too! It’s going to be a great warm up to AMVIV and expect a good time to be had. More details on this to follow.

And rounding it all out is AMVIV happening the last weekend of March. Sure we are going to be there hanging out and causing mischief like we like to do, but we are also (we being White Roof Radio) hosting and sponsoring a little thing called White Roof Radio Live on Saturday night. Details on this will also be coming very very soon.

So, a busy month ahead. Maybe I’ll get to see J/C’s new MINI too!. That would be pretty sweet.