This is ‘The Other Post’

Tracking back for the last few months and I see that I have taken to saying "but that is a topic for another post" quite a bit. Without further adieu, here is the other post

In talking about the Kia Forte, I said…

To be fair, my MINI is a cheap car. Come on, it’s an R56. Premium skipped this version, but that’s for another post.

And, in talking about the value of MINI, I said…

And since I don’t really like this car anyway (a story for another time)

This is the part where I bash on the first generation R56. If I can take a minute and be really honest, Bruce was a piece of shit. Roxy, with 305,000 miles on her when I traded her in, was a better car in so many ways. And I don’t mean in ways that are sentimental. The R50/R53 (even the earlier versions) was a better built car. It was more mechanically sound. It had a quality feel about it.

The first gen R56 that I had in Bruce did not have any of these things. Sure, he was a runner, but quality? Not so much. Weird stuff too like the drivers side sun visor. One day, it just fell off. The boot latch switch was completely rotted out. The body kit parts fell off easily and I lost both outside rear view mirrors. Sure, my R50 had it’s share of issues, but it was from things that actually broke, not from shit just falling off the car.

I have to say that with the R59 (the Roadster), build quality is what I expect from a car made by MINI. It is solid. It drives well. It has a good feel to it. This is the car I was expecting when I got Bruce.

Another that has come up more than once is the following:

It has an automatic (another story for another time)

For those of you that are playing the home game, you already know that I fought the battle diabetes and won (or am currently winning). With that come a particular set of issues that I am finding easier to deal with while having an automatic transmission.

Not only that, but I am finding myself less frustrated during my ridiculous commute. I am finding myself, once again, enjoying the journey. I am finding myself, once again, looking forward to spending time in my car. It might be the top, it might be the higher quality stereo, it might be the transmission. Whatever it is, the automatic plays a huge part and it’s helping to keep my feet from wishing they were cut off from my ankles.

Serously, wtf is up with your site lately

This is going to end up being a series of posts over at the other blog, but for now let me just tell you that I have sourced a new server for all of my sites (there are quite a few) and they all of been moved to that new server. I’m still trying to wrap my head, fully, around the cluster that became at the end so it will probably be another week or 2 until i get the words to to screen.

Now that I have gotten everything caught up and gotten you up-to-date, that keeps the plate clear for a more complete write-up of the Roadster. But, that’s going to have to be for another post.

Right. I Don’t Have a Spare

Driving to lunch yesterday, I start hearing a very strange noise coming from the passenger side rear of the car. Like a flat tire, but without the bad driving. I pulled over immediately, got out and checked. That when I saw that largest thing I have ever run over in a car. Ever. If you follow me on Instagram, you have already seen how much was actually inside the tire. No kinding, this was a 6" long screw that I drove over! I had to use a hacksaw to get the big part off so I could drive it over to Discount Tire for a repair.

While I was looking at this, I was thinking I’d use the spare and then I remembered it would be the spare that I do not have. For the first time since 2003 I am driving a car without a spare tire and for the 2nd time since 2003 I’ve actually needed it. Luckily, like every other flat tire I have ever had, this one happened close to work / home / tire shop that could easily repair it.

That said, I have decided on my first mod. That will be grabbing a space saver spare from Detroit Tuned with the sweet bag Chad’s mom makes. While I won’t be carrying it all the time, I will have it so when I’m driving across the desert to visit my folks or go to Vegas or San Diego, I’ll be prepared. Like a boy scout. Like a boss.

I know you have a backup plan should something like this happen to you. Comments are open, share what you do!

Now He Is Mine

You guys know me and you know I like my cars to look a certain way. And by certain way I mean clean paint with a good shine and when you touch it is feels soft and silky. Roxy was like this almost always, and Bruce was too. I finally got the chance to do that with the Roadster, and I have assigned him a name.

Meet Hank

Unlike Bruce, this MINI did not have any of that crappy clear bra and old, brittle vinyl stripes (or 69’ing lizards on the roof). In fact, again unlike Bruce, this MINI has been much better cared for. Probably professionally detailed at least once, maybe more. Definitely garaged. Here is what I did to him today.

  • Full exterior wash
  • Full exterior claybar
  • Meguair’s polish with the DA on the boot and bonnet
  • Meguair’s NXT wax on the whole car
  • 303 on the roof (2nd treatment), plastic trim and interior door panels and dash
  • Armorall on the tires

After using clay on the paint, it was practically clean when I was done. Definitely had this done before, and sometime this year more than likely. I was really amazed. I polished the boot and bonnet because, at least to me, the paint was looking a bit dull. The DA brought it right out!

And, if I can say a word or two about 303. Quite possibly my new favorite thing! After I used it on the top and was shocked at how good it made it look, I went ahead and used it on the plastic trim, door panels and dash. I’m normally an Armorall guy, but this stuff has changed me! Easier to apply and it looks better after. Sure, I don’t get the shine, but it makes that stuff look black. Like, really black. Like brand new on the dealer lot black.

And now he is ready for AMVIV. And a proper photo shoot that I expect to be doing this weekend. I’ll let you guys know when those photos go up on Flickr.

What The Hell Do I Do With This

Guys, guys, guys, guys, guys! Holy shit, I bought a car with an automatic transmission! Can you believe it? WTF brand of artisanal crack was I smoking when that happened. Like, seriously, what the actual (delete expletive)?!?

Dear reader & listener,

You weren’t dreaming. One of the loudest members of Team Manual Transmission (TMT) has actually gone the other way and purchased a car with an automatic transmission. A MINI no less. With an automatic.

(Sorry, I am still slightly coming to grips with this myself)

Since 1995, I have only owned 3 cars with an automatic, and the new R59 is one of them. And, if I’m honest, I am having some struggles with it. Which I will list for you now, and in no particular order.

I think I’m going to stall

When coming to a stop, I’m still amazed that the car doesn’t stall because I did not depress the clutch. Of course, this MINI doesn’t have a clutch, but my brain doesn’t know that. Yet.

Power in the corners

Or, rather, a lack of power in the corners. Halfway through a corner I get on the gas and acceleration doesn’t start until I have fully exited said corner. I have yet to test this with the sport button on and the shifter in the left hand position, but in full auto this is how it works. Not going to lie, this is taking some getting used to.

Hard acceleration is awesome.

Please allow me to remember the feeling of having more than 120HP. Even with the A/C on, this MINI can boogie. Really getting on it, in a straight line, is a hoot! Nice that I don’t have to worry about shifts and can keep both hands on the wheel.

Keeping both hands on the wheel in a corner

Speaking of, I’m still not used to taking corners without having to deal with a shift before or after said corner. I’m hoping I don’t pull a cars and coffee style spin out in front of a Dunkin Donuts or anything.


Right. When I stop, need to put the transmission into the spot marked P.


Right, if the car is in park, I don’t have to sit in the parking lot with my foot on the brake while I put on my sunglasses or turn on my music. See above.


Again, if I’m honest, an automatic is better for my daily crawl. I’m less frustrated because you drive like an idiot and make me have to continually row the gears.

I’m still a better driver than you

Let’s face it, the automatic transmission has made the American driver a lazy pile of crap that likes to tail gate, drive with both feet (accelerate with the brake lights on is still my favorite) and stop 4 car lengths back so they can creep up, 4 inches at a time. These are all problems that I thought were due to the automatic transmission. But, you know what, they aren’t. I drive an automatic and don’t do any of those things. Oddly enough, I drive pretty much the same as I did with the manual, just without having to shift. It’s not the transmission, it is the driver.

The last thing to do with the automatic is get it out for a track day. I’m not sure I can get one in before the season is over, but I’m going to give it a shot. And you know I’ll get back to you as soon as I do.