The Man and his Fox

The Man and his Fox

VWFoxPhoto from BP

Truth be told, I have a bad habit of gasing up my car at the very last moment. I normally pay at the pump, it is fast and efficient but today I needed washer fluid.

I was walking into the station to pay when he pulled up in a 1980’s Volkswagen. Black. Two door. Manual transmission. I admit, I took a double take.

Is that fine-boxed-machine really gas powered?

I payed, picked up my washer-fluid.

Out at my car, I popped the hood and started filling up my empty washer-fluid. Bending over the front of my car making sure that I wasn’t spilling the fluid all over my engine I noticed out of the corner of my eye a shadow approaching.

“I hope you don’t mind,” I heard a male voice.

I could only guess it was from the man who had pulled up in his Volkswagen Fox only moments earlier. I looked up at him. He had his sunglasses pulled down to his nose and had a smile on his face. He didn’t seem so interested in me, more interested in my popped hood.

“I really like small engines and I just haven’t seen under the hood of a MINI, do you mind?” he asked.

“Sure, here it is,” I offered, pointing out the obvious.

He looked it over as I stood there awkwardly giving him commentary on how I ended up with a MINI and how I hadn’t driven or sat in a MINI until the day I picked up my car from the dealership, detailing how much I loved driving my car.

In the middle of my dialogue, he rose slightly on his tippy toes, pointed with his finger and in a high pitched voice he declared, “And it has a little TURBOCHARGER!!!”

He was beside himself in excitement!!

“Make sure you keep on top of changing the oil, that will give longevity to your Turbocharger.” He could hardly contain his delight.

“It’s also manual transmission,” I lightly added.

REALLY!,” his voice going an octave even higher, “Manual transmission IS the only way to drive a 4-cylinder!!” He stated with certainty.

A man after my own heart 🙂

MINI Mania

MINI Mania

So not THE most creative title, but that is what is happening to me right now. I am experiencing mania towards my MINI!

Some people have children and pets, I have cars. I love cars (trains, planes and skateboards too!). Yes they eventually disintegrate and get recycled (we hope the metal and plastic parts do!), but to me cars have always been an extension of myself. Call me crazy, but I love driving with no destination in mind. The most important part being the experience of getting there and the mode of transportation.

It’s not about the brand or how much the car costs, it is how it handles the road, the ambience and comfort on the inside and the sound system blaring tunes.

There was my pain. What small car could I buy that would give me all those things, suit my personality and be THAT car.

My list was whittled down to two choices:

1. Volkswagen Golf – responsible me
2. Mini Cooper S – irresponsible me

The Mini had some advantages, besides being irresponsible, it also had a HUGE personal backer. I might come from automotive, I might understand the product, I might even understand the sales process, but all those things just made me more anxious about picking the right car.

So what happened exactly?

My good friend who is still in the business, the Volkswagen didn’t stand a chance :(, arranged for a nice dealer to call me, serve me up an offer I couldn’t resist that had me signing papers making me a ridiculous Mini Cooper S owner in mere minutes.

What I think of my new car after 3 days of ownership?

More fun than I thought. I forgot how much fun a manual car can be. Reminds me of that Mazda MX-5 Mazdaspeed I was pulled over in a few times!! but managed to talk my way out of my tickets (I wouldn’t have deserved them – honest 🙂 )