Not positive the MINI Cooper reigns supreme? Here's why I'm sure it does.
Have you ever seen the Italian Job? Not the new version starring "Marky" Mark Wahlberg, but the original with Michael Caine? That was my first introduction to the MINI Cooper, and it was a great experience. I loved the little cars and how well they handled. Quick, small in stature, nimble, and ready to go!
Fast forward a few years, and the "new" Italian Job came out with the modern models of the MINI Cooper.
This was also around the time MINI created a few versions of the Cooper. The models used in the more recent movie weren't the quicker of the two, except in a few scenes. The faster, souped up version is the MIN Cooper S, and in that year, they were supercharged! How's that for a nice combination? Small and light, plus some supercharged power. Awesome!
I've owned both versions, so I know a bit about both of them. Not only have I owned the two MINI Coopers, but I've written about MINI Coopers for a number of years. I've gone to the events put on by MINI USA, I'm part of clubs across the country, and I know many owners. I'm also friends with the drivers and the owner of the JCW MINI Cooper Racing Team that travels on the IMSA Weathertech Circuit.
So, to help convince you, here are eight things to convince you that the MINI Cooper is the greatest thing since sliced bread.
Size and speed
Do you want something nimble and quick? You can't beat out a MINI Cooper S.
They are by far the nimblest cars I've driven. If you have something better bring it over and let me drive it. It is well known that while MINI Coopers don't have the highest top speed, they more than make up for it in the corners. You will frequently see MINI's out on the track passing the Corvettes and Porsches in the corners.
Would you like to have a TARDIS?
Wait, you don't know what a TARDIS is? It's the telephone booth from the BBC tv show "Dr. Who", which is known for being larger on the inside than it is on the outside.
You see where I'm going here? Yes, the MINI Cooper does look small from the outside, but you can fit more than you'd think inside of them.
I do wood working as a hobby and I'm constantly hauling wood in my MINI Cooper. Now, we're not talking full 4x8 sheets of plywood, but I can haul some 2x4s with the best of them.
If you have a MINI Cooper you are automatically associated with a large group of fantastic people, the type who'd give you the shirt off their backs. You know how Jeep owners give a wave from car to car when they see each other on the road? We do that too!
Maybe it isn't true for everyone, but there is a larger number of us that do believe that if you drive a MINI, you are our friend. I've gotten close with so many people just because I own a MINI Cooper, even though we have very little else in common. Owning a cool, unique car: that's enough in this case.
Yes, I think I just made up that word, but stay with me here. It stands for making a car "yours," and the way I see it, there aren't many cars that have this level of custom options.
From factory options to aftermarket parts, there are almost an unlimited number of things you can modify on the MINI Cooper. If you're into performance, there are many options to work on with your MINI. If you'd like to change how it looks, you can change out parts almost weekly if you have the money.
There's a racing team
It's true! You can follow your favorite cars as they compete against Porches and Mazdas on the IMSA Weathertech circuit.
The JCW MINI Cooper team is a very competitive squad that has been doing very well in their class lately. Not only that, but all the drivers (and really anyone on the team) are very approachable in the pits.
It's always exciting watching a MINI tear around a track's corner, out-handling most of the other cars.
If you're very lucky, you can even get a ride-along at some tracks driven by the team owner, Luis Perocarpi. The man is amazing behind the wheel. I've ridden with him the past two years at Road America in Wisconsin. If you ever get the chance, it's something you will never forget!
There are magazines specific to MINI Coopers
I should know because, in addition to writing here, I write specifically on MINI Coopers for one of them, MotorWerks Magazine.
We cover everything that you would need to know about MINI Coopers and the racers who drive them. I like to think it's a great source for your MINI Cooper advice, but I am a bit biased. Maybe you should just check it out on your own.
So I mentioned the community present out in the wild, so to speak, but there's a huge online community that I haven't even brought up yet.
You can barely make a click around on your favorite social media platform without finding a MINI Cooper community. Give it a try, just search for "MINI Cooper" on any of them, I'll wait.
Yeah, that was a lot, wasn't it? Mind-boggling, honestly.
I follow and monitor so many of them on a daily basis that it's hard to keep up with most other things. At some point, I need to step away, because we all need to eat and sleep sometimes, right?
The final (and best) reason
So, you still need another point to convince you the MINI Cooper is the greatest thing since sliced bread?
Ok, I wasn't going to pull this one on you, but you're asking for it, aren't you?
How about this: MINI Takes the States.
Yeah, you don't know what this is, do you? I'll explain.
Imagine if you will: A giant get-together with about a thousand of your friends, who all drive the same unique, speedy car, and travel from one American coast to the other.
Sweet, right?! At each stop during the MINI Takes the States tour, coordinated events (like a White Sox game in Chicago or an arcade stop in St. Louis) help build the camaraderie and community spirit between participants.
It's an event like no other, and it gets more incredible each time it descends upon the roads of the U.S. It's one long party that anyone with a MINI can take part in.
Those are just some of the reasons that I drive a MINI, and why I think they're so great. If you've never ridden in one, or even better driven one, find a way to get inside one right now!
It shouldn't be that hard to find, there are a lot of MINI owners in the United States, let alone the rest of the world.
And if you ever see me driving down the road in my MINI, honk, wave, and ask me to pull over. I'll be happy to show you the ins and outs of driving a MINI Cooper.
NEXT: THE PROS AND CONS OF BEING AN AUTOMOTIVE ENTHUSIAST
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