We recently celebrated our Mini D's first birthday. It's been a solid worker so far and I've enjoyed driving it, although it's not as much fun as our old Mini Cooper S Convertible (or my MX-5). I do love having DAB radio and 6Music on the motorway, though.
The Mini's first service had come up, so we took it back to Wellsway Mini in Bath. We were grateful we'd taken out the package covering service costs in advance. They gave us a bill to show what we would have paid - £206.80. WHAT? For an oil and filter change? That is pricey.
I took it back a couple of weeks later because a vertical crack had appeared at the base of the windscreen, then taken a left turn. I wondered if it was covered by the warranty, but they had a look and said there was a microscopic stone chip, so it was down to me. We called our insurance company, Aviva; we were covered, but had to pay the £75 excess.
Smiley Mark from Autoglass was dispatched to replace the screen. He called ahead, before arriving bang on time, did the job within an hour and even put our tax disc and National Trust sticker back.
I was a little disturbed to hear that he does four or five Mini screens a week - they seem to be vulnerable because they're so upright. Apparently we could have left the crack a while, though. The screen is laminated so it won't shatter and it wasn't in our eye line. With Christmas sprinting towards us, I wish Wellsway had mentioned that.
Miles too many
Our main concern at the moment is the mileage. We bought the car on a PCP (Personal Contract Purchase) based on 14,000 miles per year. If we go over that, the car could be worth less than its agreed Minimum Future Guaranteed Value. We racked up 17,000 in the first year. Not sure how we're going to pull that back. We may end up having to take out another loan and keeping this car rather than trading it in.
I had to sell my beloved Eunos Roadster when the engine suffered some expensive damage. It now spends its time on race tracks all over the UK introducing novices to motor sport.
For the story and more pic, click here.
This Bugatti stopped me in my tracks at the Classic Motor Show, just because if was so voluptuous. Then I spotted the intriguing information sheet: it's known as the 'Mystery Roadster' because no one knows when and where it was rebodied. What is known is that it was owned and raced as a Type 51 by Mme Anne Cecile Itier. It's always good to find out about another lady racer, but sad to read later that she ran off to race cars after her husband beat her. I enjoyed reading Bugatti Queen by Miranda Seymour about Helle Nice, it seems she wasn't the only female behind the wheel of a Bugatti.
A lot of people say they were inspired to become motoring journalists by travelling in the their father's car. I really wasn't. My Dad had one stylish car, a Mk1 Cortina, then he had two Hillman Hunters and two of these, one was an Austin Princess, the other an Ambassador. My parents still miss them. "But it was so comfortable, and roomy!" they say.
Remember John Shuttleworth's ditty: "Me Austin Ambassador Y Reg, Y Reg, Y Reg, don't keep asking me why Reg, it just happened to be that year..." it's on YouTube
This was one of my favourite cars at the Classic Motor Show. It's a Peel Trident, related to the P50 driven around the BBC by Jeremy Clarkson. It doesn't have a reverse gear - or even a handle to pull it backwards, you just put one hand under the back and lift it up. The display included photos of its crazy owners driving it to the Netherlands, complete with their camping gear in the back.
This blog is by a woman driver, for everyone to read