The Family Vacation

This is the time of year when families start to take time off, and in a time-honoured fashion, pack into a crammed car and take a vacation. This is done 99.9% of the time with the best of intentions. Late at night, husbands and wives consult each other with sentences like, “it would be great to show junior our majestic countryside,” or “we never do anything as a family anymore, this will be a great opportunity to spend time together”. This can lead to screaming matches on the road: “IF I HAVE TO TURN AROUND ONE MORE TIME WE ARE GOING HOME!!!” or “SO HELP ME, I WILL PULL OVER AND LEAVE YOU ON THE SIDE OF THE HIGHWAY!” if some tricks of the trade are not applied first.

 

As the third and youngest child in a family that refused to own a minivan or station wagon, I have logged more hours than I care to remember in the back, middle seat of a cramped sedan. Hence, I am particularly qualified to provide the following tips from 30-plus years of sitting with my knees in my chin:

 

  1. Make sure your car works properly:This includes the air conditioning, radio, CD player, cruise control, etc… also, make sure you have a roadside safety kit, and that your spare tire is properly inflated! Nothing is worse than telling your wife (with an authoritative tone) “I can change a tire, you stay here and keep cool” and then realizing the spare is flat.
  2. Don’t try to cannonball to your final destination:  We get it, you can drive all night and make amazing time, but at what cost? The driver will be over tired in the morning, and everyone else will be anxious. It’s not worth the sacrifice. Try to stop every 3 hours, checking out roadside attractions, malls, etc. which can make the trip a bunch of mini destinations. This is a great idea especially if you have a young family. Or, just load them up with sugar, give them i-pads and encourage them to fight each other for your approval, that works too.
  3. Keep your kids occupied, but not tuned out: DVD’s and i-Pads are a great way to stop a child/toddler/teen/husband from having a complete meltdown, but how much fun is it to explore and appreciate your amazing surroundings if your kids are watching Dora the Explorer? Do a crossword puzzle or other word game together, or play Eye Spy – a great segue into how a farm works, or where all the big trucks are going, and why they are on the road in the first place. Or, just load them up with sugar, give them i-pads and encourage them to fight each other for your approval, that works too.
  4. Bring a cooler with water and snacks:It’s hot out there…keep hydrated and bring healthy snacks! Almonds and dried fruit is a way better alternative to giving a kid sugary drinks and snacks. Or, just load them up with sugar, give them i-pads and encourage them to fight each other for your approval, that works too.
  5. Good music:Eventually, this happens: spend enough time in a small space with your partners and family in modern travel and you will want to kill them. Kids/friends/wives/husbands/extended family/pets… no one is immune. Music is the ultimate peacemaker, keeping tension, tedium and craziness at bay. This is the tricky part because you need something non-offensive that appeals to all. Funk, jazz, soul and classic rock usually do the trick. Know your audience before you bring out disco. Or, just load them up with sugar, give them i-pads and encourage them to fight each other for your approval, that works too.

 

And that, my friends, is how you master the art of the road trip – from a guy who as his PhD in sitting-in-the-middle. Now, go enjoy the splendors of our majestic countryside. Bask in the splendor of black fly season, and be in awe of the disrepair of our highways and byways.

Self Driving Cars

Robot cars, autonomous cars, self driving cars, driverless cars or work of the devil. No matter what you call them, make no mistake they are coming soon.

Tesla’s autopilot mode is a stroke of genius and it works fantastically well but it is by no means the only show in town. For close to a decade major manufactures at the upper echelon of the haute meter have been helping you make sure your car stays in line by providing beeps, vibrating the steering wheel, flashing lights at you or even applying the brakes/gas at your behest. In the past 5 years this technology has trickled down from the bourgeoisie to the proletariat, as most technology and innovations do. You can now get many of these features on economy cars as part of the higher trim models.Things are now changing at a more rapid pace.

Thanks to major research and development investments from GM, Toyota, Ford and others, autonomous cars will be allegedly hitting the showroom floors in masses as early as 2020. The implications that a driverless car has are even gaining the interest of the major tech players too. Google has already been driving there self-driving cars with lots of success for several years now mapping out our world and providing the easiest way to creep your neighbours… Thanks google maps!! Apple the tech giant even stretched there automotive muscle by creating a joint partnership with Chrysler. What does all this mean for you?

The governments have not really had to deal with this yet, so legislation is somewhat sketchy. Now they have to figure out how to control the flow of cars that may not even have a driver in them. Insurance companies will follow suit, figuring out how to adjust premiums to reflect HAL from 2001 a Space Odyssey driving your car. If your machine hits my machine in a parking lot and there are no witnesses, who is liable? Seriously, I want to know how this will play out.

Make no mistake, this could be the most revolutionary change the car industry has ever seen. Its implications will be far reaching. Off the bat, delivery vehicles, taxis and limos could make the switch to driverless. Imagine getting in a car (at that point would it be called a pod?) with no driver and communicating via cell phone to tell the car where to take you. Trucking could be completely revamped with trucks being loaded up and then sent off with GPS coordinates and real time traffic information to minimize delays and clogging up highways.

Further down the line it starts effecting you. Want to stay home and catch up on some work or whatever show you are currently binge watching on Netflix? Send your driverless car to pick up your kid from school. Need a pint of strawberries for a cake your making but you need to keep an eye on the oven? Send your car to the grocery store and have the carryout kid put them in the trunk after you have paid online. Turn your car into your assistant! The possibilities are endless and far reaching. The abilities of this technology and what they mean to society are both amazing and terrifying (I want to get my own berries).

I will be living in a cave at that time, tinkering with old rusty cars that have carburetors, manual transmissions and no emissions control equipment at that point, thinking of the good old days when I told cars where to go, not the other way around.

Aftermarket Accessories

 

Are you looking to spruce up your automotive pride and joy but don’t want to invest in a new car just yet? Are you looking to squeeze more miles out of your ride before your next upgrade but need to up your automotive game now? Is it time for the 7th inning stretch with your steel stallion? Are these analogies getting ridiculous?

We are excited to announce that Auto One Group is bringing an aftermarket and accessories division to our dealership!

The following are just some of the products that we can offer:

DVD Players: got kids? Do they go in your car? You need these! We can install them in the backs of headrests or the flip-down style from the roof. Bring sanity back to the car ride.

Navigation systems: Now you can tell your wife/husband with authority that “yes, I know where we are going”. Bonus, now you can show them too!

Backup cameras: never fear parallel parking or backing into a spot again. Show your undamaged bumper with pride.

Parking sensors: it’s like Morse code in your car.  Beeping, flashing lights and so much more… it’s your car telling you “hey bud, your close enough”

Bluetooth: helping you keep your hands at 10 and 2 and your eyes on the prize.

Custom formed rubber floor mats: We live in Canada, keep more of Canada out of your hard to clean carpets and on these fantastic, easy to clean rubber mats.

Window tint: keep the sun out of your car and deter would-be thieves from scoping out your stuff.

Remote start: it’s like having an assistant who’s only job is to go turn your car on in the morning so it can warm up in the winter and cool down in the summer.

Again, this is just a sampling of what we offer. We are committed to helping you make your car yours. We want to help you personalize your car to your standards using only the best products on the market, installed by the best technicians in the industry.

cropped-autoone_logo_4c_hor.jpg

Living With My Mini

As you know, I made a knee-jerk decision to buy a Japanese spec, right hand drive Mini about a year ago. The decision to buy this car was triggered by several events: Alcohol, peer pressure and the desire to inflict pain on myself mentally, financially and emotionally. I love this car.

m3

I had never owned a grey market import. For those of you who are not aware, a grey market import is a car that was never designed or intended for use on Canadian roads. After a certain amount of time (15 years in Canada) the government says “you wanna bring it in? sure, your risk”. I only heard the first part of that and totally missed “your risk”.

 

This car is generally awesome. I always get complements on how unique the Mini is and have never had a problem parking it. It is absolutely petrifying exhilarating to drive- it forces you to become a better more honed driver. But my beloved Mini is not without its shortcomings.The wheels are 10” so any pothole or speed bump can spell disaster, I have visions of this thing tilting over a curb like the titanic just before she slipped under the water. The wheel base is about the same as my waist, this is great for maneuvering in and out of traffic but it also means the car does not sit in the tire grooves that are on the highway and major streets, as a result the Mini “dances” in the streets a bit. It also has as much horsepower as a blender so anything over 110 kmph is a pipe dream and, if you do achieve it I hope you have a will because it means you are dropping off a cliff. In the car.

m2

The biggest problem I have with the car, bar-none is the lack of parts on our side of the pond. Need an oil filter? 10 days to 3 weeks wait time from the land of tea and dry humor. Need a wheel bearing? Same. Need tires? Forget about it, shipping them is prohibitively expensive. I knew when I bought the car that I would probably make 1 big order a year and a couple of small ones.  I write this blog as I am making my fourth. The parts are cheap to buy, I mean… how big can a tie rod end for a car that weighs 1,350 lbs be? Associated costs add up. Quick. Firstly you have to convert from British pounds to Canadian dollars, then you have to pay for shipping over the expanse that is the Atlantic Ocean, then you have to clear customs,pay duties, then you get your parts just in time to realize that you forgot some obscure parts that you need to complete the job. It can leave you thinking “maybe I should have listed to my wife/mother/parole officer and bought something more sensible.”

m1

My British car is currently running a fuel filter from a Japanese motorcycle, The thermostat and gasket are from a 1976 MG, and the steering wheel is from a go-cart (seriously).  It seems to work..For now. That is part of the fun of having a car like this. You are forced to be resourceful, A McGiver of cars. You buy a car like this because you actually like wrenching and coming up with hack-job solutions. This car is more than the sum of it’s parts. It is a chosen lifestyle. This is a car you drive around with tools and spare parts for the owner who knows what parking lot has the brightest lights at night in any given neighborhood so roadside fixes can be that easier, and you don’t mind doing them.

 

To Clutch Or Not To Clutch

FREE KITTENS!!! Glad, I have your attention. Now; lets start with my rant.

I went to visit my extended family in London, Ontario the other weekend. Most of the cousins were all together which is a rare occurrence because we all have families, jobs, wives, “responsibilities”, parole, etc.  Our visits together usually go like this. Everyone goes inside and greets one another and then the guys go outside and drink beer on the driveway and discuss who is driving what. This is a time tested routine as my extended family are all car nuts and very passionate about there car-nut-feelings.

One of my cousins, we will call him “the sensible one” is an accountant.He just bought a brand new Honda Accord sedan with leather, navigation and…. wait for it… a manual transmission. “Only real cars have a clutch, blah, blah, blah. Let’s step aside from the fact that my cousin is effectively driving a unicorn (family sedan, manual transmission, with options). Let’s address the issue at hand. Does driving a paddle shift car make you less of a car nut or immediately reject you as a car enthusiast? Dead stop the answer is NO! Let’s start by examining some basic facts.

You=Human

Paddle shifters=machine

Machine>human

Done.

That was easy… what do I do for the next 300 words… FREE KITTENS!!!…what? You want me to explain further? Fine.

paddle2

This is the deal: when paddle shifters first started making their way onto performance cars back in the early 2000’s (think Porsche’s Tiptronic). In those days they shifted in the amount of time that it took a sloth to do long division and they had the telepathic powers of drywall. My cousin is convinced that all automated manual shifters are like this. This is akin to thinking that all computers come with Windows 95, Toasters are a new technology or that having a colour TV will damage your eyes…

The fact is that today’s automated manuals, can be found in a range of vehicles from economy cars to super cars and from 5,000lb SUV’s to 1,600 pound bantam weight track day racers. These things shift FAST! How fast? Milliseconds. Say the word, go on say milliseconds… in the time it took you to say milliseconds the Nissan GTR, 911, M3, S7, etc… popped of 4 shifts and made you look like a driving legend. Let’s see your flimsy brain and reflexes handle that? Let’s see your brain anticipate your shifting before you even think about it like the new Audi’s and BMW’s. You want to constantly shift for optimal fuel economy? Let’s see you do better than the Ford Focus does with their dual clutch in the Focus.

paddle3

I made those points to my cousin who quipped with “yeah but it takes away from the driver involvement blah, blah, blah”  ahh! The real debate emerges. 3 pedals gives you more driver involvement and a more “pure” driving experience. I get that, I really do. Driving a traditional car with a manual transmission is so much more involving and ultimately makes you feel like you rule the machine and not just a vessel traveling in the machine. 5 years ago I would have agreed but on today’s cars they are almost made to be run by the computers running everything else, one more job (shifting) won’t upset the union rep too much, will it? Numbers are a stubborn thing. Look at 0-60 times of new cars in manual and automated manual, the manual transmission cars are actually slower and get worse fuel economy. Try telling that to my cousin who loves to row his own gears.

Moral of the story: don’t get in an argument with your cousin without bringing a cool car for him to experiment with (his words).

*no kittens were harmed in the making of this blog post.

The Tesla Model 3 Is Shaking Up the Industry

The best thing a hobby can have is growth and a large fan base. Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla is providing both. Tesla took the Apple approach to selling there next car with the see-it-now-buy-it approach. You already know this because it has been all over the news for the last month or so. The current Tesla is a great car but too expensive for the majority of us to afford. The Tesla model 3 is the companys’ first flirt with an economy car. Priced at $35k USD it promises to bring 300 plus kilometers per charge on its electric motor.  In a little over 2 weeks this has amounted to over 325,000 orders. This is for a car that is not slated for delivery until late 2017.

 

I knew the car was being unveiled because I saw snippets of it on my news feed (I don’t own a TV so I am somewhat in the dark). What was outright astounding was where else I was seeing people talk about it. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites were abuzz with the new “baby” Tesla. This is something I have never seen with a new model introduction on such a large scale. “Hey Sam, what do you think about the new Tesla Model 3? Should I buy one?” That is the question I was asked by a 32 year old who has never owned a car and I’m not sure even has a license. The hipsters and trend setters who live downtown and eat things called “organic” and don’t eat things called “gluten”. Tesla is doing what Lance Armstrong did for cycling and Wayne Gretzky did for Hockey. Elon Musk, Tesla’s visionary is making hipsters into car lovers and I love it! The more the merrier!

 

Tesla’s ability to sell reservations in such large numbers for a car that will not even see road testing for a year is very impressive. What is more impressive is who is taking notice of this vehicle and buying into the idea of it. Johnny-hotrod and Larry-lead foot are not the typical buyers of these cars. While some of the buyers are no doubt “car guys” there are lots of tech savvy people, who love the technology that is packed into this car. Lots of people coming out of a compact premium/mid-size sedan to try something different and people who love the idea of freeing themselves from the pumps. That’s just it people are not buying into it because it has seven billion horsepower, or that it has wood sourced from a sunken pirate ship (both completely fictional but cool). People are buying into the idea of a car that does not require oil changes, lots of maintenance or fuel.

 

Elon Musk is the same guy who told the public that commercial space exploration is possible, and that taking an air tube called a Hyperloop could conceivably get you from coast to coast in under an hour and you never have to leave the ground. Having driven the pants off my brother-in-laws Tesla I can attest to how fun these cars can be to drive. I think Tesla and Elon Musk are great additions not only to the automotive community but to businesses and industry as a hole. By taking a non-traditional route on all fronts we have learned that the outlier can be comfortable and (hopefully) profitable at center stage.

My New “Treasure”

It all started with a slow day at work… these are rare (my bosses generally read these so I will actually go with very, very rare). I was ambling around the internet looking for some parts for my Mini when I saw an ad “ 1983 Lincoln vi, no rust, totally straight, needs a headliner and heater core, certified” . The price was less than an Italian hand bag I am sure my wife wanted so I figured I could sell it and at least break even if she decided she wanted the bag instead of this stunning example of 1980’s American personal luxury.

lin1

I called my partner in crime who happens to be a huge Ford/Lincoln guy. He assured me of what I already knew: I would be crazy not to buy it. I had a moral duty to buy this car. At this point I called the number in the ad and left a message to call. I then played the waiting game. It is unnerving because at this point I had convinced myself that if I didn’t get this car, the world would cease to exist… I didn’t want him responding to someone else first and selling it to them, I also didn’t want to call back and seem desperate or crazy. Of note: it was around this time that I realized this car was in Sarnia, a 3 hour drive from Toronto. Hey, love can travel right?

The seller called me back about an hour later, this is the meat and potatoes of the conversation:

Me: “hey man, thanks for calling me back, still got the Lincoln? Whats the deal with it?”

Seller: “ still got ‘er, she’s super straight, no rust anywhere, no dents, it needs a heater core, I have one to go with the car and the head liner sags, I’ve done some stuff to it so I can sell it certified, I just got the car”

Me: “ paint is good, interior is okay otherwise?”

Seller: “paint is amazing, the car was from Florida, a priest in florida owned it and kept it parked inside most of the-“

Me: “ woah, woah, woah, a priest owned it before you?”

Seller: “yeah man, he lived down south and moved to Sarnia, he is in his 90’s and couldn’t drive it anymore”

Me: “sold, I’ll take it”

Seller: *laughing* “because it was owned by a priest?

Me: “crap, you live in Sarnia? Does it run?”

Seller: “yeah, Sarnia, runs, needs a heater core so I would not drive it to Toronto, needs a headliner”

Me: “and a priest owned it?”

Seller “……yes……”

Me: “I’ll come on Sunday to get it”

lin2

My partner in crime (we will call him Kevin to protect his true identity, his wife may read this as well…) and I drove the 3 hours to Sarnia on a Sunday to see the Lincoln. Sweet mother of chrome she was in great shape. The landeau roof was not torn or overly sun faded. The paint looked like a 9 out of 10 (a couple of touch-ups) 1 door ding and the chrome was excellent other than a trim peace coming off the rear bumper. The fold-away headlights worked, all the buttons I pressed had a reaction, even the old-school analog temperature gauge attached to the driver side mirror seemed correct. The car was as we call it in automotive speak “a pin”.

I will write about this odyssey again and regale you, fine reader about venturing into the unknown of fine velour seats and faux wood. Just know this for the time being: I now own a prime example of 80’s American class an elegance, the only person more thrilled than me is my wife.

Praise For Tesla From A Gear Head

Auto One EDIT3

I’m a really nice guy. Like, really, really nice. All of the time my friends and family approach me with automotive queries because they know I will give them an honest answer. For example, when a family member calls me and says “hey my change oil light is on, what should I do?”  and “my tires are bald, should I get new ones?” I have the unique ability to give straight forward answers and not dance around asking questions like; Did you dress yourself today?”.

 

The other week my brother-in-law called me and asked if I could help get his car tinted and a stone chip on the windshield fixed. “sure I can, I can do that in a day”. He was super happy as he was going out of town and said he would just leave me the car for a couple of days (and I get to drive it). My brother-in-law drives a Tesla 85D. This is an electric car with the ability to go zero to 60 in 4.3 seconds. Understandably I was very excited by the opportunity to thrash, drive his car. Let me back up a bit. When my brother-in-law first ordered his Tesla he was super excited about it and understandably so. Technology from the future, crazy power and great fit and finish. I on the other hand was a little underwhelmed at first, I thought, what’s the big deal right? It’s like driving an electric razor with an i-pad for a console. I thought it would lack the passion of a combustion engine. When he got it I thought “okay, this is cool but I would still rather have ______ insert premium luxury sedan”. Essentially I thought that liking that car would make me less of a “car guy” because I was liking something without an engine.

 

However, after driving it for a couple of days I would liken it to a slot car with an in between stage. Step on the accelerator pedal (can’t really call it a gas pedal) and it drives like any other car. Mash it with your foot and watch the world melt away though the windshield. Don’t forget, this is with 2 car seats comfortably in the back too! Imagine all that torque and power available from 0 RPM because there is no engine to turn over. Instant terminal velocity…. My tear ducts have not fully recovered.

 

The technology is amazing in the car. The Auto Pilot mode will legitimately steer, accelerate and brake the car its self. You want to change lanes? just click the turn signal and watch the computer overlords sense when an appropriate opening becomes available and technology will then put you in the next lane. The on board navigation has built in internet browsing and the car will tell you the stock numbers too (if you are into that sort of thing) and a full internet browser. Imagine driving from Toronto to Kingston without using the steering wheel or the pedals. It is a novel concept that took some time for my weak human, non-Tesla brain to comprehend.

 

Usually when I have to drive family/friends cars for service I can’t wait to give them back. I don’t want to be responsible for any damage like “was this crease in the leather always there?” or, “I don’t remember the car sounding like this”… with this car I would gladly keep driving it because the reward is definitely worth the risk.

Now I will write my first draft of the apology letter to my brother-in-law….

A Farewell To My Winter Beater

It is with profound sadness that I announce the timely death of my Honda CRV. Unexpectedly, she “yacked” a starter. The Honda, or as she was more often referred to as “that bag of crap that Sam Drives with no exhaust” died peacefully in her sleep… and simply refused to start today.

She lived a great life, with humble beginnings in the East Coast of Canada. She lived most of her life frolicking among the coastal highways and byways. Spending weekends shuttling kayaks and going for adventures, she was always a trooper. After a lengthy life in the land of cod and fog she wound up in the bewildering city of Toronto. Toronto was a confusing place with street lights and highways and traffic, but the Honda would not give in. She was as stubborn as people who choose to spend winters in the east coast of Canada. She provided over a year of faithful service to Errey and was no longer shuttling kayaks or going for Spritely outings… now she was commuting from Toronto to Brampton 5 days a week and providing safe transport to Erreys children, and dog.

Errey outgrew the CRV ( dude got a sweet deal on a diesel Mercedes) and wanted to get rid of the CRV quickly and painlessly, luckily for Errey I had just sold my car and was looking for something cheap to get me through the winter. It was a match made in convenience. I was fortunate enough to spend time with the CRV during its final months, we had 5,600 good kilometers together. I accepted her with all her faults not limited to but including: malfunctioning horn, missing rear wiper, the vaguest steering in any car… ever, creaking doors, the slight smell of mold on the interior and rust that was creeping out from below the belt. You could tell the CRV was starting to want permanent retirement. One day her exhaust fell off, she stopped sounding like a quaint SUV and started sounding like a rhinoceros that just had a belt sander taken to its nether regions. I didn’t mind, frankly I enjoyed her slightly more baritone exhaust note. When she started to suffer from incontinence (she leaked oil) I liked to think of this as her just marking her territory… but in my heart of hearts I knew the end was near. No longer did she amuse me (the CD player stopped working) and she really let go over her looks (I stopped washing her).

Today I attempted to start her and got power from the severely corroded battery but no starter kicked in… after cursing/coxing her a bit, and hitting the starter a solid dozen times with a wrench roughly the size of that rhino’s femur she still would not start. I will not do any indignity to a deceased car… she will die with glory and pride knowing that she had gone up to the bitter end. What is odd about her passing is that it happened roughly a week after I replaced her with something newer and slightly less crappy… it was as if she knew “I can go now… my time is done”.

I will be sending it to the scrap yard in the next day or so, where she will no doubt be melted down, sent to China and come back to our shores in the form of paper clips, refrigerators and possibly the front suspension of a Chrysler product.

Who knows…you might even have a piece of her.

Consolation Prize

Have you ever bought a consolation prize car?

Allow me to explain. A couple of months ago I was infatuated with getting a 1966-74 Mercedes-Benz 280. This is a big 4 door German sedan from the era when their reliability was measured in light years, not 5-10 year periods. Want proof? These cars are still on the road today in third world countries as taxicabs!

I found the car I wanted and was ready to bid on it (I had seen it at an auction) and had even managed to overlook the quarter sized hole in the hood from a battery arcing through it. When I met the former owner, he told me that the transmission shifted erratically but not to worry because they are all like that. Suddenly, I wasn’t as interested in purchasing a 1966-74 Mercedes-Benz 280, but I wanted an impractical car. Feeling sorry for myself I did what any self-respecting car nut would do, I scoured the classifieds and auctions for an equally dubious car that had some fault I could live with. I looked at any and all European makes. Everything I saw was either too beat up, too expensive or did not have that “wow, my wife might not actually kill me for getting this” factor, until I saw her.

The ad read something like “mint condition original right hand mini’s for sale”, what a coincidence! I love mini’s, they are funky, easy to park, great on gas and have loads of character,  and the one I was looking at came in under budget. I called the seller and made an appointment to see the car… to be fair I was 80% sure I was going to buy it before I saw it. The Mercedes had left me devastated, I wanted my questionable investment!

I asked the seller if there were any issues with the car that I should know about? He said, “Make sure it has oil, and coolant”; apparently they leak a bit, fortunately, this was not a deal breaker for me. He assured me that there are no glaring issues with the car; he also told me he would take the dead rodents out of the engine bay prior to my delivery.

It might have gone down as the easiest sale in the history of car sales. I did not argue the price (it was a great deal already), I did not ask for anything to be done to the car (the seller offered to do a small laundry list of items, I graciously accepted) and I did not ask for any type of warranty (the seller would have kicked me off his property if I had).

That is how my classic iconic German luxury sedan from the late 60’s morphed into the most recognized economy car in the world. I love my Mini; I love it with all its faults. It has more character than even the most boisterous senior at a retirement home and  is loads of fun to drive. I often joke that it is the most fun you can have in a car going 60 kmph.

I would never get rid of my mini. I can’t help but wonder what a classic Mercedes sedan would look like parked next to it…

.sam2sam3