Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Mini Cooper Clubman

Back in February, I accidentally killed Matt's Montero towards the end of February. Matt got the Montero after graduating from Auburn, he's had it for 10.5yrs and it had over 200,000mi. The Montero served us well and while it's been a great vehicle, the fix was going to be way too expensive. 

Matt started researching vehicles and on March 9th we went to Carmax to see a variety of vehicles in the least amount of time. He was mostly looking at smaller SUVs, thinking he would get the Jetta and I would get the "new to us" vehicle. I wasn't completely sold, we don't really have a need for an SUV. The Jetta is big enough for our little family and there is plenty of trunk space. I also wasn't ready to sacrifice a few MPGs just to have a SUV. An SUV would only make sense if we upgraded to something with a third row, which isn't a current *need* for us right now.

I am not a car person, that is all Matt. I would much rather do lots of other unpleasant things (like clean toilets or get cavities filled) before choosing to look at cars. Abigail and I started to walk aimlessly through the car lot when we stumbled upon a couple Fiats and Minis. I was really surprised to see the low price (compared to the SUVs) and the high MPGs. Abigail kept wanting to climb into every car so we decided to look at The Mini Clubman, the longer/extended Mini. While the backseat isn't super roomy compared to an SUV, it seemed big enough for Abigail's carseat. We decided to take it for a test drive WITH Abigail's Britax. I sat in the back with Abigail and didn't feel cramped next to the Britax. We left Carmax with a completely different mindset than when we arrived. 

What I could not see at Carmax was "internal Matt", he must have been jumping up and down like a little kid on his birthday. As my mother commented on Facebook, "...and the sleeping giant awoke with [my] suggestion." Over the next two weeks, Matt started researching this vehicle in depth. He learned all about the different types of Mini, there's a "justa" and a sport version (maybe more but that's all I remember). Matt "liked" a few Atlanta Mini Clubs on Facebook and was searching for this car through the Carmax website. 

Matt found a 2011 Mini Clubman at a Carmax in Kentucky, it only had 4300mi and it was priced around $19000. If you find a vehicle within a 250mi radius, Carmax would ship it to your location free of charge. Outside of the 250mi, it was $200 which still keeps this car priced right. Matt made the call and the waiting game began. He was very anxious for for the car to arrive.

The next two weeks seemed to drag on forever to me as Matt researched and learned more about the little world of Mini owners. Turns out owners wave at each other and name their Mini's. The local Atlanta club has an annual Easter Scavenger Hunt. Matt found another event near Pigeon Forge, TN called MINIs on the Dragon where people go to drive curvy roads together. Then Matt stumbled up an event he knew I would really approve, Mickey & Mini! I have no idea what this event really is, but anything at Disney is a win in my book!

On Friday night, Matt got the call that his car had arrived. We basically dropped everything to go see the much anticipated vehicle. Carmax was going to be closing soon so we knew there wasn't time for all the paperwork. Matt inspected the vehicle and took it for a test drive; he approved. He snapped this picture and posted it to Facebook saying "Hello there, Mini! Yes, I had you sent down from Kentucky. And yes you're coming home with me tomorrow." 

We returned in the morning and Carmax processed the Montero as a trade in. Like I mentioned before, the Montero had a good run...and had all the dings, dents and scratches to prove it. We didn't get much for the vehicle but we were able to transfer the Auburn tag to the MINI. Two long hours later (again, I'm not a car person), we were driving off the lot in the MINI and my husband could not have been happier.

Matt's post to Facebook, "Brought the new Mini home today. Hugs the road tightly, and that 6-speed is a blast." I'm not sure if he posted this before or after I started to get carsick while riding. My tummy is not used to manual transmission driving, but less time looking at my iPhone helped a lot.
It wasn't until the following morning, when it was finally Abigail's turn to take her first ride. She was thrilled! Next to the full size passenger door, there's a cute Abigail door for easier access to the backseat. She really loves Matt's new car and even suggested a few times that mommy should drive it and daddy take Nano's car (which was on temporary loan from my dad after the Montero died).

So now the only thing left is to give Matt's new MINI a name (yes, I eyeroll every time). Matt originally suggested "CamBo" which was also name thrown out for Brewer, I declined with both. Matt's nickname has been CRASH since college and his new business is CB CREATIVE. He loves Auburn (hence the CamBo creation from Cam Newton & Bo Jackson). The MINI still needs a name!

-Do you name your vehicles? If so, what type of car do you have and what's it's name?
-Can you give us a suggestion or two to throw in to the naming pot for our new nameless Mini?

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