Issue Number 22 (October-November 2009):
On The Cover: Our cover story this issue is the new Roadster and Coupe Concepts introduced by MINI at the Frankfurt Auto Show. The main image shows the Coupe Concept in action and the inset highlights the new Roadster Concept. Although we did not attend the show in person as we usually do, we did get a chance to study the voluminous press release and photos of the two new cars and yours truly, the editor, covers them fully in The Sporting MINIs, beginning on page 26. While the two new models each present their own distinct personality, the running gear and basic platform are based on the current generation MINI, but with enough visual differences to spread the brand's appeal to a whole new audience. The details and our guesses about production availability and pricing are all included, as is a critique of the new Coupe Concept by our own design editor, Stephan McKeown, starting on pag 29. As per usual, Stephan doesn't pull any punches. In Dissecting The Coupe Concept, he lays both praise and critique at the proverbial feet of the iconic brand and lets the chips fall where they may.
With the Holiday Season fast approaching, MC2 has assembled its annual Holiday Gift Guide to help out those seeking a particularly Mini-oriented present for that Miniesta in their life. This year, we have concentrated on "soft goods" over performance parts and feature a number of dress up items for both MINIs and their owners, along with a few more interesting engine bits and bobs for classic models. So, if you are stymied over what to get the Mini-oriented person in your life, turn to page 30 and let your fingers do the walking!
Towing a small trailer behind the MINI is becoming more and more popular as Mini owners are taking their vehicles on longer and longer trips. Most of these trailers are small, luggage carriers, but Kurt and Shannon Bowden decided that they needed to travel in style and keep their accomodations with them. Writer Mary Sullivan caught up with the pair and documented Kurt's beautiful and well-built Teardrop Tag Along starting on page 34.
Getting your Mini repaired or customized is often a hassle, since dealers are few and far between and independent shops frequently just aren't familiar with the iconic brand. Luckily for folks in the Los Angeles area, there's Johnny's Auto Clinic (www.johnnysautoclinic.com). I stopped by Johnny's recently for a chat with owner John DeGirolamo, to get his take on servicing, repairing and customizing our favorite car and found out that not only is Johnny a very particular technician, he is also a tire-squealing owner, having both a new MINI and a classic Mini in his personal stable. You can check out Johnny's philosphy on customer service in They Fix It Right!, starting on page 36.
Navy Petty Officer, John Pellerito, loves his job launching jets off the deck of a carrier and when he manages to grab a little shore leave, he likes launching himself down the highway in his 2004 Cooper S. Freelancer Victor Roberts caught up with Pellerito recently to document his on highway adventures and Pellerito's cool Cooper in Jet Wash! on page 38.
If you've noticed a dwindling of performance lately and want to Pep Up Your MINI, then Jeff Zurschmeide's article on installing a new MSD ignition (www.msdignition.com) is just the ticket. Jeff's easy how-to begins on page 40 and tells you everything you need to know to bring back that OEM pep and fun-to-drive feeling.
Following hard on the heels of the ignition how-to, publisher Barry Brazier starts off our Mini Heritage Section with a photo essay of a most unique Countryman/Traveller that was custom built for an American vacation. This Tale of Two Continents resulted in one of the most beautiful classic Minis we've seen in ages. And what's more, it's a daily driver, as well! Read all about it beginning on pag 42.
With early classics in short supply, saving every one possible in vital and our UK Correspondent, Rob Marshall, details the steps taken for a complete body refurbishment of one classic that has remained in the same family since it was purchased at the dealership in 1962. Of course, with a Mini this old, there's plenty of rust, sagging interiors and other bits that need fixing, but in part one of this series, Rob detail the first steps on Saving A Classic beginning on page 44.
Just about every classic Mini owner knows what year their car is, but not everyone knows which series it is. Over the years, seven different series of Mini were produced and the differences between them were often subtle, to say the least. However, I have spared not expense or time in digging out the facts on how to ID Your Classic. It is all laid out for you on page 48.
It seems to us that just about every MINI owner is always trying to get more speed out of their cars, which is fine, until the need for stopping arises. The problem is that factory brakes aren't always up to bringing that extra horsepower under control quickly and safely. Luckily, Jeff Zurschmeide has the answer. He visited The BrakeMan (www.thebrakeman.com) for the lowdown on Stopping Power. Read all about it beginning on page 50.
Keeping with the safety theme, technical editor, Matt Richter explains why you should appreciate the many safety systems built into your car. In Better Safe Than Sorry, on page 54, Matt makes the case for Dynamic Stability Control and Daytime Running Lights, explaining why these systems are in the car, how they work and how many lives they save.
Of course, an issue of MC2 wouldn't be complete without the usual colums by yours truly, Cindy Gift, Matt Richter and Chuck Heleker, plus club news and events, a book review, calendar of events and our arty Last Word. It's all packed between our cover and waiting for you to read. Unless you are subscriber, however, you won't be able to peruse our pages, because we are not sold on the newsstand. However, you can purchase a subscription and a current issue copy by clicking here. Happy Motoring ~ Peter D. DuPre, Editor-In-Chief