Current project status
A lot has happened since my last update. I'm a dad now, I changed jobs, we moved house and I now have more miles to commute each day. So with Lucy long overdue some TLC and my new house having a nice big garage, I decided to take my Mini off the road and bought myself a Golf TDI as my family car / daily drive.
As I'm almost 40, friends and relations were surprised that I didn't "pack-in all this messing about with cars business, sell my Mini and just stick to sensible cars now that I'm getting older". The truth is I don't like "sensible cars". My automobile tastes are stuck in the 1970-1980s. If I was to buy a big saloon it would be a Cortina Mk III, but thanks to "Life on Mars" they are like rocking horse poop to find and too expensive to buy, even for a rusting body shell.
So I bought the Golf TDI because I wanted something reliable and good on fuel economy (based on reviews and the experience of friends that own Golfs) plus I'd found a garage that I was happy to use to do any necessary work on the car while I focussed on my new family, house and job.
The Golf is ten years old (I never buy anything new-ish), but unfortunately it ended up costing me almost five times what I originally paid for my Mini and all in the first month of ownership thanks to a blown exhaust, worn cam-belt needing replacing, the dual-mass flywheel (DMF) vibrating itself to bits, a new clutch, and a whole host of other things that went wrong and needed fixing asap. I so miss Mini part prices! How much?? Modern cars equals expensive prices! Let this be a lesson to you all: If you are going to buy a modern used car, make sure the mileage is under 60K and the cam-belt has been replaced. It may drive great today but tomorrow is another story.
After the Golf was finally sorted I'll admit it is a nice car to drive and the TDI (130bhp model) can really shift when required, plus it does around 50mpg so today's expensive fuel lasts a little longer. However it is not a Mini and although we have clocked up some fun miles in it, it doesn't have that "grin" factor, and other Golf drivers don't wave at you as they pass by (which is probably a good idea as your arm will get tired of waving at every fifth car as Golf's are very popular in the UK).
So don't worry I have no plans to sell my Mini. A few of you have already emailed me asking why I've gone quiet and the reason is that I'll only post updates when there is something to post and I haven't done anything new with the Mini that is worth mentioning, yet. Keep watching though as I might just surprise you. I have a garage full of spare parts, some new, and a long list of jobs waiting for me to have some free time.