<VV> Re: Shhhh...'60 questions (No Corvair)

Bill Elliott Bill Elliott" <Corvair@fnader.com
Sat, 07 Aug 2004 09:18:17 -0400

>"There can be only one."      The new "mini" is a contradiction in terms,
>twice the size of the real one and true to it only in that it resembles the
>original in shape.    Ever see a BMW copy positioned next to a real one?
>Give me a genuine Austin item any day.    

As a Mini owner (as opposed to a MINI owner... also known as a BINI or a BEON... BMW Neon) I agree that the new car has none of the style and 
character of the original... but it is an excellent car in its own right. Superior in every way to the original (except in those all important "style and 
character" qualities.) Compared to the Mini, the MINI is huge and bloated... but when compared to anything else on the market today, it's still darn 
small and agile. Basically a FWD BMW... which is not a bad thing since BMW does not build bad cars. Still, for the money, I'd take a used BMW 3 

REAL Mini: http://fnader.com/images/Mini/Mini2003.JPG

>Hell, I'd even take one of the 2nd Gen boxy Minis that looked like little
>VW Rabbits before I'd ride one of the current *Expensive* and *Heavy*
>copies.    But I digress...   

These were called Metros and were slated to replace the Mini... and again were a better car, but missing all those style and character qualities. The 
handling is exceptional, the ride 100% better than the Mini (Hydogas suspension versus the Mini rubber cones... with the earlier Mini Hydrolastic wet 
suspension riding as well but handling much worse) .... and it was universally hated...so much so that the original Mini design not only stayed in 
production alongside it, but actually outlasted it... the last real Mini being built in 2000 while the Metro (in its original guise anyway) ended around 1990. 

Even the fancy/fast MG and MG Turbo models of the Metro are unloved...even though the Turbo was the fastest MG ever built at the time (faster 
than even the MBG GT V8!). Thanks to electronic boost control (necessary to protect the essentially stock Mini gearbox from the turbo torque) there is 
almost no turbo lag and the engine feels for all the world like a normally aspirated 1600.

In fact, the Metro competed against the Ford Fiesta with the 1275 Turbo being almost completely evenly matched with the 1600 Fiesta XR2... and with 
the XR2 routinely just edging it out in the various head-to-head competitions  in the car mags.

One of the last MG Metro Turbos: http://fnader.com/images/MG_Metro_Turbo/DCP_0022a.jpg

(Categorically, there is no correlation here between Early and Late Corvairs! VBG! But there is a great correlation between the Mini and the Corvair... 
both handle exceeding well and are equally fun to drive. If you're never driven a classic Mini, you don't know what you're missing!)

As to the servicing of cars, you can't fight stupidity. I have heard several stories about well-meaning owners filling up their engine with oil... gallons of 
it... topping off the valve cover like they would a radiator.

Bill Elliott
Urbana, MD