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

Alan and Clare Wesson alan.wesson@atlas.co.uk
Sat, 7 Aug 2004 15:47:38 +0100

I saw a MINI parked next to a BMW 2002 recently. It was WAY bigger!

However, as Bill says, I will agree that the MINI is a good car - according
to all our mags it will out-corner anything else on the road...

BUT it is way too wide for our roads, which limits one's ability to use its
agility! The fastest thing on the roads in Devon is a car not more than 4ft
8ins wide

MINIs must be close to 6ft 6ins wide, which is about the same as the Kaiser,
and they are wider than the 8-door. Nuts...).

They are also dreadfully space-inefficient compared with the original, whose
point, after all, was to pack as much space in as short a road area as
possible. The new one manages to get about the same amount of interior space
(i.e. not enough) into a road area about 4 times as big.

However, the main reason for their bloatedness, of course, is the needs of
the Naderesque crash prevention and strengthening legislation, both here and
across the pond. I don't think even Issigonis could have come up with a
better attempt at a re-issue.

In closing, I will observe that it is now one of many 'British' cars that
have been re-issued, but way better than the originals, by the German car
industry. Bentley, Rolls-Royce, MINI - what next?

At least Lotus are safe - they are owned by Proton...



Lotus 7 S2 and S3 spares and restoration specialists

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Bill Elliott" <Corvair@fnader.com>
To: "Tony Underwood" <tonyu@roava.net>; <virtualvairs@corvair.org>
Sent: Saturday, August 07, 2004 2:18 PM
Subject: Re: <VV> Re: Shhhh...'60 questions (No Corvair)

> >"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
> >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
> 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
> series....
> 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
> suspension riding as well but handling much worse) .... and it was
universally hated...so much so that the original Mini design not only stayed
> 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
> 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:
> (Categorically, there is no correlation here between Early and Late
Corvairs! VBG! But there is a great correlation between the Mini and the
> 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
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