To be a guy today that is addicted to cars wasn’t that clear from the right beginning. Born in a family of car enthusiasts, my grandfather was a technical expert for cars and my father operated a garage, it could have been so easy to settle down as the third generation in this line. However, I wasn’t really interested in cars for a long time. Different types of cars from the newest ones to very old ones, I remember for example the Peugeot 201 from the 1930s that occasionally was used for Sunday trips, were always around me. Not to mention a number of weekend projects, such as Corvettes and other US cars or the old BMW below that bulk of dust.
The low-budget Mini
Cars were just normal and I had never any particular interest until things dramatically changed in the age of 17. Things changed essentially overnight. Yesterday I had no interest in cars at all, next day all attention was paid to the first car in my hands – a black classic Mini Mk5 from 1989 with the 998cc engine, bought for nothing more than 200€.
If you see a Mini in your garage’s driveway, make sure to kick his ass off the site as soon as possible. You can’t repair them because they are designed to fail. You’ll loose money – always!
What happened? And why the hell a classic Mini, where the environment I grew up should have taught me at least how to distinguish between a car and, well, a Mini. Recall, my father operated a garage, and what he told me about the classic Mini should clarify everything: “If you see a Mini in your garage’s driveway, make sure to kick his ass off the site as soon as possible. You can’t repair them because they are designed to fail. You’ll loose money – always!”
So why a classic Mini? Because it was the only outstanding car, the only car with history, that you could afford for an all, but non-existent budget at this time. And, as it turned out later, it’s a hell of fun driving! So I bought one and I started learning how cars work and how to fix them, what you couldn’t do better as if your dad operates a garage.
Time goes by and my Mini died in a traffic accident. One of those VW New Beetle oversaw the traffic jam right behind some crossroad in our town and it happened what had to happen if 1.2 tons hit a car of just 600 kgs: a total loss.
Second trial, improved look
At this time I was already addicted to Minis, especially to the unique driving experience you’ll get from them. But for now, it should offer a little bit more performance than the old one. Sure the most natural choice would have been the big unit with 1275cc, however I stumbled over an ad that I couldn’t ignore. A partly restored classic Mini from 1989 painted in Porsche yellow, with red Porsche seats. The look of this car was nearly the most you can make from a Mini. The downside: again the small-bore unit with 998cc, but at least with some performance upgrades. It took me just a second to decide for this Mini.
The look of the car hold what it has promised, it was simply fantastic, though it was a bit too modern from my today’s perspective. The engine was thirsty, but not powerful a sake of scrappy performance components. In contrast to my old Mini, the lack of power was compensated by a lot of technical troubles flavored by a bit of rust everywhere – actually I think the yellow one was my first ‘real’ British car.
After I lost control at some rainy day, remember a classic Mini has absolutely no driving assistance, and I ended up next to the track, the terrific look of the car had gotten a few scratches, and I finally decided to go for another car.
I sold the Mini and got an old BMW E30 Touring from my dad for the meanwhile. Sure, it wasn’t the time for station wagon, but it was an E30. If I could turn back time, I would keep this one for sure, but at this time I couldn’t go fast enough, and within a week I skipped the BMW and had bought a Peugeot 205 GTI. However, this story will be covered in my next post.
Stay tuned and share if you like!