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MINI Cooper D Clubman - Doglet

Posted by RVW on November 13, 2010 at 11:04 AM Comments comments (638)



When the MINI Clubman came out I was soon tempted away from my Cooper S Works not least by its promised economy compared to the dismal fuel economy of the S Works. A Cooper D it was then, in the superb shade of metallic brown other wise known as hot chocolate - a Clubman only colour at the time. The interior is trimmed in a matching chocolate lounge leather with cream piping.

After the modified Cooper S the Diesel could have felt a bit underwhelming but in practice the two are not too far apart on a cross country blast, with the torque of the oil burner making up for its lack of outright power. My Cooper D however, packs a harder punch than standard thanks to a P - Torque remap, which makes it a much more driveable machine. It pulls better in all gears - put your foot down on a motorway and it really goes, especially with the recent addition of a sprint booster.

Economy hasn't suffered either with 45 to 50  being easily achieved even when pushing hard and an even more frugal  65 - 70 mpg is possible if you drive it like the cloth cap brigade.

New Stripes

The Clubbie was handsome straight out of the dealers but it wasn't long before the changes started. First stop was a visit to MINI Pirate for a full makeover to give her my trademark Union Jack treatment - so a UJ roof and vipers front and back. 18" R 90 replica alloys completed stage 1 of the new look.

The modding had only just begun and soon the alloys were changed again to a much meaner looking set of MAK Volare 7.5 x 18 rims shod with Yokahama S drives. To complement this, the car was lowered approximately 30mm on Eibach springs and a JCW Clubman spoiler soon appeared on the back.

Next JCW Brembo brakes were added to give the car the stopping power to match the P-Torque remap. Silver side skirts and UJ A - panels were then fitted and this almost completed the exterior look of the car. Finally, 4 spots on the front - a rare sight on R55/56 MINIs - union jack mirrors and a UJ interior mirror did complete the look of the car.

Basking in The Sun

In 2 and a half years of ownership she has covered 34 thousand miles including three large  European tours  taking in the Pyrenees, Barcelona and Monte Carlo and it is on these longer trips that the extra room in the Clubbie really proves its worth. The car has been a pleasure to own from day one and I look forward to many more adventures in it still to come.

In amongst it


My MINI Cooper S 'Shadow'

Posted by Andrew Venn on October 20, 2010 at 12:43 PM Comments comments (61)

This is a little story about my current MINI, named 'Shadow'. It is a 2009 Cooper S in Midnight Black metallic, with a Redwood Red Leather interior.

Shiny Cooper S

I ordered the car back in December 2008, just as the MINI factory was about to close for the holidays. I had been waiting for the moment for ages, in fact I had wanted to own a black MINI ever since the R56 model came out back in 2006, as I fell in love with the new red leather seats they were now putting in them, and thought the Black and Red combo would look fantastic!

I picked up my new MINI in January 2009, and I think it must have been one of the first Midnight Black MINIs in the country, as the colour was only just launched. I was lucky enough to be able to choose a fantastic spec with lots of toys! Full leather, Navigation System, Hi-Fi, Bluetooth, Heated Seats, Panoramic roof, Visibility Pack and Darkened Glass, as well as some nice chrome spotlamps fitted at the dealer. It looked stunning when I went to collect it. The name 'Shadow' came from my brother - he mentioned Shadow the Hedgehog (from the Sonic the Hedgehog games) who was red and black, so the name stuck! I was absolutely over the moon with my new car, and I had some lovely comments about it from my friends in the MINI community.

Redwood Leather Interior

As is the case with most MINI owners, the modifying bug soon kicks in. I knew I had to be subtle with this MINI though, as there was already a lot of chrome so I didn't want to over-do anything. I was also really happy with the plain black look, so just added a Black-Jack interior mirror cover, and my grille badge from my old MINI One. As I went on runs with my local club, a few window stickers started to appear. A large group from Kent & East Sussex MINI Club went together to MINI United in May 2009, so we had matching graphics to mark the event. By this time I had managed to get hold of a set of 18inch John Cooper Works alloys, which suited Shadow's look perfectly. Not long after MINI United, I went along to the Yorkshire Dales Mini Run in July 2009, which was an absolutely brilliant weekend driving across some fab roads, amongst beautiful countryside, not to mention meeting yet more lovely people from the MINI community!

Yorkshire Dales MINI Run

Unfortunately as good as those JCW wheels looked, they really messed with Shadow's ride and handling, so eventually I took them off and put the original 17inch wheels back on to save the suspension and my back! With the modifying bug biting again, I made a decision to get some graphics put on the car. Something that would complement the colour scheme inside and out but not look too 'in your face', so I ran a few ideas around and settled on a central deep red stripe running all the way over the car, with silver pinstripes either side. I was a little nervous about changing the look but it worked perfectly, and went so well with the red interior too. More recently, I've changed the Flame Spokes for a set of black centered Web-Spokes with some new tyres, and I reckon Shadow is just about finished now. I'm sure all MINI owners say that though, there never is an end to the modifying bug!

Shadow with Black Webspokes

I've now owned my Cooper S for just under 2 years, and covered over 30,000 miles in that time. My MINI really has taken me all over Europe and I've seen places I would otherwise have never been to before. I've driven to Geneva and around the French Alps twice, Yorkshire, Devon and many places in between! There are always so many runs, shows and events going on in the MINI community and I've been to lots over the last couple of years, and made lots of new friends. I have a lot to thank the MINI crowd for, including meeting my wonderful partner Elliot, who is also an avid MINI fan and has been with me on lots of these adventures. He rather enjoys driving Shadow too!