Jo and her green Rover Mini are regulars at club events, but Jo's recently bought a new MINI as well.
Jo, tell us about your new MINI?
My new MINI is a 2005 MINI ONE R52 in British Racing Green, like my Rover Mini. She is Auto–tiptronic with manual and sports mode (But I don't like using these modes).
I decided to purchase a BMW MINI in October 2017 because I needed to downsize. I saw a blue one on Trade Me and test drove it. I wasn’t sold on the colour and told the sales guy that I wasn’t interested and then jokingly said “Now if it was green” he turned around and said “how ironic a green one came in last night, do you want to see that?” OMG I test drove it and fell in love, had to have it, so I bought it.
Was it tricky to get used to driving this MINI after the classic?
It was very very different. The auto took some learning to take off without bunny hopping, and then going very fast once bunny hopping stopped, these were my challenges. I overcame them to now be a master at driving her as she is my every day car. Thank goodness the indicators are on the left just as my classic beauty, nothing catches me out now and it's very easy to swap over.
Which do you prefer driving?
I do prefer driving my Rover Mini Cooper as I love that ‘OLD SCHOOL’ feeling and hey, she's a classic, who doesn't love driving a classic?
She handles very well, corners are a breeze. Being an outgoing person I enjoy chatting to the people who talk to me when I'm parked up, and it's much more fun to drive her in a convoy or club event.
There is plenty of room in my MINI, but I wouldn’t say I could fit much more in it than my Mini Cooper. I can put the seats down giving extra boot room, I can fit my grandsons bike in, but cant fit him in his carseat at the same time! Which defeats the purpose.
We know you're mad for the Minis, but what other cars have you owned?
I could almost say my love of Minis was from two weeks old, as my Mum owned a cream 1964 Morris Mini and I came home from hospital in it. It was our family car till I was 2 when she bought a Hillman Hunter as my brother came on the scene. She bought a red Mini LE in 1984 and I learnt to drive in it. My brother bought a brown Mini in his teens too and belonged to a Mini club back then.
My very first car was a white Vaxhaull Viva Saloon, I saved very hard for a year to buy her in 1988. I loved my Viva, she drove like a dream, she was manual so very quick off the mark. I used to race people at lights and only lost to V8s.
I owned a Chev Impala for a weekend- I swapped my Mitsi Mirage for the Impala, but my Dad took one look at the Impala and demanded I take it back. I don’t think I ever got over that. I've always loved Minis but my ultimate dream car is a toss between a Chevy Belair and 69 Mustang.