Customized Suzuki Intruder in French village
Photo: Copyright © 2014 Eelke Blok

How could it have been any different?

In hindsight, with all the setbacks I've experienced with the new Mini, the latest news can't really be a surprise to anyone.

Because a vehicle's value is largely determined by it's "build date" in Holland, which actually is the date it gets its license ("kenteken"), many lease companies refuse to take delivery of any cars after the 15th of november, and instead will only allow a license to be requested for it after the first of january of the next year (effectively gaining a year). Of course, how could it have been any different, my Checkmate will be delivered to the dealer in the...

Restored glory

Good news (which is slightly overdue). After last time's shameful news, I was a bit worried about what might have been damaged on the white Cooper. Luckily, the damage was kept to only the anchor plate and a misssing wheel nut. One of the Superfin brake drums also lost a few fins, but functionally, there was no problem, so it was reused. So, a new anchor plate, a spare wheel nut and some labour in Amersfoort later, the Cooper's glory was restored once again.

The weekend in which I also crippled the white Cooper, me and my dad took part in the "Kempen Trophy", a rally for Mini's (no...

Shameful saturday

Looks like I've commited to reporting everything that happens in my automotive live, so it wouldn't be fair to only report about the good times (and the moderately bad, see chrome trim episodes), but also the bad and shameful times. So, here goes...


After my IEEE address has seized funcitoning (finally), my anti-spam regime is finally paying off. I don't get any spam! And should spam start arriving on any of the aliases I have left around the Internet, I'll know who's been naughty, and I can cut them off at the click of a button.

But, spammers have found another way to torment me, and that is through this very blog. Dozens of comments have started appearing daily, linking to Viagra, Hot Teens, and whatever else you might imagine. The first step has been to turn on approval for all posts, but that still means I am sifting...

Tomtom 4

It took a phone call, but I finally got a little attention to my second (which is essentially just the first) support request. After a whole three weeks! Hopefully, the next response does not take another three weeks.


It's been quiet on the new Mini front for quite a while. Last time I reported, I was trying to decide whether to get a white car at extra cost, or opting for another color. Neither option appealed to me at the time, really (especially because I don't believe a premium for white is justified in case of a Mini).

Since then, a lot has happened. First, word reached the Mini2 community that new colors were coming available for the 2006 model year; Solar Red and Space Blue. I especially liked the Solar Red, which was going to be a deep, metallic red.

Next, Hyper Blue, up till now...

Trim trouble... no more

Yes! After having reported about the not-so-great attempt at fitting new chrome trim to the white Cooper, we put a lot of thought into how to proceed. I considered paying someone with a proven track record numerous times, although the thought that we should be able to do this was always present too. One thing was certain; we wouldn't be sattisfied with the trim looking like it did. Certainly not when knowing full well there were Mini's out there that did get it right.

Camshaft timed

Finally! After over a year (when we visited MiniSport, who told me the engine is down on BHP and compression, and the first thing to check was valve timing), the camshaft timing was checked. It looks like there was indeed a big problem in this area, namely a missing tensioner for the timing chain, which already caused a lot of wear on the chain. A new chain went in, along with the tensioner. The engine seems livelier, now, which is good news.