My dream car has been a MINI Cooper since I have no idea, but it seems like forever. After seeing The Italian Job (the remake), I became even more obsessed with owning the sportiest little car this side of the Atlantic.
In 2007, after wrestling with what used to be my dream car, the first Ford Focus, it quickly became a piece of crap as domestics tend to do, but this was unexpected. It only had 42000 miles on it since 2000. That’s right, 7 years and only 42000 miles, but the noise it made upon starting, you would’ve thought it was a 1978 Buick boat-car. It ran like shit, and it was super clear that I had to get a new car before grad school or else I would inevitably end up stranded on the side of 400 (which is never a good place to be during rush hour in Atlanta).
So upon weighing all my options, costs, benefits, etc., the MINI Cooper came out on top. I designed it on their website, and within days, my very own, custom built MINI arrived in Atlanta. It was mine, ALL MINE. And it was loyal, and beautiful, and kept me company through tons of good times, sad times, and moving on up.
Then the extended warranty expired last year and all the expensive shit started breaking. OF COURSE IT DID. And after the 3rd item that would’ve cost almost $2000 to fix , I decided enough was enough. My relationship with my bright yellow MINI Cooper was coming to an end at 99, 400 miles. Here are some of the things we did together over 7 years:
- Got me through grad school in style. This included every social event, drive to the lake, and vacation I took that didn’t require someone else and their luggage to be in the car with me.
- Transported me from Sandy Springs to Decatur to Smyrna and back my 2nd year of graduate school, which was quite a lot of driving each day.
- Helped me get through my last relationship and make it to Timmy, the ultimate achievement.
- Comforted me through 3.5 years at CDC, where I hated my life and was bored to tears every day.
- Moved me to FL (where I had to leave half of my stuff in Atlanta because you can’t actually move anything in a MINI), where great things have followed.
- Drove me through hour+commutes from Lakeland to St. Pete and back, where most Friday evening drives resulted in nervous breakdowns and tears.
- Moved me to St. Pete, where life is now calm and beautiful.
I’m still grieving the loss of my companion. She was beautiful and fun and a joy to drive. But in anticipation of getting older and perhaps starting a family one day (I said PERHAPS), it’s obvious that a MINI Cooper just won’t be practical with children and all their mountains of crap (literal and figurative).
I nannied in grad school, and getting the youngest in and out of the car seat was a pain in the ass then, but now is a literal pain in the back, and I wouldn’t ever be able to do that with my own children. So two doors were out. Four doors are in.
And now we come to the newest member of the Beltran family. My newest ride, my newest companion who will see me through more good times and bad…
The MINI Cooper Countryman
I fought the 4 door as long as I could. I am a MINI purist, which means that I believe that the only true MINI is the original hatchback version. But I sucked it up because I’m more of a planner than an optimist, so here it is. The car of my dreams, expanded.