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Car Of The Week – BorrowedBeast, A Gen. 1 MINI Cooper S Convertible

DSCF6550 (1)

A pal of mine from work Andy, recently bought this generation one MINI Cooper S Convertible and before he did he rang me to ask what I thought. Well clearly then he was smitten by the car so  he rang the one person he knew would just say, “Yep great car just go for it!” Soon after he bought it I gave his daughter a lift home and was greeted by Andy, keys in hand chomping at the bit to give me a test drive of his new MINI. I grabbed the keys, adjusted the driver’s seat, noted the GPS where the central speedo usually sits and that I had both a speedo and rev counter sat atop the steering wheel. I fired her up and  instantly remembered that this was a first generation MINI, one with a supercharger. These are exciting cars to drive. Continue reading

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MINI Paceman Updated ala the Recent Countryman Facelift

Facelifted Paceman

So hot on the tails of us here at Beastie Folly ordering a new MINI Paceman SD, MINI announce a slight facelift for the model. It would have been nice to have the facelifted model but life is a fast train and we can’t let the grass grow under our feet. If we waited we would not have a Paceman for our Le Mans trip!

It was inevitable really that after announcing a mid life cycle facelift for the  updated Countryman in New York, the facelifted MINI Paceman has been revealed in Beijing.

Updates are minor, with MINI’s main object being to improve efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions. Exterior changes consist of  a black surround on the headlights and rear lamp cluster, but it is sti;ll possible to choose a chrome finish as a no-cost option if preferred. Two new exterior colours and light alloy wheels are also now available. Inside, the only changes are new anthracite-coloured dials ala Paceman works and redesigned interior chrome rings.

Engine wise, all petrol and diesel Paceman models now meet EU VI exhaust emission standards. The Paceman S is now beefier, hitting 190bhp up from 184bhp in the outgoing model. Contrasting with the power increase, CO2 emissions are actually down from 143g/km to 139g/km. Emissions across the range have been cut to 137, 111 and 119g/km for the Cooper, Cooper D and SD respectively.

Finally to boost efficiency further, MINI has tweaked the underside of the car to improve the air flow and has complemented this by adding low-rolling resistance tyres across the range.

Facelifted Paceman


Car Events 2014 – The Pistonheads Sunday Service at the Morgan Motor Company

Three Wheeler

This event took place on Sunday 13th April at the Morgan Motor Company about 3 miles from my house. It would have been rude then not to go. However, I was slow off the mark in spotting this so when I signed up I went on a reserve list as the 300 available places had already been taken up. In the lead up to the event, I watched as I rose up the list and finally got in the top 300 as people dropped out. In the end I was 194 on the list so a heck of a lot of people dropped out. To be honest this is selfish and disorganised of them. Why sign up if you aren’t going to go? How can you not know that you cannot make it until half an hour before the event? many people did this and if they had dropped out the night before many people could have gone but if they are three hours away, it is no use to them if someone drops out at 8.30 on Sunday morning. People need to be a bit more organised, a bit less selfish and show more consideration to others. Anyway, I have got that off my chest so rant over. Here is how the day went. Continue reading

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Car Events 2014 – Shelsley Walsh Breakfast Club 6th April 2014


Yesterday morning we were up bright and early and went to Shelsley Walsh’s Breakfast Club Meet. This is an excuse for car enthusiasts to  fire up their precious metal, head to an idyllic part of the world and show off their pride and joy to a whole bunch of other petrol heads and car lovers. To this end we took our 2008 very rare Opel GT. However, because Peanut’s son was up from London for the weekend we had to take Our MINI JCW Coupé along as well. A wonderful 40 minute cross country drive to Shelsley  Walsh for the pair of us then. Mindful of my frail health just now post chemotherapy I kept the roof up on the journey there just in case I got too cold and ended up spoiling my day. Anyway, here is how the day went. Continue reading

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MINI Paceman SD – Coming to The Beastie Stable

Doing The Deed

Our MINI Cooper S Clubman fondly named ClubBeast has done well over 5 years of sterling service for us and has clocked up over 68000 miles in the process. We have enjoyed many fantastic adventures with him including several European tours, including an epic Pyrenees adventure in 2009, the last French Weekender in Normandy in 2009, The Le Mans Classic in 2012, and the Paris Motor Show again in 2012. He began to take a back seat by the end of 2012 with the arrival of SilverBeast our JCW MINI Coupé who replaced CooperBeast who went to Peanut’s daughter, The Elf. Continue reading