“The Coupe is a lot more economical. In truth I feel it is a smidge faster but in handling I think I prefer the GP. It is the mechanical limited slip differential that gets you round a corner so beautifully that just edges the handling in the GP’s favour. The Coupe is a grown up hooligan. The GP is an adolescent hooligan. The Coupe has all the toys for grand touring particularly sat nav. The GP though also has the heated seats and in the case of this one a very nice sounding Kenwood stereo matched to big boot floor mounted speakers. It sounds great, better than the Harmon Kardon on the Coupe but is fiddly to use and lacks the DAB of the Coupe which is so vital for the football.
The GP has a supercharger, the Coupe has a Turbo. One is grown up, one isn’t. One is a veritable musical instrument, one isn’t. Both are immense fun but the Supercharger is in truth the more addictive drug. You can poodle about in the Coupe. The GP whispers in your ear telling you to go faster.”
Nothing has changed on that initial assessment. But there are a few things I can add. I have described the Coupe as a GP – esque GT and I think that is right. It has the fun factor, but is a bit more comfortable. It isn’t forever urging you to drive like a demon. You can if you want but you don’t have to. With the GP it is always urging you to go faster. Great fun but taxing if you are not in that kind of a mood.
Two weeks on and we are getting the hang of using the Kenwood HiFi. The sound is superb but the radio reception is awful. We suspect the stubby aerial is the problem but trying to remove it is proving hard. We got the aerial off but it left the screw in adapter in the base plate. This just turns and turns but does not come out and in the process we have put a small crack in the plastic antenna base, Water might get in so I think we now have the bigger job of replacing the base plate.
The next thing to break is the driver’s seat. I suspect that only one driver has driven it for the last few years so this has had little use. Now with two drivers we are constantly adjusting the seat height and it has decided to jam. Our plan is to get an old seat remove the mechanism and replace. By removing the mechanism on the old seat first we will have mastered the process before we touch the GP seat. For now, though I am sat a smidge too high and Peanut is a smidge too low.
No other breakages and tinkering is left. We will put the BP500-5 number on him but small so as not to fight with the original GP 0545 roof number. I think we will locate these either side of the rear spoiler. We will also add his name – ThunderBeast – as a decal probably on the bottom of each door and we will give him a 500 number plate.
Peanut meanwhile has made a few observations of her own. First, we used to have a generation 1 MINI Checkmate works and fast driving meant adopting the brace position as a passenger where the 45 degree hand grab in the door panel was of great use. In the GP she very quickly remembered this position! Meanwhile we will carry on enjoying him. Secondly, she enjoyed rediscovering the noise of the Supercharger and how a flap opens at 4000 revs to let more noise into the cabin. Glorious!