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Car Events 2016 – LUXEMINI at The MINI Reading Dealership

 Saturday had been a busy day for us and Sunday turned out to be more of the same.

We got up at school time and were out of the door at 8.30 in order to be at Reading MINI for a get together with fellow MINI fanatics at an event organised by LUXE MINI.


We have made a lot of new friends in the MINI community as a direct result of being in the Welsh MINI group and we enjoy meeting these people once again as well as old, old friends from the MINI scene such as Andy, who now rides a wicked looking black F56 MINI JCW. Coffee, tea, pastries and burgers were provided by LUXE MINI, which was very kind of them, as they did all they could to ensure it was an enjoyable day for everyone. In truth beautiful sunshine all day ensured this.

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ThunderBeast – JCW Srut Brace Fitted


ThunderBeast is looking very handsome. Today we fitted his JCW strut brace and also this week had the front valance fixed where the divers side faux brake duct was not clipped in properly. A refurb on the wheels means that all in all he is looking not too shabby. Now if I could just give him a real clean then he would look pretty darned good!


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ThunderBeast Kenwood HiFi Installation Update


The installation is complete now. We failed in one are which was connecting the steering wheel controls. This is because I ordered the wrong lead twice and lost the will to live on that one. Also there is not much room behind the stereo for the extra box it uses, so we called it a day on that one. In truth the fascia is much more user friendly on this one. 18 DAB presets in in a bank of 6 push button presets and a quick switch to change between banks 1,2 and three are easy to do even in a bouncing GP. 

Phone auto answers and calls are easy to do using the Siri connected voice recognition. Bluetooth music is a doddle, as is cd and usb music. The sound is as good as in the Opel GT, or better than the Mini Harmon Kardon of the JCW coupe. Put simply we are delighted with the upgrade.


The car finally feels like it belongs with its own 500 plates and a nod to it GP name.


Two modest changes prior to the Mega MINI meet at Lytham this weekend.


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ThunderBeast Kenwood HiFi Installation


We are doing this in stages as we have left the head unit easy to remove for now. First we swapped the head and set it up for sound yesterday.

This has given us Bluetooth music which works beautifully and Bluetooth  phone which uses the iPhone’s contact list and Siri for voice recognition calling. This stage of the install went well and the phone microphone has installed easily and also works very well. The voice recognition is excellent and using Siri it is better than the voice recognition on the Paceman and Coupe.


Next the DAB aerial arrived. So we removed the interior a-pillar trim and fitted the DaB aerial and plugged it in the rear of the radio. Removing the A-pillar was easy in the end. We undid the sun visor, two screws, pulled off the rubber trim from around the door and the pulled off the a trim from the top with a hard but scary yank. This was because the Dab aerial is a small box and aerial which pastes to the window and an extension strip which earths to the metal behind the a pillar.


The photos by the way are purely because they are all from my best angle! Next we set up the DAB radio and this seems to work a treat. The FM is not working yet but it didn’t before. This is because we need to take off the stubby aerial on the roof and put the original back. Alas we just cannot get the current one off so that is another job.

Delighted with the new radio features. Last bit to do is to get the steering wheel controls talking to it.


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ThunderBeast Gets His Plates


Finally (and thanks to M1RVW of MINI Clubman fame for reminding me to get them) ThunderBeast our R53 MINI GP will shortly me sporting his 500 plates which he shares with:

BP500-1 Opel GT The Phantom

BP500-2 MINI Cooper R50 CooperBeast

BP500-3 MINI Paceman SD PaceBeast

BP500-4 MINI Coupe JCW SilverBeast

BP500-5 MINI GP ThunderBeast.