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Car Events 2016.Welsh Mini Group Raglan Meet. Sunday 6th November 


As a treat now that all the work at home is done we joined up with the Welsh Mini Group for their Raglan meet. It was a gorgeous morning, bright and crisp and driving to the rendezvous was a joy with the bright autumn colours. Our meeting point was The Steel Horse Cafe which is a favourite with bikers in mid Wales. We started with hot drinks enjoyed outside in the sunshine while we chatted. We then moved inside for breakfast. 


This is no greasy spoon with everything from a variety of baked goodies including muffins to a full English or pancakes with bacon and maple syrup. The Cafe was warm and decorated with biking photos, boxes for storing helmets and a cosy wood burner. Once we had finished we had a short run to Raglan Castle where we parked up for photos. It was becoming cloudy and the sunshine had by now given way to a bitterly cold wind, so it wasn’t an ideal day for seeing the castle. As we were both cold we soon took off for home.  It was great to have a catch up with the lovely people on WMG.




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The 2017 MINI Clubman JCW

MINI will travel to the Paris Auto Show to introduce the JCW version of the second-generation Clubman.

The John Cooper Works Clubman is powered by the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that’s both turbocharged and direct-injected and makes 228 horsepower from 5, 200 to 6,000 rpm and 258 pound-feet of torque from 1,450 all the way up to 4, 500 rpm. The turbo four spins all four wheels via MINI’s All4 all-wheel drive system and either a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic.


The 3,400-pound JCW Clubman hits 60 mph from a standing start in six seconds dead regardless of which transmission it’s equipped with, and it goes on to a top speed of 147 mph. The extra power is complemented by a JCW-specific suspension that’s lower and stiffer than standard on the rest of the Clubman range,  a sport exhaust, and Brembo brakes all around. An adaptive suspension is available at an extra cost should you require that little bit more from the suspension.


The JCW stands out from a regular Clubman thanks to a full body kit that includes a new front bumper with bigger air dams and side skirts, as well as 18-inch alloy wheels and dual chromed exhaust tips. Nonetheless it is a tasteful rather than an in your face body kit, suiting the overall new Clubman ethos very well. MINI has also upgraded the cabin with sport seats for the front passengers and matching fabrics on the rears.


The 2017 MINI John Cooper Works Clubman will go on sale nationwide in December. Pricing information will be announced in the weeks leading up to its on-sale date.


This would work perfectly in the Beastmaster stable, the problem being we don’t want to let go of anything we have to make room for it. We simply love it though.


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Car Of The Week R50 MINI Cooper CooperBeast

Last Saturday The Elf collected her new VW Golf GTI, arguably the last word in performance and practicality fusion for the ordinary working man.

To get it The Elf had to say goodbye to CooperBeast a beloved red MINI Cooper that has been in the family since it was new some 13 years ago.

We are pleased to say it has found some worthy new keepers as a friend of Beastie, a chap from work Steve, bought it for his wife Dawn. We are also told that it will stay in the 500 club with some appropriate plates being put on it in the future.

It was sad to see it go, but it was time for some new owners to enjoy it and inject some TLC into it. Saturday then was a win day for The Elf, with her new Golf and it was a win for Dawn as she took ownership of a beloved iconic MINI from within the MINI community.

Best wishes to Dawn and The Elf with their new motors.


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Car Events 2016 – The Mega MINI Meet Lytham St Annes

© Beastmaster 2016

© Beastmaster 2016

The 19th saw us at The Mega MINI Meet at Lytham St Anne’s with the GP UK Owners Club. We have seen this stand many times over the years at various meet and have long wanted to have our own GP on the stand. Ten years later and its job done and we were made very welcome by all the guys on the stand. This is a friendly laid back meet and we enjoyed it a lot. The GP had great fun on its ride up from Malvern and it was good to see him finally on his proper number plates.


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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.