August 7, 2004. The first look at our MINI at Baron MINI near Kansas City, KS!
Second look... The 2005 purple haze MINI is backed up and ready to tackle the twisties of Colorado. Come on Rick and Wendy, let's go!
I've been here long enough. Open this door and let's hit the road...
Just one more look at the "purple haze metallic" MINI before finalizing the paperwork.
The wait is finally over. Rick can't believe it!
Lisa, Rick's Motoring Advisor, has pointed out all of the cool features and handed over the keys.
On the road (at a rest area) just outside of Kansas City, heading west. Total distance door-to-door (including a few minor side trips for gas and food) turns out to be 623 miles and about 10 1/2 hours.
A view of the MINI the next morning, resting in the 3rd garage bay. The lawn mower was not too happy about having to scoot over for the new kid.
With the bonnet raised, a good look at the powerplant and a few more dead critters on the intercooler and radiator from the trip home.
A close-up reveals this bug's final resting place -- a victim of the imfamous intercooler.
After a good (but short) night's sleep, Rick gets up and -- guess what. He washes off the bugs and he and Wendy go out for breakfast and a few photos (as promised). This location, found during some mountain bike riding, is not far from home.
Just southwest of metro Denver, this view is behind the "hogback" formation along the Front Range. The officlal U.S. color is Purple Haze Metallic, but known as Black Eye Purple in England.
Back in the garage. Here's a tour of the xenon headlamps, changed slightly for 2005.
Xenon headlamp off.
Xenon on (low beams).
Slightly different tail lights for '05. Member of local club: MINI5280.org
The door opens wide to reveal the cockpit. The darker lighting makes the Purple Haze color look a little like a dark blue.
Driver's side of the interior.
A view from behid the back seats. The driver sits on the left side in this country.
Center mounted speedometer, just like in the classic Mini. The stereo is below the speedo. Below that, in the shape of the MINI nameplate, is the auto heat & A/C control.
The speedometer is as big as huge!
The back seat. Plenty of room for two tall adults (not really, but who cares?). Maybe it keeps the insurance rate lower than a 2-seater.
Of course the back seats fold down for more cargo.
Plenty of room in the "boot" (hatch). No need to fold the back seats down for the VW bug!
The bottom of a couple of beer cans inspired the shape of the exhaust pipes. Yes, it's true.
Rick finds another twistie to motor. This is one of several 15 MPH hairpins on the way back down Lookout Mountain, heading toward Golden, Colo. The glass is now tinted.
Groceries in the boot (trunk). The MINI does a little work after a few twisties.
This Purple Haze color is actually called "Black-Eye Purple Metallic" by the factory in Oxford, England.