So, I’ve now owned my 2003 Mini Cooper S (R53) for just about 7 weeks. With the holidays, travel, family, etc. I haven’t really been able to spend much time with it. Last weekend, I took my oldest out for his first ride in it and he immediately feel in love (granted, his frame of reference is a minivan). After that ride, we left his booster seat in the back and have been taking the “Mini-mini-vroom-vroom” everywhere.

I stole this car. It’s in great condition, and the price I paid was peanuts. But, that said, it’s not perfect. Let’s take a look at everything (that I know of) that is wrong with the car:

First, the control console (windows, door locks, etc.) is loose. Not too bad, but just enough that you have to mess with it to roll down the windows. I haven’t really looked at what it is going to take to repair it, my guess is some double sided tape.

The next thing is a small piece of trim off the dash on the passenger side. Vent cover, or air flow directer thing. It’s just not there. I suspect it will be harder to figure out the name of the piece so I can order one that it will be to actual replace it.

The third item on my list is a real annoyance. It appears that a tail light was replaced at some point. That doesn’t bother me too much, except they replaced it with one off a 2005 Mini and the cover has this terrible milky complexion.

Forth is a question. The seats. I don’t know. The car came with some really nice leather and suede seat covers. I’m not sure if under them are pristine factory seats, or a scene out of a crime drama. Long term plan is to put in some racing/street style seats, so I’m not hugely worried about them either way.

The remaining list is stuff you would expect:

  • Standard Mini squeaks and rattles
  • The clear bra is old and needs to be replaced
  • The clutch is on the last half of its life and will need to be replaced in a year or so (depending on my driving)
  • A little curb rash on a couple of the wheels

That’s about it. I lucked out on this car. No one believes me when I tell them it is a 2003.

Now, it’s time to get it ready for the racing season.