MINI USA Officially Announces the 2009 MINI Convertible

MINI USA officially announced the 2009 MINI Cooper Convertible (aka R57). Gone is the Tritec cabrio, replaced with the same engine technology and body style as the R56. For those who have been waiting for the new cabrio body, orders are being taken now. If you want to grab one of the last original-bodied cabrios (or maybe want to snatch up one of the last supercharged MINIs), I hear there are a few left on dealer lots so grab them while you can.

2009 MINI Cooper Convertible

MINI USA Press: The driving pleasure and individual style that are MINIís signatures have been tapped to create the next-generation MINI Convertible. With its evolutionary design and increased functionality, specially tuned suspension, powerful, efficient engines and enhanced safety technology, the latest version of the four-seat convertible raises the bar.

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Wheel Cleaning: When Soap and Water Just Won’t Do

As many of you know, I am a bit meticulous when it comes to keeping my car clean. Dirty wheels, especially, bug me. Usually I am able to wipe away brake dust and dirt with just soap and water. However, if you have ever used a race brake pad before, you know how bad dust can cake onto a wheel, making it impossible to clean with just soap and water. For the record, I do not use race pads on the street for any long period of time. They pretty much stay on the car just long enough to get me to and from the track. When at the track, my street wheels come off and my track wheels go on so, exposure is limited to the harsh dust that is generated.

Wurth Wheel Cleaner

Still, the short time that my street wheels are exposed to dust from my Hawk HT-10’s, is enough to cause me to scrub the heck out of my wheels to get them clean. To make matters worse, if you let the dust sit on the wheels for longer than a week, you are in for quote a job.
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Paying a Premium For Premium

The past few weeks have shown the price of gas drop by over $2 in my area of South Florida. I am sure others around the country have seen the same. It sure is interesting to me how quickly these prices can drop. This past weekend I headed down to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the NASCAR season finale where I watched 43 cars gulp down some $7/gallon 112 octane fuel like there was no tomorrow. While down there, I noticed that the further South I went, the cheaper gas got. $2.01 for regular and $2.39 for premium is what I saw down in Florida City (right outside the speedway). Not too shabby eh?

What annoys me, however, is the increasing number of stations that are dropping the price of regular, and NOT dropping the price of premium at the same rate. Normally one can expect to pay 20 – 30 cents more for premium fuel per gallon. There are some stations around my house that are charging a “premium” of 60 cents per gallon for the good stuff. What gives? I know most people only look at the regular prices, but geeze! I would be interested to hear if this is happening in your local area as well. Obviously I avoid those stations as I hope others will to. Hopefully they will get the message.

Sad Day

First off, let me assure you all that I am alive and well even though I haven’t posted in over a week. There has been a lot going on around the home front and, well, priorities have to kick in from time to time to take care of those things that mean most to you.

Today was one of those days that no one wants to go through. I had to make the tough decision to put my dog down today after she suffered, what appears to have been a stroke. I know this is not exactly MINI news, but many in the local MINI community knew my dog and she was as much a part of the family as anybody else. She was a fantastic dog and will truly be missed. Hug your loved ones extra tight today – you never know what tomorrow brings.

Video: Daytona Track Weekend 2008

I arrived home safe and sound from Daytona last night and boy are my arms tired! 🙂 I am exhausted, but it was all worth it. Friday and Saturday were just great. Sunday was very wet and provided some scary moments as I got caught on the banking as a torrential monsoon hit the track, causing me to lose visability out of my windshield and fighting to keep the car from sliding off the banking trying to get back to pit road. In the end, I got soaked, but got back to the garages in one piece. The following video is from Saturday afternoon. Enjoy!