Just a thought... Life calls the tune, we dance. [John Galsworthy]
So, this happened.
I told you a few months ago that one of the best cars Rob and I ever owned - or leased, actually - was a little Mini Cooper. Ever since we let it go, way back in 2005, Rob has missed driving that car; he held on to its special cup-holder garbage receptacle, as well as the certificate that it was a launch edition Mini.
We never stopped chirping "Mini!" whenever we saw one. We had some wonderful family memories of our little red car with the Union Jack roof, and never tired of telling people it was our one and only family vehicle for all three 5' 10" people for a while there between jobs. We moved a dishwasher in the thing.
Lauren grinded the gears and stalled our MINIHAHA (yes, we had the plates) more than a few times on a deserted cottage road when she and her dad took it out for a little drive. We were determined she would learn to drive standard, just as we do. I can't remember if we were completely successful; we let that Mini go before she was of actual driving age. But I love a standard, as does Rob.
I have no solid reason why I was even Googling "used Mini convertible Vancouver Island" this past Saturday morning. Maybe it was the long stretch of sunny weather we're in the midst of; perhaps it was hearing Rob's sighs and quiet musing over how much enjoyment we'd get out of having one again. Although we'd had a convertible and we'd had a Mini, we'd never had two in one.
And there it was: an ad just posted a few hours earlier for a 12-year-old Mini (with 98,000 km on her) at what we thought was a very reasonable price: about a quarter of the cost of a new one. This one, all beautiful periwinkle blue, looked new to us anyway! I called Rob outside to where I was sitting with my laptop and coffee and told him he might want to make a phone call. There was this car for sale locally and....
I didn't have to suggest it twice. Used Minis (especially convertibles) tend to be a rarity; seeing one on Vancouver Island seemed against all odds. He phoned the woman who posted the ad and excitedly arranged to meet up with her at 1:30 pm, once we'd all wrapped up a few errands. In imploring her not to sell it to anyone else, we knew we had just blown any bargaining power. But we hadn't planned on bartering anyway; it was priced too reasonably.
As I knew would be the case, Rob fell in love at first sight. The Mini was in pristine condition with only a few tiny stone chips (typical for BC) and not a bit of fading on the rag top roof or any signs of heavy wear.
The woman who owned the car (its second owner, as it turns out) had very lovingly taken care of this little beauty since buying it six years earlier from a dealership. She had every Mini dealership service visit logged, all of her receipts and it had been carefully stored in a covered parking garage its entire life.
Yes, 98,000 is a lot of kilometres, but we don't plan on taking the car on long trips. That's what our "grown up" car, the hybrid, is going to be for. This is for sunny days when we need a little joy. Definitely a happy car. We didn't barter - neither side really wanted to - we just went straight to the nearby bank downtown for a certified cheque, across the street for registration and plates and taxes and stuff, and it was done. All before 4 pm.
Oh, and because it truly was "meant to be", of the 1300 or so who saw the ad (and we have no idea how many calls were made after our whirlwind purchase), we were the lucky buyers. Just because I happened to be browsing lazily on a Saturday morning. Call me crazy ('cause I know how this sounds) but I think Lauren had a hand in helping us out. Because right there on the papers for this car is the name the Mini had when first it was purchased in 2005: Lola.
Lauren's nickname as a baby was Lolo. Close enough for Mini Me.
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