One day Gary S. and I decided to go to to Atlantic City for the evening. Take in a show or whatever with our ladies. I was fortunate and I made a little money playing blackjack. One the drive back to Pound Ridge, Gary talked about a Mini Cooper “S” he had recently acquired. Gary was starting to be a collector, but Mini didn’t seem to fit his profile. I on the other hand remembered a few races I heard about, Gymkhanas and hill climbs, where the Mini beat the E-Type. It had nothing to do with power, but the lightweight and quickness of the Mini was better that the Jag for that type of race.
“I’d love to have one.” I said.
“I’ll sell you mine.” Gary said.
“How much do you have?”
I pulled all the money in my pocket and showed it to him. Gary reached over and plucked the cash out of my hand and said, “It’s yours.”
The next day he drove the Mini to the office and gave me the keys. I drove the Mini around the countryside for a couple of months, enjoying the ability to park anywhere (and not care if the doors got dinged), and watching the faces of the housewives driving the big old station wagons of the era. Soon I was bored and stopped driving it. It also started having a rash of minor problems I was not eager to get into. When Christmas came around, and the X-Mas bonus time arrived, I gave my assistant the Mini for Christmas instead of cash.
Her husband was a mechanic and she had told me that he rally admired the Mini. I was not really sure she was happy, but her husband loved it. He tinkered with it every weekend.