Howdy all! It has been a while since I've really posted here at Motoring Alliance. I was first obsessed with MINIs way back in 2004 when I first took one for a test drive. I was picking out options and making my final decision when I got laid off and the new car plan got put on hold for a year or so. In Dec 2005 I picked up a PW MCS (Jango) and spent 6+ years on a modding journey, being active in MetroplexMINI (Dallas, TX) and going to MOTD several times (I think I'm up to 4-5 times now). I'm a bit of a detailing nut and have some automotive OCD, which you will probably see in future posts. Jango was the first Motoring Alliance featured MINI: https://www.motoringalliance.com/forums/featured-mini/872-agrangers-jango-cooper-flags-mini-month-june-2009-a.html I sold Jango to a fellow MINI enthusiast when I moved to San Francisco a few years back and needed to become a 1 car family. The new owner and Jango were involved in an accident a year or so later and Jango was totaled. My friend got a beautiful R53 JCW replacement and, amazingly, I was contacted by the new owner of Jango in Panama! He bought the wrecked car and spent about a year rebuilding him! I helped out with lots of info on the mods and Ariel still sends me photos when he does new mods! Ever since I got room to be a multi-car family again, I've gone to the MINI dealership to test drive every new model. Most haven't fit me (6'4" and 300+ lbs) comfortably and just haven't felt right. The new 2017 Countryman got me excited as I fit perfectly into it... unfortunately it just didn't feel very MINI to me. It is a beautiful car... it just didn't have that raw, connected -to-the-road feeling that I want from a sporting car. The options I wanted (fairly loaded JCW) also added up to the upper 40- lower $50k range and that concerned me. I could have a midsize Audi SUV for just a bit more and that purchase made a whole lot more sense. Plus I've got a 2010 Volvo XC60 that only has 48k miles, looks like it is brand new and has been maintained perfectly since it was new... I'd hate to lose that car and I won't get a fair trade-in on that value to me. What to do? I decided that the R53 is what I really wanted, but not as a daily driver... a 12 year-old British car that I need to depend on? Um.... no. But they aren't that expensive any more... and I can do most of the wrenching myself... Aw hell. That's it. The daily driver got moved to parking in the driveway and an R53 will take it's place! On August 12, I bought a 2005 MCS JCW that I found on www.CarGurus.com. It has 86k miles, seems well maintained per CarFax and an inspection from CarChex (sends a mechanic out to perform an inspection) came back fairly clean (lots of paint chips and the typical oil pan leaks / PS line leaks). Davan, the previous owner, was quite sad to see the MINI leave his driveway, but a larger vehicle was needed as his family grew up. I'm starting a full refresh and update on the car, with a target end-date for the 2018 Minis On The Dragon (just under 9 months from the purchase date). I'm creating this thread to give a single place to post updates and tell the story.