It’s National Name Your Car Day and if anyone is most likely to name their car, it’s MINI owners. In fact, it was one of the first questions asked when signing up for the old MINI USA Owner’s Lounge.
Tell us what you named your MINI(s) or Mini(s) and why in the comments!
My first MINI was a 2003 MINI Cooper in Indi Blue with a White roof that I purchased with a former girlfriend. It was named Howard after Howard Roark, the main character and architect in the novel The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. We both loved the book and she was an architect. I like names that are human names, not pet names, for my cars.
She kept Howard and a year later I got Trevor, a 2004 MINI Cooper much like Howard only with white 15″ 8-Spoke wheels, white bonnet stripes, and a manual transmission. Trevor isn’t named for any specific person, but as a very English name which was impressed in my mind during a visit to Britain years earlier. I was crossing a busy street in London as a concert was letting out and a London Bobby shouted in a heavily-accented voice, “Right, Trevor, stop the traffic!”
Newton was my 2012 JCW Coupe. In Midnight Black with a Silver roof, he looked elegant (yet sporty), solid (and heavy), ahead of his time, and serious. He needed a serious—and British, naturally—name to match. So he was named after Sir Isaac Newton, the developer of calculus and the laws of motion and gravity. Newton is also John Cooper’s middle name (a great bit of Mini trivia).
Oliver was an ’06 Hyper Blue MINI S. He was black and blue and British and definitely a boy so Oliver just made sense. I bought him after the exhaust fell out of the car in front of me on the highway and I couldn’t see the logic in repairing a car I didn’t care much for. I was ready for something new so I bought a fun MINI. Oliver cost more to repair in the first year than it would have cost to fix the one that was broken to begin with but it was worth it.
I remember the night the Coupe and Roadster rendering were released, sitting on the sofa thinking the R58 would be my next car – darn it. Just after they were released, I hosted The Twins rally, an PhillyMINI event held with Otto’s MINI. I got to lead a group with my choice so, of course, it was the Coupe. Best test drive ever. Period.
Long story short, I bought the car. I still miss my old R53 sometimes in a way that only a former R53 owner can understand but I wouldn’t do it differently if I had the choice. Felix is my little panther. Fe – my little iron man.
My first MINI, An ’08 S with JCW Tuning Kit, was named Alsatia. Alsatia has a double meaning. The first coming from a favorite character of mine in the 1992 movie Toys. Alsatia was the robot and sister of the main character. There is a part of the movie where she is damaged but the brother is OK with that because, being a robot, she can be repaired. It’s a good reminder that machines can be fixed and to not take life too seriously. The second meaning I’ll pull directly from Wikipedia “Between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries it had the privilege of a sanctuary, except against a writ of the Lord Chief Justice or of the Lords of the Privy Council; and as a result it was the refuge of the perpetrators of every grade of crime, debauchery, and offence against the laws.” My MINI is my little Alsatia. Or, at least, I like to think it is.
When the ’08 left us I acquired a 2013 Coupe S. It wasn’t a very creative time in my life and so she took the name Alasia’s Blue Cousin, or ABC for short.
Whitworth is the 2013 GP. Why Whitworth? I felt the GP needed a proper sounding British name and Whitworth is one of the cross streets where Fac51, The Hacienda night club, stood in Manchester during the early ’80s. A small dot on the world where an entire music revolution occurred. A genre of music you can frequently hear bellowing out of the GP just below the exhaust note.
Nigel A. Cooper
My owner—who shall remain nameless—is a massive Anglophile. He’s a Yank, but fancies himself a Brit, I reckon. He named me after two quintessential British icons of the late 1970s: a song and a book. My full name is Nigel Arthur Cooper.
My first name comes from the eponymous character in the 1979 song “Making Plans for Nigel” by XTC. See some lyrics below. Quite fitting, wut? My middle name is Arthur. My owner is a massive fan of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books, also from 1979. If you read more than bloody car blogs you’ll know that the poor chap who has his house knocked down is named Arthur Dent. My surname Cooper is an obvious nod to my heritage, I’m unfortunately not a son and heir to the Cooper fortune. Bah!
We’re only making plans for Nigel
He has his future in a British steel
We’re only making plans for Nigel
Nigel’s whole future is as good as sealed
Yeah and if young Nigel says he’s happy
He must be happy, he must be happy
He must be happy in his work
Nigel is not outspoken
He likes to speak
And loves to be spoken to
Nigel is happy in his work
Nigel fells happy in his work