Saturday, December 15, 2012

Meet Thumper


For about a year I’ve been toying with the idea of buying or renting an RV, or buying  or renting a towing vehicle and buying or renting a trailer, or buying or renting a car that I can sleep in, or buying or renting a small, fun car and staying in hotels or campsites. Obviously, that’s a lot of options to weigh and balance and choose from.

Well, it has all finally come to a temporary end.  Meet Thumper.



I recently inherited part of my Uncle Dickie’s estate, since my father is dead and Dickie was never married. I always felt very connected to him. In some ways I felt more akin to him than my own father, who I didn’t relate to easily. Dickie was a silk screen artist and sign maker by trade. And he raised chinchillas on the side. And he loved racing speedboats. He enjoyed life and its adventure and didn’t feel tied to anything. At one point, he was in the Guinness Book of World Records holding the land-speed record on water. He owned and crashed and bought and sold many speedboats, and most of them were named Thumper. (Thumper 1, Thumper 2, Thumper 9, etc.) When he died, his ‘estate’ was no more than his house and his car and what was in his garage and meager savings account.

But what I inherited was enough to put some away and still make a fun, extravagant purchase in honor of my uncle. 

So, my Thumper is a Mini Cooper Countryman S in Brilliant Copper with white roof, white side mirrors and white racing stripes on the boot and the bonnet. (That’s the hood and trunk for you yanks.) You can see that it’s got a sun/moon roof and grey wheels with all-season tires. But you can’t tell that it’s got a turbo charged engine and an automatic transmission. Inside there’s a bench seat in the back that folds down one at a time, if I want more storage in the already sufficient cargo space. The interior is mostly black, with a few panels of checkerboard in the dashboard.  It’s technologically connected with Sirius, Twitter, GPS, and iPhone integration. It’s also got the deluxe Hardon/Karmon 10-speaker sound system and a feature that recognizes when I’m approaching the car and automatically unlocks the door before I even take the key out of my pocket. It’s got dynamic stability and traction control and can change from normal to sport suspension at the push of a button. The headlights come on when it’s dark out, and the windshield wipers know when it’s raining. 

I have ordered it from the factory and it is due to arrive anywhere from between 5 to 8 weeks. My salesman, Jay Hammond at Seattle Mini has promised to send me updates on the progress of Thumper as it’s being built and shipped. 

River and I hope to be taking the first of many road trips in Thumper in April 2013. I’m thinking of taking Highway 101 from Port Townsend to San Diego and stopping at many places in between. If you’re along that route, maybe you’ll see us!

1 comment:

Coffee, Chocolate and Nia (Jill) said...

For some reason, I missed these blog posts!! I LOVE Thumper and the whole story around the name. What a tribute to your uncle!! Have fun on your many trips with Thumper and River!!