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DEFEND YOUR RIDE: Bob At Cliff Bell's

"This car gets use out of the turbo--more than certain law enforcement agencies, I think, would appreciate."

The Ride
The Driver: Bob
Car in Question: Gray 2011 Mini Cooper Clubman S
Spotted at: Cliff Bell's, 2030 Park, Detroit, MI 48226
Odometer: 23,200


Q: Sweet ride. What's your name and where are you from?

A: Bob. I live out in the middle of nowhere, Harsens Island. It's on the other side of Lake St. Clair from Detroit.

Q: How far from the city is that?

A: About 70 miles!

Q: What kind of car do we have here, Bob?

A: A 2011 Mini Cooper Clubman S.

Q: Ah, and what's the S for?

A: It's the "sport" package, so it comes with some other options including a turbo. It was a direct order from the manufacturer.

Q: How does that work? Is there an ordering website or something?

A: Yeah, on their website, you can pick all the options you want, and the fancy colors, and options that you'll spend way too much money on.

Q: So did you deal mostly with the dealer or with Mini directly?

A: On the website, you set up the specs and save them. Then once you decide to make the purchase, you track everything from it being built. For actually "placing the order" you need to go through a dealership, so there was one in Cleveland I went though.

Q: Why Cleveland?

A: I had a disagreement with the local Mini dealership. They didn't treat me bad here in Detroit, but for making a $30,000 purchase, you want to be able to completely trust the person you're buying from. I couldn't do that here. I'd rather deal with four hours of driving than years of thinking, "Man, that guy was shady."

Q: How many miles have you put on it since you bought it?

A: I now have 23,200, or so.

Q: Do you get a lot of use out of the turbo?

A: A little. More than certain law enforcement agencies, I think, would appreciate!

Q: Do you feel this car attracts law enforcement?

A: Nah, that's why it's dark gray, so it blends in.

Q: Is there anything else you'd like to tell us about your Mini Cooper Clubman S?

A: It's just really fun to drive. You'd think it's small, but this thing is huge inside. The acceleration too! People think that a small car wouldn't have any go power, but you should see some other drivers get bug-eyed when I come off the light. With a wheelbase this short, I can take pretty much any turn I want at any speed I want.

Photos and interview by John Cruz

View previous Defend Your Ride features as well as other great stories for people who love cars at

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