The Ultimate Accessory for Christmas

(First posted on MotoringFile 12/7/03)

It's really surprising what can fit in a MINI. It's also surprising what one can fit on a MINI. With that in mind here is a quick how-to on fitting the ultimate Christmas accessory into your MINI:

First you'll probably want to limit the size of the tree to something under seven feet (seven foot six inches with the optional aero kit spoiler). Secondly you need several pieces of rope (about five feet in length) and a large, somewhat disposable sheet. Finally… the perfect tree.

Once you get the tree cut (or picked out if you're buying off a lot) you'll need to make sure to have it bailed in plastic. This isn't necessary but it's very helpful. Now spread out your sheet (folding once) over the entire roof. Once you're happy with the position of the sheet grab the tree and lay it on the roof and position appropriately with the lower part of the trunk towards the front of the MINI.

Now make sure your windows are down and your hatch is open. Take your rope and string it through the near the front of the tree – where the trunk should be. Then take that rope and run it through the windows and tie it onto the plastic door supports and both sides. This will stabilize the front of the tree.

Then run another rope through the center of the tree and again down through the window. This time tie the ends to the grab handles in the rear seats on both sides. This should hold the main part of the tree quite well.

The last step might not be needed if your tree isn't too large. Take another rope and run it through the back end of the tree near the hatch. Tie both ends to each side of the grab handles in the rear seats or if the seats are down to the metal anchor points where the seats clasp into when in the up position. Your tree should be secure and ready to go!

If done properly you shouldn't have to worry about the tree scratching your roof. However if you're really worried you may want to opt for a white pine or something along those lines with longer, softer needles.

The final step is simply driving cautiously and avoiding (possibly for the first time) any twisties!

  • http://motoringfile.com Gabe

    Yes I know… the MINI was really dirty :)

  • R50

    Some folks were scratching their heads trying to figure out how to get their tree into their Jetta's trunk. I opened the Mini's hatch, moved the passenger seat forward and put in a 7' Christmas tree wrapped in an old car cover. I closed the hatch and saw the Jetta couple laugh in disbelief. Hatches are great.

  • TooLShack

    Hey mike chill out a bit, some of us drive our Minis instead of stroking them in our garage all weekend. :)

  • MadisonMini

    Yeah Mike, you must live in a place that doesn't snow, have salt, mud, or dirt.

  • mataku

    hey, we all like to get a bit dirty sometimes =) I like to think that the MINI does too. Although there is a lot of snow around it looks like, is that your MINI Gabe, I thought you lived in chicago?

  • mataku

    ah… ic. sorry, forgot to note that this is from last year.

  • Chris

    Too bad this doesn't work on my MCSConvertible!!! :)

  • Ken E

    Chris,It works the same only you drop the top, place the sheet on the rear seat area and stand the tree upright. Don't forget a warm coat. 😉

  • Rich F.

    As an alternative to tying the ends of the rope to the grab handles and the “plastic door supports?” just swing two pieces of rope (one neer the tree trunk and one neer the middle) over the tree, through the windows, then tie the ends together very tight. Should do the job, just did it on Monday. Just out of curiousity though what are the “plastic door supports” that you should tie the rope to?

  • alpinamike

    It looks like a christmas tree from IKEA, sit in the parkin lot there and watch what people do to get their $20 christmas tree, just buy one with the roots that way you can plant it, like I did, then decorate it outside next year, PS dont keep it inside your house very long, it will kill the tree, even if you water it and use sugar!!!!

  • http://www.sweetdaisy.net CometGirl63

    pretty good info, but I think the MINI can take a much larger tree than mentioned. I put an almost 9 ft. tree on top this year. (last year I put a 17 ft tree on a Ford Escape so I'll try just about anything.) We also looped it around the roof and tied it off on the inside, but didn't tie the sisal to anything on the inside. Then I put the rear tow hook in, and looped it around that, tying it off very tightly. It worked. I pushed the tree pretty hard to see what would happen and the car moved a little. I also wrapped the whole tree in a quilt to keep the sap off the paint. The tree farm staff was amazed.

  • steve

    I put my tree in my mini with the front seat folded forward. Took a 6 foot 8 inch tree home easily.

  • http://www.autopia.org KLF23

    I don't know what Mike said, but Autopians would be probably be cringing at the sight. Maybe with a couple of dozen layers of Pakshak microfibres protecting the roof? Each to their own, live and let live etc. I think it does make for a good picture, however.

  • http://motoringfile.com Gabe

    He made some rude comments about the dirty car.

  • http://www.hubertus.net/mymini Philip Hubertus

    Dirty Mini's can look great! I was in London for a couple of days and a black & red MCS rolled down the Strand. I first thought it is a custom paint job, as the guy also had 18″JCW fitted. But when he came closer I could see it was just dirt. The whole car was black of dirt from the bottom to about 10 inches under the windows. Looked pretty rough but also cool. I like people better who drive und use their cars then those who just hug it in the garage all day.

  • Scott Markle

    Ah, the wonders of infinite vertical cargo space… I put an 8 footer in the passenger seat of my MINI convertible with the top down. Granted, living in Atlanta does give me a slight temperature edge — it was about 65 F outside in December — so I would have had the top down anyway. I definitely spread lots of yuletide cheer on my way home — I got lots of smiles and waves.