Why in the world would you need a book on your MINI? With MotoringFile, NAM, and MINI2 out there offering information on every facet of the MINI experience, you’d think that the market would be covered at this point. So what hope does a book have in a MINI world dominated by up to the minute news and forums full of great people there to help.
The obvious answer: very little. But despite this, Motoring succeeds in part by focusing much of its 240 pages on details that the websites typically don’t go into (without digging through forum archives). In doing this, the book acts as a reference guide for all things MINI while speaking to both the novice and the seasoned enthusiast. It’s the kind of book that you’d consult for everything from proper tire settings to heel/toe methods.
The book’s first chapters are spent helping you decide what MINI you should go with and what modifications should go on immediately after. Those who bought a Cooper S hardtop will feel right at home in this section. Those who chose a Cooper (or, gasp, even a sunroof!) will feel a bit left out. Authors Gary Anderson & Don Racine make no bones about what they believe is the MINI that you should get. A stripped down, low weight Cooper S.
From there, Motoring goes into how to get the most out of your new MINI with performance modifications. The book does a great job cutting through the jargon that is associated with the aftermarket and making hard to explain products and techniques easy to grasp even for the novice. However, while the advice is typically straight forward and sensible, it’s important to keep in mind that Motoring is co-authored by Don Racine (founder and owner of Mini Mania). So while most of the product recommendations make sense within the context of the subject, you can’t help but get the feeling that there’s some serious cross-selling going on in this area of the book. This is especially evident when you consider a few items that are mentioned in this chapter aren’t easily found anywhere else in the US but Mini Mania.
After modifying your MINI, some owners get the urge to take it to the track, and that’s just where our authors take us for much of the balance of the book. And it’s this area where Motoring really shines as both a good read and as a great reference guide that will surely keep on your shelf for years to come.
Overall, Motoring would be a solid addition to most MINI owners’ collection. Whether your a novice or a seasoned auto-crossing pro, you’ll find much to like about the book. While it may not represent a truly independent point of view when it comes to modifying your car, it does deliver great information on every aspect of the MINI that you’ll keep coming back to.
Rating: 3.5 (out of five)
Motoring – Getting the Maximum from your New MINI is avilable from Mini Mania for $29.95.