Section: MotoringFile Garage

MF Garage: Our Roadster’s First Spring Road-trip

MotoringFile Sections: MotoringFile Garage, R59 (Roadster), Reviews Apr 15th, 2013 12 Comments

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With a quickly packed bag in the trunk and the Valentine 1 mounted on the windshield, the MINI Roadster and its first spring road trip gets underway just as the sun begins to climb into the morning sky. Our little JCW Roadster has done countless miles on this kind of road trip already but it’s been a long time since we’ve been able to go on one with weather worthy of top-down motoring. If all goes according to plan, that should happen today.

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MF Garage: The JCW Roadster Tackles Winter

MotoringFile Sections: JCW, MotoringFile Garage, R59 (Roadster), Reviews Feb 28th, 2013 14 Comments


When we took possession of our long term JCW Roadster we told you we wanted to find out if the soft-top could indeed be an everyday, all year car. In the sun of California or other warm climates, it’s easy for the Roadster to make sense. Yet what happens when you throw it at the upper midwest? After six months of time with the car we’re starting to get a good answer to that. continued →

MF Garage: December Roadster Road-trip

MotoringFile Sections: JCW, MotoringFile Garage, R59 (Roadster) Dec 14th, 2012 12 Comments

It’s pitch-black, 43F and my top is down as I head into Michigan. This isn’t the sunny coastal drive that this car was made for but it’s doing this late Autumn Midwestern drive justice nonetheless. It’s no surprise that our Roadster has been a healthy dose of fun since we picked it up fresh from MTTS. From the weekend road-trips to the day to day, it’s proven to be a delightful combination of performance, style, and usability. And if you follow any of my Instagram feed you’ll know how often this car has been thoroughly tested on long midwestern jaunts. But this one was to be different. The goal was to go top down as long as possible through Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and then finally to Wisconsin. And it’s December. continued →

MF Garage: Cold Weather in a JCW Roadster

MotoringFile Sections: MotoringFile Garage, R59 (Roadster) Nov 27th, 2012 19 Comments

The nights growing long and the weather is getting cold yet the JCW Roadster continues to soldier on. When we originally pitched the idea to MINI of running a Roadster on longterm, the idea was to see if it was plausible as a year round car. While the snow hasn’t hit the ground yet (in Chicago) we can report that our love affair with the soft top hasn’t slowed. continued →

MF Garage: JCW Roadster Michigan Road-trip

MotoringFile Sections: MotoringFile Garage, R59 (Roadster) Oct 28th, 2012 7 Comments

Top down. Exterior temp: 53F. This was the beginning of what I was billing as a “Weekend for Men.” A glorified guys weekend of brewery visits, football and cars. And I was determined to make it the full three hours from Chicago with the top down.

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MF Garage: 2000 Miles Behind the Wheel of the JCW Roadster

MotoringFile Sections: MotoringFile Garage, R59 (Roadster) Oct 8th, 2012 11 Comments

Our JCW Roadster arrived just in time for Todd, DB and Axel to bask in the sun during MINI Takes the States earlier this year. But our real test wouldn’t begin until late August, starting with a call that the car was in Chicago and ready for it’s day-to-day duty.

2,000 miles later it’s safe to say the Roadster has been one of the best MINI experiences we’ve ever had. Until we literally hit some issues earlier this week. continued →

MF Garage: 1200 Miles in 12 Days in a JCW Roadster

MotoringFile Sections: JCW, MotoringFile Garage, R59 (Roadster), Reviews Sep 3rd, 2012 6 Comments


Our first 12 days with MotoringFile’s long term JCW Roadster have been nothing but eventful. The first two trips (both to Road America) were spent top down and fully packed. From there it was daily commuting duty into and out of Chicago. Then just days later, we were off to western Michigan for a long weekend. Again, top down 100% of the time. In all, we’ve gotten to know our Roadster better and quicker than almost any other car we’ve tested. All of it. The exceptional? The not so exceptional? The questionable? What’s what? Read on.

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1st Gen MINI
R50: One & MC Hatch
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R53: MCS Hatch
2nd Gen MINI
R55: Clubman
R56: Hatch
R57: Convertible
R58: Coupe
R59: Roadster
R60: MINI Crossover
R61: MINI Crossover Coupe
3rd Gen MINI
F54: Clubman
F55: Five Door Hatch
F56: Hatch
F57: Convertible
F60: MINI Crossover
F58: Traveller

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