I am so thrilled that the Mini Cooper and I have the same birthday month which could be why I have two of them.

My birthday is August 24 and I love both of my MINI Coopers. The story of why I purchased my first MINI Cooper is pretty entertaining. I fell in love with the car from the moment I saw pictures of it. It could be my English heritage, my grandmother was born there, or it could be that my boyfriend who is English and an import mechanic had a little something to do with my choice. On a sunny May weekend in 2003 we took the trip up to the Pleasanton dealership and my love affair grew even stronger. By the time they told me that I could track its arrival from Oxford to the dealership I was already hooked. Then I set out to describe my perfect MINI. As luck would have it, the dealership told me that there was one on the boat coming from England that matched my specifications and would arrive in three weeks instead of six months, so of course I jumped at the offer. There was only one hiccup; I didn’t know how to drive a stick shift.

Being over 40 and having tried to learn from my ex-husband and other boyfriends but failing miserably, my English boyfriend, Mick took up the challenge. He said I could learn on his Porsche. So we practiced diligently for three weeks as I waited for my baby. Finally the day in June arrived and we went back up to Pleasanton to pick up my new addition to the family. As much as I wanted to drive her home I didn’t trust my freeway skills so my boyfriend drove her home.

After a couple of practices and I had mastered the infamous emergency brake start on a hill I was off and running and my MINI and I are still going strong even though I spend a lot of time in her sister, a 2005 Convertible that is an automatic with paddle shifts. The attached photo is my first time on the track at Laguna Seca in Monterey in my silver 2003 Mini Cooper S and of course I’m leading the pack. Sincerely,

Vickie Casacca