MINI Protects Itself From Carjacker


MINI is one of the few (only major) manufacturers whose complete product lineup is available with a manual transmission. Sure MINI barely spans two categories unlike others, but it’s a talking point.

A couple of car buffs could spend days arguing the pros and cons of owning a stick shift. Manual transmissions can be more fun, economical and easier to maintain. Technology has brought the automatic tranny very close, and in some cases, to a higher performance level than some standards.

Dual clutch automatics, lightning fast paddle shifting, and the ability to increase gear combinations (8 speeds are becoming very popular for efficiency) are all options that are becoming regular equipment in a variety of cars. These days, more people than ever that are unfamiliar with how to work a clutch pedal and stick. Proving to create one more layer of security for car owners.

Manual Transmission Thwarts Robbery Attempt

On Thanksgiving morning, MINI Cooper (“Pulga”) owner Robert Rexach was getting ready to head to Fort Lauderdale for a flight to visit family in Puerto Rico. As he was preparing to pull away from his driveway, a Jeep pulled up, a passenger jumped out, and approached with a handgun ordering Rexach to hand over his keys and cell phone. Without hesitation, he complied, and took off running out view from the thief. Still in earshot, the crook made multiple attempts to start the Volcanic Orange Hardtop. Each time it would lurch forward just a bit more.

In all fairness, Rexach replaced “Pulga’s” shift knob with a John Cooper Works accessory from a previous generation MINI. Their was no shift pattern visible to the crook. After several attempts to reverse out of the driveway, he took off running. “Pulga” was found several feet closer to the garage door ahead than it had been left.

John Cooper Works Manual Transmission Shifter

Although delayed, Rexach was relieved that his MINI was undamaged and he was safe. After filing a police report he was still able to see his loved ones for the holiday.

Even though automatic transmissions are more and more common, one thing to keep in mind when you buy your next MINI…  Sticking with the tradition of a manual transmission might just be the best security you can have.

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Mike Bober has been involved in many aspects of the MINI Community, including working with multiple national series racing teams. He currently owns his first MINI, an R53 "Ramsey", a R60 Countryman "Lauda", and a F56 "Stanton". Previously owned was an R59 Roadster "Winnie". -- Along with many other major MINI events, Mike recently completed his second coast-to-coast MINI Takes The States event.

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