22 April 2009

MINI Cooper Clubman: A More Practical Surfmobile

While our 2008 MINI Cooper S is in for servicing, the dealer loaned us a Chili Red Cooper Clubman, and since they never bother to order parts ahead of time, we've had to bring it home for the night. Within 5 minutes of pulling it into the garage, I gave in to the urge to satisfy my curiosity.

So yes, an 8' longboard does fit entirely inside, with the front seat folded down and with room for one passenger in back. This obviates the need for a roof rack, or at least provides a safe place to stow a LB during an apr├Ęs surf dinner or hike. And a shortboard plus all my gear fit neatly in the back, with both forward seats up and no infringement into the front passenger space. Almost makes me wish we'd bought one instead.

Except, of course, for the very unfortunate name.


  1. Do you think the Clubperson can hold a 9' board? What sort of gas mileage have you been averaging with your Mini? Does the Mini have good safety ratings for a car of it's size? Thanks/Mahalos! (I'm in the market for new surf transport.)

  2. i totally absolutly said that you should have gotten a clubman when you where getting your new mini!

  3. Good luck with your surfmobile shopping, Eph. I think a 9' board inside might be possible, but you'd almost certainly have to be alone in the car. If you're really considering it you should take your LB to the dealer and ask to try fitting it in. MINIs have good safety ratings, with lots of airbags. My MINI Cooper S gets around 30 mpg with the roof rack installed (it causes a drop of 1-2 mpg, but it's not easy to remove). I should mention that I don't drive it, shall we say, conservatively; I like to go fast and be first.

    Ugh, Clubperson sounds bad too. I can't think of any variation that would make a decent car name. Maybe "Clubman" means something to the Brits? Let's ask Wikipedia: "Clubmans are prototype front-engined sports racing cars that originated in Britain in 1965 and remain a very popular class of racing." Also, "Clubmen were bands of vigilantes during the English Civil War (1642–1651) who tried to protect their localities against the worst excesses of the respective armies of both sides in the war.... As their name suggests, they were mostly armed with cudgels." Lovely! Not as bad as the Chevy Nova ("no go" in Spanish), but it doesn't translate well to this side of the pond. Just couldn't do it, Dwizz, unless they change the name. And even then, S says he won't have a stationwagony vehicle as our sole car. But maybe if we also had, say, a Tesla...