Feature Friday: Andrew Fails and his '10 Mini Cooper S


Each Friday, we feature a different fan and their car(s) on our website, FromCityToCircuit.com. Respond to our Q&A (click here), send us a high-quality photo of you and your car, along with any additional shots of your vehicle, and we'll post our favorites — one each Friday. Please send your responses and photos to stephencook@fromcitytocircuit.com.


This week: Andrew Fails from Liberty, Missouri and his 2010 Mini Cooper S.

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Mild mannered desk jockey by day, automotive photographer for www.purepursuitauto.com and www.mecum.com by night.

Tell us about your car: 2010 Mini Cooper S, bone stock for now. Eventually there will be some suspension work, and some bolt-ons, but right now most of my extra income gets funneled back into camera gear.

How did you come to own your car? I made what is probably a fairly unusual move. I traded in a more powerful car for a slower one. Prior to this, I had a 2011 Subaru WRX. Which was loads of fun once you got it sideways in the gravel, but was a bit numb on the road. Plus, the fuel economy and payments were getting a bit difficult to deal with. So I went for a car that is slower, but more nimble. The fun bits happen in the corners anyways. So the Mini saves me money at the pump, still hauls all my gear, and lets me drive full throttle a large majority of the time (without getting arrested).

What do you like to do with your car? Aside from the boring stuff (commuting, driving to the middle of nowhere in Kansas for photoshoots, etc), I love to go bomb around on the county highways outside of town. While in a heads up drag race, it will lose to almost everything (1600 CCs of power!), it can carry a lot of speed once things get narrow and twisty.

What has been your favorite part about owning your car? Hands down, the handling. The sharpness of the steering is fantastic, and makes even low speed driving an engaging experience. I know exactly what the car is doing, be it understeer or oversteer.

What has your car taught you? It has taught me to be a better driver. The WRX made me a bit lazy. I could just keep my foot in it, point the wheel roughly where I wanted to go, and let the differentials and computers sort out the tricky bits. Because the Mini is so much slower, but so much stiffer sprung, it makes me work harder to carry momentum. Plus, I'm finally getting the hang of lift-off oversteer, which is really handy when you come in too hard into a corner, and the car starts to push wide.

-Anything else you'd like to add? I wrote a much longer, and less coherent review of my car over at http://www.failsphotography.com/blog/a-slow-jam so feel free to read about more shenanigans over there.

Text and photos submitted by Andrew Fails. Check out his website at http://www.failsphotography.com/ and his photography page on Facebook, by clicking here.



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