We went to local Mini dealer yesterday, checkbook in hand to buy a stick shift mini convertible to tow. After test driving and finding the exact one we wanted I happened to mention we planned to tow it behind our motorhome. The salesman said that was not a good idea because the drive shaft is not self lubricating. They are the largest dealer in Northern California and he claimed that he had seen more than a dozen transmission failures. Further stated that the dealership and BMW claimed each owner had voided their warranty and BMW would not pay for repairs. He suggested a dolly was the only way to go. I informed him of this forum and the folks who have had no problems towing Minis. His thoughts was that might be true, maybe some are lucky but he said he would get me names of several customers whose had failed if I wanted to verify his info. We are very sad because we desperately want a very light car to tow having had a 4600 lb SUV break its bracket at 60 MPH. We really don't want a 700 pound dolly but we don't want to pay for transmission failure either. Now looking for some other light convertible to tow. Maybe Miata?
BTW: luv2tallyho, I learned to drive in a "real" Mini. What a piece of junk! All British cars were then (including Austin Healeys). Now don't get all testy - I understand nostalgia and all and the classic car thing and so on. I did not say they were not interesting and even fun. But in absolute terms - cheap basic junk really. However the Mini did revolutionize car ownership in the UK and the design concept was certainly revolutionary.
And American cars of the 60's and 70's were not???
The Mini was derived from the austere times of rationing in the UK and it was truly 'iconic' as were several of Alex Issigonnis' designs. It was a car for the working man - 11' long and capable of carrying 4 people.
It wasn't 'junk' - it was simply inappropriate to the US market at the time (and it was never intended to be exported to the US anyway). The US at the time, and still today to a certain extent, was about bigger was better and more was better still. Driving a Mini in the US was like driving a 'Yank Tank' in the UK - totally impractical.
I'm not being defensive just because I'm British but because there were a lot of 'iconic' vehicles out of Europe, Japan and the US that made sense in their own territories but were impractical elsewhere.
I visited the Mini dealer today and read the owners manual and it indicated that with an appropriate tow bar installed in a level manner, a Mini could be towed four wheels down if you had the manual transmission. The salesman told me that Blue Ox was the tow bar that was used by most of their customers. I think the discussion was on on pages 113/114 of the owner's manual I was looking at.
We are considering one for our toad. Anyone here have any transmission trouble towing it four wheels down?
2006 Winnebago Journey 36G
I tow a 2002 MINNI CooperS and have had no problems with it at all. I had a Roadmaster baseplate installed and use a Falcon2 towbar with a 4 prong connecter between the coach and MCS.
We just returned from a 3k trip throughout the NW and loved every minute of it.