What would you do if a vintage red Mini Cooper pulled up to your front door? Would you admire it, take a picture of it, stop and ask the driver about it? Or would you get in and take a ride? If you were me and it pulled up yesterday, you would hop in the car and go for a Mini Cooper tour of London.
Don’t get me wrong; I don’t go around jumping into every car I see. But when the car is a British classic and the driver’s tours are #1 on Time Out’s list of the 101 Greatest Things to do in London, I really can’t resist.
Nor can I resist the urge to sing along to the classic 1960’s soundtrack playing from the beautifully refurbished interior of the 1974 Mini Cooper. Or the desire to smile every time Robert, the driver and founder of smallcarBIGCITY, tells me an amusing tale about the part of London we are whizzing by.
Our hour-long tour goes straight from my doorstep to Knightsbridge, Hyde Park, Mayfair, Westminster, Buckingham Palace, Victoria, Belgravia, and back. If I want to go elsewhere, Robert revs the engine, turns the wheel, and takes me wherever I desire. The car is his; the tour is mine.
And I can’t decide whether that is the best part of my Mini Cooper tour of London, or if it is the smiles we get from everyone we pass on the street, or the excitement of discovering the city through the eyes of its most iconic car. Whatever it is, I know that the next time I see a vintage Mini, I will have to conjure every ounce of willpower to resist the urge to dive in and go for a spin.