Tailored to distraction
Off-the-rack eccentricities with wheels are distinctive, sometimes innovative and occasionally laughable. NEIL DOWLING drives another Mini
THE latest pret-a-porter for style seekers is the non-mini Mini Paceman that begs too many questions.
It is a reflection of the practice of eccentric European tailors who smile while crafting clothes from the most ghastly coloured and patterned materials for sale to the rich and ignorant.
It’s a clever circle of marketing. The tailor is ridding stock of the most horrendous fabrics by flogging it at grossly inflated prices to rich people who figure the more clothes cost, the better they are.
Blend in the buyer’s ignorance of fashion sense and a fear that someone else may be seen in the same attire — fat chance — and you have a wealthy tailor and a very obvious customer walking the streets in silent ridicule.
Alarm bells should have gone off in the customer’s head the moment he saw the checked shirt, paisley tie and horizontally striped sports jacket with an $1800 price tag.
The Paceman is the hori- zontally striped jacket of the car industry’s wardrobe.
VALUE: This depends on how much money you have and by presuming that people know exactly how much the car cost you. It’s a status symbol. Style — as I have already established — is in the eye of the beholder.
Creating an individual car from the base Paceman Cooper S leads to the creation of a new overdraft, with a toyland of options from $200 (the rail between the seats for accessories) to $2900 (adding 19-inch alloys).
The test car jumps from $46,450 to $56,800 with goodies including a sunroof, metallic paint ($900), clear indicator lenses ($250) and satnav at $1900.
On-road costs add about another $3500.
The downside is no cappedprice service deal but the good news is a strong resale value of 56 per cent.
DESIGN: It’s no mini car and actually falls into the SUV category.