I picked up my new car yesterday! She's a brand new 2012 Fiat 500, or as I prefer, "cinquecento," and I hope in
time I'll learn to love her like my TT, or my '91 VW Cabriolet.
I had ruled out a new 500 because the base price is way more than I wanted to spend... have I mentioned the insane tax on cars in this country??? The majority of the purchase price went to taxes of various sorts. You're welcome, Denmark.
But my Danish car shopping genie worked some serious negotiating magic and it turned out that a new Fiat didn't cost much more than the Mini and the Mini seller wasn't going to come far enough down on the price to justify the condition of the interior, or the fact that there was a mouse in the engine!
Still it wasn't an easy decision, but as much as I love the Mini, do I really need a project car in a country with 25% VAT and where I don't speak the language? After living without a car for 2 years, I'm not sure that playing mechanical roulette would be a vast improvement.
The thing I like most about The Audrey II is her interior, it's so pretty, sort of reminds me of the Smeg refrigerator I've been coveting! That sort of makes up for the Oompa Loompa aesthetics of the outside. And though I can drive a pretty mean manual, hill starts are not one of my strong points and she's got an anti-rollback feature. And she's red, which next to pink is my favorite color!
Someday, I'll get my vintage Mini. Until then, I can drive The Audrey II all the way to France or Italy if I want... she's got a 2 year warranty and she gets great fuel economy ;-)