MY RIDE- Elizabeth Lawson: 2005 Mini Cooper


"I saw it and said, 'I have to have it," says Elizabeth Lawson of the sunny yellow Mini Cooper with the white roof she purchased two years ago. The car's "beautiful" design and small size were among the things that attracted Lawson.

Despite its Lilliputian size, Lawson says the four-seater Mini is actually "very roomy" inside, handles well in town and on the highway, and gets an efficient 35 miles per gallon on trips. The one drawback: with no Mini mechanics in Charlottesville, she has to take it to Richmond for service.

Lawson may not have realized when she purchased the Mini that she was buying into an exclusive– if unofficial– club.

"We honk and wave to each other," she says of her fellow Mini Cooper owners around town.