These are exciting times in the Ruppert garage, with all sorts of exciting projects juggling for position.

Over the years I’ve bought sold, exchanged and given away more cars during the autumn period than any other time of the year. It’s the best time to get fresh metal into your life as prices start to dip a bit and all sorts of opportunities present themselves.

Project one is my very own version of the T25, based on the very best small car ever made (and there really isn’t any argument against this), the Mini. Please note proudly the lower case name, as I’m not talking about the new MINI.

Nothing has been smaller yet so spacious and - despite the rust - an oily A series can still do a job in 2009 and beyond. Everything else is a glorified golf cart compared to this, especially the stupid new breed of electric cars. A friend recently drove every electric car on offer and found himself stranded by the roadside with a flat battery on too many occasions, as they failed to live up to their modest mileage predictions.

However, if I had to think outside of the magnificently Mini shaped box, I do have a huge soft spot for all things small and Daihatsu. I saw an old Sirion yesterday and, although I thought it still looked odd, it makes a huge amount of sense with its thrummy little engine and the wonderful plastic chrome. The old boxy Cuore, and the more rectangular Move, are both amusing and won’t break down even if they’re looked after even a little bit.