Truth is told, the average Brit can’t really handle a bit of snow. If you can even dig your car out of the drive, chances are the roads haven’t been gritted properly as the council didn’t bother to check the weather forecast.
You must wonder what the likes of, say, 1967 Monte Carlo Rally winner Rauno Aaltonen must make of it all. Here’s a man who piloted his original Mini to victory in the famous snowy mountains above the Principality, beating allcomers and, of course, the conditions.
A recent excursion to Austria to drive the new Mini Countryman JCW involved some time ‘experiencing the brand’, in other words driving a convoy of Countrymans through the Alps with Rauno - the original ‘Flying Finn’ - leading the way in an original-shape Mini.
The scenery was good and all, but even more impressive while sitting next to Rauno in a ‘real’ Mini. The well-maintained mid-1990s 1275cc Mini he was entrusted with looking after belonged to an employee in the BMW logistics department, so he promised to go easy on it.
Not so. I sat next to Rauno while he hurled it down the mountain road, opening up and breaking traction at any opportunity with a booming smile on his face. Rauno described driving the car as “like dancing with a light-footed girl”; an analogy I don’t think could be applied to the following Countrymans.