The Volkswagen Golf GTI (right, with the Mark I version) is selling well, although there's been a swing in Hong Kong buyers' colour preferences, says local dealer Harmony Motors (tel: 2882 8938). 'Since the launch in March, we've sold more than 300 units and there's no sign indicating the demand is cooling,' says spokesman Wilco Ng. 'The waiting time is about six months. The new Golf GTI is the most successful car model in Hong Kong in the past three years.' We won't argue with that. We've always said the GTI's a hottie - and sensibly small for Hong Kong. But we hear that Hong Kong buyers are swinging away from the sharp Tornado Red seen in the television adverts. 'Demand for black and red is equally high,' Ng says. 'White is also catching up. I personally think white is the coolest colour for GTI because it's nostalgic and brings back memories of the Mark I GTI.' White would be historic, but Volkswagen might consider broadening its paint range (from four solid, three metallic and three pearl-effect finishes) for the one car that could outfunk the Mini Cooper S and tempt Hong Kong owners beyond their boring silver, black and white preferences. So, let's see some Subaru-blue shimmer, the lime-green of Saab's 9-3, an orange to match Mini's hot shade, metallic blues and purples, and a revival of the old metallic green and red-piped black of the glorious early 1980s. Thank you for all your kind comments about our coverage of the Mini show (Motoring, April 30). Mini really does have cult status in Hong Kong, doesn't it? And the zip of the Austin, Morris, Rover and BMW models proves the point we made last week: that little cars are more sensible, and more enjoyable in Hong Kong. Sussex-based reader Mike Rushworth, the former chairman of the Hong Kong Automobile Association, says he was impressed with the Hong Kong Mini Fan Club's cars. That's praise, indeed, because Rushworth earned his spurs in the motor trade with manufacturer BMC. The Hong Kong cars are 'very good examples', he says. '[Jack Lee's] red convertible [below] is a purpose-made machine,' he says. 'There were many modifications available and this type was popular. '[Wood Chan's] almond green Austin Mini Cooper S is nearly the same as mine. It had bumper over-riders with extensions. The colour was one of the most popular, as well. I like the BMC Rosette in the top left-hand side of the screen - nice touch.' Rushworth says he was with BMC at Longbridge [Austin] as an executive trainee - 'an apprentice who was meant to stay with the factory and not go back to daddy's garage' - from 1960 to 1965. 'It was a great time,' he says. 'I moved about the factory, learning every aspect. The Mini - originally called the Austin Mini 7, but dropped quickly - was launched in 1959. 'It was actually brought out before all the experimental work was completely finished. The gearbox synchromesh was weak and had to be changed to bulkring - a Porsche design and overseen by a German gentleman called Austin. I met him years later. 'The underfloor metal panel was fitted the wrong way around, the leading edge was showing forward, so that when moving forward through water, this leading edge would allow water into the car. The remedy was to reverse the join so that the leading edge was above the bulkhead panel coming down. This was rectified quite quickly, too.' Rushworth says the Mini was an immediate success and kept BMC's market share at 32 per cent - 10 per cent ahead of Ford. The Mini also did well on the racetrack, 'going around Goodwood in fourth gear all the way at full tilt. The then popular racer, the Jaguar Mark II 3.8, which was the saloon car champion, had great difficult staying in front of the Mini. And when the Mini had a 1,500cc engine fitted, it had no chance'. Finally, happy National Day tomorrow to all our Filipino readers. Happy trip!