Rover Mini SPi Cooper Supercharged
ADVERT ID: 39357
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Rover Mini SPi Cooper Supercharged – A truly one-off Mini, inspired by Singer Porsche, supercharged to achieve 140bhp and presenting in fine fettle.
When Alec Issigonis delivered the Mini, with its revolutionary transverse engine, front-wheel drive and four seats in a small car it was considered revolutionary. Oft acclaimed, the car was offered for sale over six decades, in all guises, from saloons to estates, vans to convertibles and then there were the ‘sporty’ derivatives. John Cooper spotted the potential way back in time, his name given to the quicker cars, Cooper, Cooper S and so on have appeared down the years. Cooper Works cars performed incredibly around the world in rallies, on the road, in rallycross, off-road, pretty much anywhere one might fancy a thrilling drive, a Mini would be found. That said, they are not often found on a quarter mile, the preserve of fuelled monsters, attempting to achieve speeds only dreamt of along a straight length of smooth, grippy tarmac but more of that later.
George Harris, a well-known Mini enthusiast, was renowned for being the builder of the extremely well-known twin Hayabusa-powered Mini, ‘MiniBusa’, around ten years ago. When he determined to build his next project it was to this 1990s Cooper that he turned. Apparently, this project wasn’t even really planned for, in his own words, it just happened. Talking with friends in the Owners Club, he had enquired if there were any deals around and stumbled upon this 90s Austin Cooper. Initially he was thinking in terms of a gentle ‘Restomod’ to make it more period, but that plan soon went out of the window. Inspired by a friend’s acquisition of a Singer, well known for their incredible Porsche transformations, he set about creating a ‘classic hot-rod, 911-inspired Mini’ that would show off his creative talents to their best.
Without the budget to turn to a 911, but inspired nonetheless, he set about transforming the look of the car into that of a 1960s period racer. A Mark 1 grille and rear lights were fitted, and heritage panels were sourced from OSC in Chessington. The body was painted in style, Flame Red with an Old English White roof, and then the suspension transformed to include sub-frames and new running gear by Wood and Pickett. This included HI-Los and Gaz Dampers as well as a Cooper ‘S’ front disc assembly that worked with the period Rose Petal-style wheels. The engine was extensively modified, bored out from its standard 1,275cc to 1,293cc, and extensively rebuilt to accommodate its VMaxScart Supercharger and Weber carburettor. Not satisfied with making the Mini as hot as could be, reportedly 140bhp, he then set about using the ‘Singer’ brand as a cue for the interior of his ‘supercharged flyer’. Cobra GT bucket seats were fitted, and the dash and rear trim wrapped in the same material. A six-point roll-cage and Race Tech harnesses were also fitted and much more, all detailed in a front page feature in 2017 in Mini Magazine, a copy of which remains in the history file.
Acquired by our vendor around five years ago, the car was at the time described as running-in, and he since focused on getting it running sweetly. Sorting the fuelling and air systems, the car remains as lively as ever, but now runs as smoothly as one would hope. Freshly MOT’d before the sale, this is a truly bespoke little Mini. There can’t be many road-legal Minis with this sort of power output and, whilst our vendor hasn’t chosen to take the car along a quarter mile, instead keeping it in his small collection and enjoying it only occasionally, he freely admits that it could be hoot to give it a try.
THE NEC CLASSIC MOTOR SHOW SALE 2023 – CARS
Our auction finale of 2023 is taking place at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show at the NEC, Birmingham (B40 1NT) 10th – 12th November. The UK’s biggest and best motor show attracting visitors, bidders and buyers from around the world. Viewing is available on Friday 10th November 10am – 6pm as well as Saturday and Sunday from 9am. Cars and Automobilia can be viewed in Hall 2 and Motorcycles in Hall 5. The Collectors’ Car Sale will take place on Saturday 11th at 10am with the Automobilia Sale following at 4pm and the Motorcycle Sale will take place on Sunday 12th at 10am – all in Hall 2. Admission to the auction stand is by catalogue only. Catalogues will be available to purchase at the catalogue desks at the entrance to our stands for £10. Each catalogue admits two people. Admission to the show is not included in the price of the catalogue. Show tickets can be purchased via the Classic Motor Show website, use the code ICONICAUC for £2 off per ticket.