A few days ago, we took a look at a classic Mini Cooper S that had been completely modified and re-built. Not only was its engine swapped to the rear but it was also converted to rear-wheel drive. So it was almost like a tiny Porsche 911. With 500 hp and a 2,000 lb curb weight. The “Super Cooper“, as it’s called, was driven by Matt Farah of The Smoking Tire and it seemed like an absolute blast to drive. In this new video from TST, we get to take a bit of a look into how such a monster Mini is made.
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Sitting behind the driver is now a 3.5 liter supercharged V6 Acura V6 with 500 wheel horsepower. Mated to that monster engine is the six-speed manual gearbox from an Acura CL. Handling gear rowing is a lovely looking milled shift linkage. Up front, under the hood, is a massive radiator and even an A/C compressor.
The nice thing about putting the A/C under the hood is it helps to balance the car out, given the massive engine at the rear, and it keeps the A/C box out of the cabin. If you’re driven a later model classic Mini, you’d know that the A/C gear inside the car not only looks like crap but it actually gets in the way of the gas pedal.
However, most impressive part about this Frankensteined classic Mini is the fact that, even with an engine placement swap and addition of A/C, it still seems incredibly refined. It’s well made, surprisingly comfortable and looks remarkably sophisticated. It’s such a Frankenstein car yet it doesn’t look it at all. In fact, from the outside, it just looks like a regular Mini with a lowered suspension and wider wheel track.
All of this combines to make an awesome car and one that seems like an absolute joy to drive. Kudos to the Gildred Racing team.