Article Index
Mini Max
Page 2
All Pages

Owner Lyle Engleson of San Diego is obsessed with these cars and has built one every bit as modified as the highly successful Ireson bi-moto Mini, but with more functionality in mind. Engleson has converted this mini to a rear engine, rear wheel drive car for the improvement in handling.

We talk a lot about the origins of the Sport Compact craze, and the discussion usually ends up with a reference or two to 1990s-era Honda Civics. Then when it comes to high tech JDM super cars, which were also debuting around the same time, it is almost unanimous that that was the starting point for the passion for compact high performance cars. However, at the same time, over in Europe potent Sport Compacts were basically the norm due to crowded streets and high gas prices. The need for a fun and sporty miniature compact car prompted automaker Austin to build the pint-sized Mini, which rewrote history.

The power of this car has been increased by more than 400% over the original 1975 rating.


Owner Lyle Engleson of San Diego is obsessed with these cars and has built one every bit as modified as the highly successful Ireson bi-moto Mini, but with more functionality in mind. Engleson has converted this mini to a rear engine, rear wheel drive car for the improvement in handling. With the use of a Zcars conversion, the engine mounts, integrated roll cage and suspension system are all custom in order to make this happen. The entire cage has been powder coated black and sus_MG_0101-2_thpension system anodized blue for theme consistency. The radiator and gas tank are located in the front of the car where the original engine was located. The kit was made specifically for Engleson and was shipped out from the UK. Engleson’s MINI is one of only three in North America that uses this kit with a VTEC motor and the only turbo in the world using the Zcars kit.

We did the math afterward and the only things retained from the original Mini are the shell, front windshield, front bearing holders and the throttle pedal. Everything else on the car has been custom fabricated and/or replaced. For that to happen, he needed the right shop and turned to the San Diego division of High End Performance.

When it came to the power generated by the new powerplant, we had to do even more math. The power of this car has been increased by more than 400% over the original 1975 rating. The engine has been powder coated black, and the oil tank, timing cover, alternator, intake manifold and valve cover are fully polished. Yes, the AC and power steering has been removed but hey, it’s a race car. Innovative billet aluminum mounts were used to mount the engine to the frame and roll cage for a positive connection. The remote oil cooler is cooled by fresh air coming from NACA ducts in the windows of the car. The Exhaust was hand-made in full titanium from the manifold all the way to the tip. A custom muffler was designed and then wrapped in a titanium sheet to complete the look. A polished radiator and shroud with the custom fuel cell are found up front because there is absolutely no room in this 2-seater.

 

_MG_0224-2_th _MG_0240-2_th _MG_0248-2_th

 



More Vehicle Features

Dark Knight: Donald Santora's 2008 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Donald Santora's Wide Golf GTI. In Oceanside, New York, a hero has emerged from the darkness. You can find it cruising around town, modelling on the old train tracks, and always looking flashy. This hero isn't a new addition to…
Read More

Model Behavior: Michael Ma's 2013 Ford Mustang

Written by Eric Eikenberry | Photos by Eric Eikenberry What’s the lifelong dream of every kid who has grown up playing with Jada Toys die casts or Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars? Life-size versions, of course! Michael Ma, owner of…
Read More

Source of Fiber: Slek Designs BMW Z4 M

The BMW Z4: it’s a car you don’t often see in tuning-circles, and rarer still in hardtop form. As a sportscar, it might be the Bavarian automaker’s truest offering: the long front end, short cockpit and almost non-existent tail section…
Read More

Swiftly Stripped: Al Richards' 2012 Volkswagen Golf R

Sleeping speedsters might be the best way to describe Volkswagen's Golf and its many variants. They're small, light and extremely quick off the line. Al Richards' experience with these pocket rockets dates back to his teenage years and his 1986…
Read More

NSXT Level: Clarion Builds' 1991 Acura NSX

Following up a smash hit can be pretty difficult. Just ask those guys. What’s their name again? Those guys with the faces. You know who I’m talking about, right? What I’m trying to say is that becoming a one-hit wonder…
Read More