This comes to us from White Roof Radio co-host and MotoringFile contributor, Todd Pearson.
In 2006, MINI announced they would be producing a performance-oriented special edition model that would be lighter weight and limited in quantity worldwide. As we all know, that edition was dubbed the MINI Cooper S John Cooper Works GP edition. Two thousand individually numbered GPs were produced with 415 sold in the US. I wasn’t immediately smitten when the GP was announced but the car grew on me so much that I put a deposit down and paid extra to take part in a special delivery of the very first GPs delivered during the first MINI Takes The States. The special delivery took place at Laguna Seca during the kick-off to the Monterey Historics in 2006. Needless to say, as soon as I laid eyes on the Thunder Blue Metallic paint, carbon fiber wing and unique aero kit on the GP, I was in love with this car. continued →
This story comes to us from MotoringFile contributor Brendan.
I met TonyB two years ago through North American Motoring and we’ve kept in touch sporadically since then. I bought my current suspension from him and a few other bits and bobs. A few Sundays ago, I made my way up the windy California backroad towards his house to talk to him about his car. In particular, I wanted to know more about weight saving techniques. continued →
Tuesday the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into potential power steering problems of the 2004-2005 MINI. The site lists this as involving MINI “Coopers” but we believe this could likely include both the Cooper and the Cooper S given that the agency says that this could involve about 80,000 vehicles. continued →
The stock MINI out of the box has a remarkable stiff chassis. But, that’s not going to stop aftermarket accessory makers from trying to make an even more rigid car. That’s where M7 Tuning has worked their magic. Gabe previously reviewed the understrut system by M7 here on MF, and so this is my review of their rear chassis brace.
With this article we are introducing our latest MotoringFile contributor Brendan Nystedt. Brendan has been a MINI enthusiast for quite a few years and currently owns a 2006 MINI Cooper (R50). Look for more from Brendan – especially on the topics of modifications and the R50/R53.
One of the greatest things about owning a MINI is the variety of ways to make the car yours. Â Numerous vendors offer all sorts of add-ons from full chrome interior kits to skid plates to rear wiper delete kits.Â These five mods are my favourite mods which didn’t cost me very much and have added even more enjoyment to my 2006 MINI Cooper.
Yesterday BMW won the 24 Hours of the Nurburgring in a dramatic performance. How about MINI? Well there was the MINI Challenge race and then of course the MINI E doing a lap around the ‘Ring. But what about the actual 24 Hours of Nurburgring? There were a handful of MINIs at the race but unfortunately for the R53 above, only one immortalized on youtube the morning after.
BMW has a history of producing enormous amounts of parts and sitting them on shelves for many years. However when it comes to accessories long-term availability is something less than a certain thing. And when it comes to a new brand and a new sub-brand within it, you can imagine BMW was relatively safe with their production numbers. This all means that those R50/R53 JCW parts that you’ve been lusting after since 2005 have quickly dwindling inventories and could be gone within the year. Perhaps the most telling example is the full leather JCW steering wheel. According to our sources there are only two new examples left in the US parts system (dealers or warehouse). We’re told that invetories aren’t much (if any) better in Europe either. The leather/alcantara version (see our review here) is also in short supply but we’re told is in slightly better shape.
Other than the steering wheel we’ve also been warned that the R50 JCW aero kit (and to a lesser degree the R53′s) has dwindling numbers and could be gone soon as well.
Perhaps the most sad personally is the leather dash that we lavishly heaped praise on a few years ago. Most of those unique stitching color examples are gone and the black with contrasting red leather we reviewed is very low in numbers as well.
The worst part? MINI has no plans to produce any of these accessories for the R50/R53 again. They will simply become sought after collectors items on the best examples of first generation New MINIs.
1st Gen MINI R50: One & MC Hatch R52: All 1st Gen MINI Convt. R53: MCS Hatch 2nd Gen MINI R55: Clubman R56: Hatch R57: Convertible R58: Coupe R59: Roadster R60: MINI Crossover R61: MINI Crossover Coupe 3rd Gen MINI F55: Clubman F56: Hatch F57: Convertible F60: MINI Crossover F62: Traveller
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