Gildred Racing has a history of taking Honda VTEC engines and dropping them into classic MINIs. Traditionally that means a big performance increase thanks to the 200 hp VTEC four cylinder found in a number of Hondas. But what if they took the 3.5L Honda V6, modded it to 500 hp and stuck it in the back of a classic Mini? In a word, insanity. Matt Farrah from The Smoking Tire went to investigate.

A 500hp Rear Wheel Drive Mid-Engined Mini

It’s like walking into a knife fight with a bazooka. Stuffed into the back of the classic Mini is a 3.5 liter Honda V6 that’s been supercharged to make 500 hp. That’s coupled to a six-speed manual and it’s all driving the rear wheels. But Gildred didn’t stop there. They also gave the classic Mini air conditioning, an in-dash iPad and Recaros. Oh and really good brakes.

All that aside, what makes this car so special is the power to weight ratio; 500 hp vs 2000 lbs makes for a very fast Mini.

Below is a quick look at the three models offered from fast to the 500 hp monster featured here. Be sure to check out Gildred’s site for a detailed view of what they do and how they do it as it’s meticulous in all the right ways.

Gildred Racing Super Cooper Models


Maintaining the charm of the original 1960’s Mk1 while adding a modern drivetrain, three engine configurations, optional A/C, freeway gearing, and the vintage 10” wheels. The perfect blend of style and technology. 1967 Mk1 shown with 10” wheels Wood and Picket arches and optional 200hp B18c Type R engine.



The Mk3 Sport and later Minis build upon the MK1’s classic design but introduces additional creature comforts and refinement. Optional power windows, A/C, power locks, Launch control, and a modern infotainment system. 1974 Mk3 shown with 13” wheels Sports Pack arches and 200hp B16b Type R engine.



Introducing the Super Cooper S, offered with a RWD Mid mounted engine and 6 Speed Transmission. Choose between the light weight K20 and the Bulletproof J Series V6 Engines. Optional Air Conditioning and Boost. 1974 Mk3 shown with 13” wheels and Rotrex supercharged J32 Type S rear mounted engine.