As a MINI owner myself, I am constantly browsing the MINI forums, looking for ideas and giving insight to what I think would work and what wouldn’t. I follow several builds, two of which I’ve had the opportunity to showcase for you here: Robert Jaeger’s MINI Cooper S and John “Jomo” Monk’s MINI Cooper Coupe JCW.
For those who don’t know, JCW stands for John Cooper Works, the performance division of MINI. A division which keeps the MINI racing heritage alive, named after John Cooper. Yes, the same John Cooper who pioneered the rear-mounted engine and founded the Cooper Car Company. He also had three Monte Carlo Rally titles and 16 Grand Prix wins to his name. That’s some heritage to live up to!
Both Robert and Jomo chose MINIs because of the racing heritage behind the car. Robert, to build a “trackable street car” and Jomo, well because he’s modded MINIs before! Both like the fact that MINIs are fairly uncommon in the modding world, even with an excellent aftermarket support. However, MINIs are not for the budget-minded modder, as they are expensive to purchase, maintain, and modify, thus making MINIs a rare sight at the typical car meet.
Don’t think that there’s nothing special about them though, as MINI USA even encourages owners to be unique, claiming (at least when I bought mine) that there are no two MINIs alike. As you can see here, these two are quite different. In fact, they’re almost completely opposite. Besides the obvious color difference, one is supercharged and one is turbocharged. One is a hatchback, and one is a coupe (technically also a hatchback).
However, similarities abound between them as well. Both have JCW aero, Megan Racing coilovers, and both have aftermarket intakes. They also have upgraded brakes, Brembo as a factory option for the white coupe, and Wilwood as an aftermarket addition on the black hatchback. Both also have several custom interior pieces.
John’s MINI, the white coupe, has custom leather seats, custom alcantara interior accents, and the upgraded Harmon Kardon stereo package that accommodates Bluetooth and iPod functionality. When asked about future plans for the car, John told me that they’re top secret and he can’t disclose them, but I have a feeling it’ll be sick once it’s how he wants it.
Robert’s MINI, the black hatchback, has a Sparco Chrono seat with planted bracket (added after pictures were taken), adorned by Schroth Rallye 4 Harnesses. It also has a JCW All-Leather Steering Wheel, several different aftermarket and custom gauges for boost, air fuel, oil, and battery temp. Robert recently made a custom iPad Mount w/ DashCommand. He also has the Euro Parcel Shelf and a Rear Seat Delete, helping him utilize the large boot area of the car. Robert has plans to install a short shift kit on the car.
If you’re out and about in Nashville and see one of these MINIs cruising the street, I’d think twice about challenging them at a stoplight. You may be surprised at how good the rear end looks on each car!
Mod list for Robert’s MINI Cooper S:Engine:15% WMW PulleyAlta CAIGRS Intercooler
GTT Snoot Boots
Detroit Tuned Bypass Valve
Hotchkis Rear Lower Control Arms
Hotchkis Comp Rear Sway Bar
M7 Front Strut Bar
JCW Front Bumper
JCW Upper Grill
JCW Lower Grill
Custom Front Splitter
JSart prototype wing tip
M7 Limited Edition Carbon Fiber Ram Scoop
Lamin-x Gunsmoke Headlight Vinyl
Wheels & Brakes:
Wilwood Billet Narrow Superlite Calipers
Wilwood 12″ 36-Curved Vane Slotted GT Rotors
Wilwood Aluminum Hats
Wilwood BP-10 Pads
Wilwood 580 Fluid
TSW Wheel Studs
Stainless Brake Lines
WMW 5mm Front Spacers
Sparco Chrono seat with Planted bracket
JCW All-Leather Steering Wheel
Schroth Rallye 4 Harnesses
Innovate Wideband MTX-L Air Fuel Gauge
Innovate MTX-D Oil Pressure/Temp Gauge
Auto Meter Boost Gauge
VDO Oil Temp & Battery Votlage Gauges
Custom A-Pillar Triple Gauge Pod
Custom iPad Mount w/ DashCommand
Euro Parcel Shelf and Rear Seat Delete
Mod list for John’s MINI Cooper Coupe JCW:
DDM Race Intake
Megan Racing coilovers
Painted JCW aero kit
Painted headlight/tail light rings (dechromed)
Custom leather seats
Custom alcantara interior accents
Upgraded Harmon Kardon sound system with Bluetooth and iPod connectivity