Member Builds

We love to hear unique story's about our members cars! Do you have a story to tell, or is there something unique about your car? Feel Free to contact us! 

R53

Wayne West @worldofwesty

My R53 story and how it all started was roughly 9 years ago when my dad took me out is his 2004 Cooper S and that was it, I was hooked so the hunt was on. After months of searching I finally purchased a 2006 dark silver JCW. The plan for this car was to just keep in clean and use it as a daily but how wrong was I so the the modifications began and didn’t really stop. 


GP1

Wayne West @worldofwesty

After 4 years of ownership I then sold it to my dad ( which he still owns) and purchased the R53 that I have always wanted the GP1. Well the GP1 has taken me on a whole new journey in the 5 years I have owned this car and as before it was initially purchased too keep as a standard clean car that I could use for shows. After attending my 1st couple of shows it was apparent that it didn’t really stand out from other GP1 minis so something had to be done. 


GP1

Wayne West @worldofwesty

First I had to get the stance right so I fitted KW Variant 2 coil overs with eibach rear camber arms. Once this was done it was the wheels the standard ones had to go so fitted 17” OZ leggendas for around a year and then wanted to put it back in 18” wheels so purchased the OZ Ultraleggeras which it currently sits on now. So I have tried my best to keep this car OE + with the addition of R56 JCW Brembo front brake set up and lots of JCW carbon fibre. 

GP1

Wayne West @worldofwesty

So 2020, I think everyone will agree that this was a pretty bad year but lockdown gave me the opportunity to try and take the GP to another level so I removed the rear arms and front subframe assembly and sent it all away to be blasted and coated just to give it that factory fresh look and the end result was fantastic but a shame no one will really see it. So finally I have to say that I have owned many cars over the years but I can honestly say that the R53 and especially the GP1 are by far the best and most fun I have had during ownership this car is a keeper and not going anywhere.

club53

Glenn Kersten @glennk94

After some long research, I decided that I wanted a R53, my eye fell directly at an r53 GP, loved the car instantly when I saw it. It had already some lovely upgrades. 
Pure handeling updates. Öhlins dfv, hardrace camber arms, seats, schroth racing harness etc. The wheels are ATS DTC 17x7.5J

r53 owners club

Glenn Kersten @glennk94

At the first couple of months I just drove the car and enjoyed the GP, 

fantastic car and the looks are already perfect, but for my feeling I could do better.

 I did all the cosmetic work like respraying the front, grilles, plastic all new. 

sprintex

Glenn Kersten @glennk94

After that my first update came, I ordered a Coolerworx shifter. 

What an awesome piece. Engine wise the GP was still stock only had a Supersprint 4-2-1 manifold. But I wanted some performance and a change came up to modify the supercharger, I went for a sprintex supercharger, catcams 461, bytetronik racing tensioner, 550cc, bytetronik software. After all this the car runs fantastic! 

The torque increase is huge with the sprintex. 

club53

Glenn Kersten @glennk94

 

This is a car that I will have for a long time. It isn't my daily so its always in an garage. 
And always in an clean condition. 

r53 turbo

Jim Lentz @mini_jim_r53

In the early 2000’s I worked for a race shop where we mainly built vintage British race cars. I fell in love with the designs and curves of the cars, and promised one day I would buy something that reminded me of those machines. In 2010 I decided I wanted to move away from my typical Japanese cars and firmly decided on a 2006 R53. It was mainly a daily driver for a while, and in 2014 the mod bug finally bit, and a set of XT XT-A coilovers found their way into the car along with poly control arm bushings. 



r53

Jim Lentz @mini_jim_r53

I joined some various groups on Facebook after lurking some forums, and got a lot of pushback for some of my ideas from the American crowds. In 2016 a well known shop in the states made a comment that I wouldn’t be able to build a turbo conversion and that it would be a complete failure, so with the encouragement of my wife I set out to prove a point, and did so with a budget diy type of build in mind.  I had built countless Honda turbo setups in the past and even owned a 532whp Evo 8 previously, so the concepts were very familiar. 


 

turbo

Jim Lentz @mini_jim_r53

That winter I stripped the engine down and started fabrication. 2 months later I emerged with my current setup: a diy conversion using a log manifold and a T03 “super 60” journal bearing turbo pushing 23psi, a stainless 3” exhaust, 38mm external wastegate, and 680cc Bosch injectors controlled by an ECUMaster EMU classic plug n play, all on a stock motor and head with just a Schrick cam for extra lift and to raise the power band. 




r53

Jim Lentz @mini_jim_r53

I did every bit of fabrication and tuning myself, putting down a conservative 298whp on the first dyno day, and then pushing boost and timing a bit further and basically maxing the compressor with 317whp and 252ft/lb of torque. Not terrible for an old journal bearing turbo and a budget of under $4,500usd for everything. 



 




r53 turbo

Jim Lentz @mini_jim_r53

 

I wrapped the car myself not long after with Vivvid Elephant Grey gloss vinyl, and it now sits on 16x7 Rota Slipstreams. (Shown with my lovely and very supportive wife Samantha)
I covered the dash with black suede to stop the obnoxious glare while driving, and soon after replaced the couch-like factory panther leather seats with a more supportive set of Sparco seats and upgraded the braking to R56 Cooper S calipers, pads, and rotors with braided lines all around. A 21mm TSW adjustable rear sway bar and spherical upper and lower rear control arms round things out. 





 




club53

Jim Lentz @mini_jim_r53

 
It has certainly been the longest I’ve ever owned a car, and although I came close to selling it a few months ago, the deal fell through and my lovely wife insisted I never do that again. I think I’ll take her advice and keep it at least another 10 years. Eventually the stock engine will be built with forged components and the head worked, and hopefully a Garrett G25-550 will find it’s way on. If my wife allows it that is!





 




R53 owners club

Chris Rickuss @psycho_jcw

First registered in jun 2005, this is one of the rarest (maybe rarest) JCW R53, ordered with every optional extra available from the John Cooper works garage. 
This was a personal build by the works garage for Mr Simon Cowell. Yeah, That Simon Cowell.

simon cowell

Chris Rickuss @psycho_jcw

This iconic mini was more expensive than a GP1, it’s price when ordered totalled to £42k, the break down on this is the JCW 210 tuning kit and accessories totalled to £14,302 let alone a cost of £18,143 for the standard Cooper S before the works garage did their magic. 
The rest of the cost was made up of tax, fuel and VAT.  Making this the most expensive R53 to leave the John Cooper Works garage. 

simon cowell

Chris Rickuss @psycho_jcw

I’ve currently owned this R53 for 11 years, using it daily for the majority of its life, but It was placed into storage in the year of 2016-2019.
In the year of 2019 once taken out of storage, I decided to use this as a weekend toy attending shows, fast realising the rarity of the vehicle been a top spec factory works. Once checking the paperwork and taking a lot of advise and guidance from  enthusiasts and experts, I then realised how unique this car really was.

 

simon cowell

Chris Rickuss @psycho_jcw

Moving onto what makes this car really unique is the works accessories fitted, 
here are some examples of the rarest! 

 

-R56 clubman brakes not released until 2008, Reverse camera, Heated front and rear glass, electronic folding mirrors, voice control system, bluetooth phone system, voice control, sparco heated JCW full leather racing seat, rear sparco bucket seats, 210 tuning kit, sports bilstien/works suspension, full carbon fibre dash, alcantra full headlining, original John Cooper works number plates.


 

 

 

R53

Ellen Willmott  @ejwxr50

My car was bought as a R50 One 2001. My dad brought the car for me after wanting an R50 since I was about 15. Once I got the car I said to myself,  I just want to dechrome it and put some nice wheels on it’ ....obviously that plan did not stick! 

R50

Ellen Willmott  @ejwxr50

 
I started modifying the car and I absolutely loved everything about it, I lowered it on some rota grids, murdered the car out and done the interior black and purple with buckets seats.


R53

Ellen Willmott  @ejwxr50

After about 2 years of owning the car I decided it needed some power so after a very short discussion with my dad we decided to just ‘chuck a cooper s lump in it’. I saved some money and brought a donor R53. Engine swap was completed after a weekend and I loved it! 


Steering wheel

Ellen Willmott  @ejwxr50

 

 

Once you got power you just want more so over time I have put the Airtec intercooler on, 4-1 manifold and decat pipe, 17% reduced pulley, cold air intake, 550cc injectors and fast road cams. I’ve wide arched the car on bronze 7twenty wheels added loads of carbon, the car is now pink and glittery inside with a roll cage and I’ve started taking it on track days, I love this car and there’s still so much to come from it!

 


R53

Jon Thompson @jtdevelopments

4 years ago I decided I wanted my first MINI. I did my research and I wanted an R53! 
I placed a wanted advertisement and Ric repsonded: 2003, low mileage, excellent condition...
I bought it! 
On my drive home I stopped for a burger, and ordered a set of Rota Grid-V, in Bronze, a set of KW Variant 1 coilovers and a pair of red/clear LED tail lights (to make all red!!). I then hunted down some Facelift Xenon Headlights and painted the chrome surround trim dark Silver and the insides Gloss and Matte Black (and did my interior trim to match!).

Jon thompson

Jon Thompson @jtdevelopments

This looked OK and I went to a few MINI meets. I needed power!
-17% pulley, JTD intake, Airtec intercooler...this was OK...but I needed more!
 A Catcam and 550cc injectors followed by a 1320mini tune! Lovely.
This lasted me a summer...then in winter i purchased ST XTA coilovers, Fifteen52 Turbomacs in 8x17 et30 and 205/45 Yokohama AD08R tyres, Ksport 8 pot 330mm brakes in Bright Orange, BKL gearbox, new OEM clutch, Scorpion 4-2-1 Manifold with sportscat, Scorpion exhaust system...Corbeau Club Sport seats and a custom made rear roll cage, also in Bright Orange! 

accident

Jon Thompson @jtdevelopments

I was very happy with the car now and it was always put away clean in the garage.
That was until February this year.
I left it out as it was dirty. The next day I decided as it was already dirty - I would take it on the journey in the rain to meet my friend for coffee. This was the worst decision of my life...

club53

Jon Thompson @jtdevelopments

 
As soon as I was out of my Coma, even with brain damage, I started the hunt, from my hospital bed, for Build no.2! 
Obviously another R53...

Thanks for sharing your story Jon! 

owners club

Ida Raithel @ ida_jcw


My R53 was built in 2006 and is only one of 100 limited Challenge special models. It was only ever driven in summer and has served as a fun car ever since. When I was 19, I finally fulfilled the dream I had been saving for so long. It was probably fate that the R53 had number 19 in the Challenge series. 


wheels

Ida Raithel @ ida_jcw

 It stood perfectly and in completely original condition. It also had the original stickers with racing stripes. Of course, he got nice rims right after the purchase. I chose original BBS-LM. They look particularly good on him. 

Challenge

Ida Raithel @ ida_jcw

The following year, he got small changes in the interior. Furthermore, the hand brake lever and gear knob were replaced by carbon parts. Incidentally, the complete exterior look, including the real carbon spoiler, is ex works. All of this belongs to the limited special model. I was very happy with the original chassis, but I wanted to lower my car. So that it lies even better on the street, I decided for a KW V2. The front lip from Maxton Design was also attached.

john cooper works

Ida Raithel @ ida_jcw

Every change was made by hand and I think the car was optimized with great attention to detail and passion.


Thank you for letting me tell my story about my R53.