Mini Madness! A 9-Second Mini Cooper Goes Wild At Atco Dragway

We’ve seen racers get very creative with what engines they stuff into their chassis of choice but a boosted Honda powerplant in a classic 1965 Mini Cooper is something new. Taking a right-hand drive British car that’s more at home on a road course and making it into a nine-second drag car is thinking outside the box, and the team at Dylan Gray Auto Repair made it happen.

The Mini Cooper virtually has the dimensions of a golf cart and was designed to be a gas-sipping mini car to deal with high gas prices — high-performance applications were never on the drawing board. They have seen duty in the performance world mostly on road courses in spec class racing or even some rally events, but their tiny stature makes them ripe for some high-horsepower fun at the drag strip. The factory engines these cars came with barely registered over one liter or less in displacement, so motivating them to move quickly takes some creative thinking or an engine swap.

Understanding the space limitations in front of them, Dylan Gray Auto Repair decided to go with the compact but powerful Honda K20 four-cylinder engine to power their Mini. Since the engine would be getting boost from a single 64mm Precision Turbo and Engine turbocharger, a built JBR Engines mill was used to maximize the power available. To make sure there was plenty of space for the new setup and to assist with weight transfer the driveline was relocated to the rear of the car.

All of this work wasn’t done just to elicit a few double-takes at the track; this Mini Cooper has some serious rip to it. At a recent Import Faceoff event at Atco Dragway this mighty Mini was able to set a new personal best of 9.41 at 145 mph. Check out this video from TalonTSi97 Videos that shows just how much of a handful this wild little ride is!

About the author

Brian Wagner

Spending his childhood at different race tracks around Ohio with his family’s 1967 Nova, Brian developed a true love for drag racing. When Brian is not writing, you can find him at the track as a crew chief, doing freelance photography, or beating on his nitrous-fed 2000 Trans Am.
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