Project TCS – Mini Cooper S R53 Track car donor arrives!

Cars Project TCS

It’s finally here! The arrival of our slightly challenged and extremely dirty Mini Cooper S R53.

Full walk around video can be found here. Be sure to subscribe to follow our progress.

It started with posting a conversation starter on our Facebook group. It read something a long the lines of ‘cheap and cheerful track cars’.

It was actually intended to be research for a future article. However what better way to research than to actually experience?

Little did I expect for Jon over at JWS Developments to get in touch. He gave us an offer we couldn’t refuse! To help and support us through the entire project if we were to get a track car!

Even though Jon said the choice was up to us which car we chose, the choice was an easy one.

JWS are experts when it comes to BMW and the modern Mini so what better base car to choose than the Mini Cooper S R53?

Added bonus? JWS Developments have also offered a fantastic 10% off when you mention TheCarScene!

They are well worth a shout if you have a BMW or Mini. They are the only people I ever trust with my BMW. They also cater for other cars, motorsport, tuning and have a brand new dyno on site.

The search for the perfect car

It took a few week and a couple of viewings until we found the right car.

Little did we know how difficult it was to find a Mini Cooper S without a sun roof! Especially one at the right price with no major problems and not moon miles.

We found the perfect one, if it wasn’t for the sun roof! It was a facelift model in grey with the better gear ratios and the LSD, but it had a sun roof! Was dirt cheap too.

To many reading this, it may seem crazy to dismiss the car over such a small thing. However it means extra weight, and in the wrong place at that. Not to mention the safety factor. Lighter the better! So the more basic, the better too!

After a few more viewings and a little more time, we found what we have now landed on. A red and white facelift that ticked all the boxes.

  • Cheap
  • Basic
  • Better gear ratios
  • 170bhp version
  • Solid roof
  • Category D

Wait, what…

Yes it’s a category D. However that doesn’t worry us too much, as it meant it was very cheap and was mostly cosmetic damage, which now seems to have been rectified.

About the car

It took us several days to get the car picked up, but now it’s back to us, we are straight to work!

It’s now taxed and fue to be insured when the places are open tomorrow. Mainly just to get us back and forth to JWS, but also to do some testing in between mods so we can report back! Being that the tracks are closed for the immediate future.

The car was absolutely filthy as you will see in the video clip further down! That’s our first job. After a good 30min quick jet wash and clean you could see the results.

It isnt perfect and we have discovered a few things that the dirt did hide but we aren’t really that worried. It won’t be long until the car is wrapped and stickered.

You can’t have a Mini Cooper S Track car with out stickers! So expect it to change looks dramatically very soon.

First things first though, off to JWS we go next week! Jon has kindly offered to make sure it’s at least safe first and get our starting point reference on the dyno.see what we are working with and see how far we can go.

The mismatched tyres most certainly are a priority, as are the brakes. The only issue is, do we change wheels too whilst we are at it?

Probably start cheap first though. A diet!

Plenty of gps dragy runs to come, lap times, raw data and comparisons. Oh and lots of antics!

Write ups and videos every step of the way.

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Don’t forget we also cover other feature cars so please get in touch if you would like to feature on site or possibly on youtube!

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