1990 Classic Mini - R1 Yamaha engined project car For Sale
I have for sale my 'R1 Manx', Yamaha R1 motorbike engined mini track car, which is a 90% finished project.
It was originally a 1990 Mini Cooper, that I first owned in 2001 as my first car. In 2008 I took it off the road to restore the chassis as the boot floor was rusting away, and to convert it into a bike engined mini track car, after purchasing a 3k mile 2003 fuel injected Yamaha R1 engine (150 bhp approx).
Over the next 3 years, an engineering friend of mine and I spent hundreds of hours during weekends and evenings, designing the drivetrain, engine cradle and exhaust system, plus many other bespoke parts. Apart from the immense amount of hours that have gone in, I have approximately 10k in receipts from the project.
The mini features the following bespoke items:
- custom made engine cradle, which bolts to the original mini subframe so the original mini suspension mounts are retained.
- The drivetrain is an open-differential setup whereby a Quaife QDF14K LSD diff sits in a cradle attached to the engine frame and features an enclosed grease can for lubrication and is fitted with a main drive sprocket and tensioner. The original driveshafts have been modified to the required lengths, retaining the standard mini input and output cv joints.
- custom made exhaust system running 4 into 1 and fitted with a micron end can.
- The cooling system has been designed to combine the R1's cooling system with a classic mini radiator and kit car cooling fan. The original mini heater blower has been retained and this is routed within the cooling system.
- Custom sequential gearshift linkage mechanism which connects the R1 shifter to linkage mounted within the dashboard,
Brakes - 4 pot brake calipers at the front, lightweight superfins at the rear,
Suspension - hi lo adjustable trumpets, standard rubber cones, pro tech adjustable dampers front and rear.
Chassis/interior - bespoke fuel tank, carbon fibre door cards, flocked fibreglass 2 piece dash, perspex side and rear windows, bucket seats, schroth harnesses, Yamaha R1 digital clocks, speedo healer, gearshift indicator, carbon fibre parcel shelf and a mini clubman fibreglass flip front, fitted with aerocatch and dzus fasteners.
Paintwork: The special black, white and yellow livery on the car is based on the 1978 Kenny Roberts Yamaha racing colours, featuring the classic 'speed block' design that featured on the Yamaha MotoGP bikes of that era (*If you're a fan of motorcycling you'll know exactly what I mean). The design is all paintwork, including the 'R1 Manx' logo, with no stickers on the car.
Paint/Bodywork - The car has done very few miles since being built, with only a few track days and is dry stored when not being used. The only issue on the bodywork is at the rear valance where it's showing slight bubbling on the paint where the seam was welded. Apart from that it's a rust free mini. There's a slight crack in the fibreglass bonnet in one corner as it flexes at high speed. My plan was to buy a carbon fibre bonnet to replace it as it will provide more rigidity.
Drivetrain - Firstly, the car has no reverse gear, so if you wanted to register the car for roads on the UK, the engine frame and wiring will need to modified to accept a starter motor affair that can drive the main drive sprocket in reverse. Secondly, i've had some issues with the drivetrain binding when it's hot after a 20-30 minute drive and i've not been able to solve the problem so far. It may be that the clutch plates are sticking when hot, or the diff crade could be binding. Ive consulted a local engineer on the subject and he thinks the diff is possibly getting hot or it's cradle is binding and requires tweaking. For someone with a mechanical/engineering inclined mind, i'm certain it can be sorted.
Suspension - The car will need a fresh laser alignment doing as i've had bits off and on the car over the last year so the tracking/camber/toe will be way out and require setting up.
Wiring: The speedo healer needs setting up properly as i've only recently installed it. This is used so that the R1 digi dash shows the correct speed in mph, as the mini is running on 12 inch wheels.
For a more comprehensive library of images from the project, please feel free to check out my albums on flickr here:
So why I am selling the 'R1 Manx'? Well i've recently acquired a Lancia Delta which needs restoration and quite a bit spending on it, so i'm dedicating my time and money to that over the next year or so and can't afford to do that and do more on the mini. It's a great looking car and attracts a lot of attention as you can imagine and it's a real buzz to drive and the bike engine sounds wonderful at the top end! So if you're looking for a truly unique classic mini, where the majority of the work has already been done, then this is the one for you.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions, I am based on the Isle of Man so you would need to bring a trailer to collect the mini, if coming from the mainland UK.