Fri., April 13, 2007 – I first met Jason N. in 1999 when he flew out from Florida and showed up at my home in Agoura Hills, back when I was just beginning to earn my title of “MiniGuy.” After ogling my Minis, he pulled out pics of a Mini project he barely had underway. He told me it was going to have “suicide doors,” but I had no idea that it would turn out like this!
Jason’s first Mini was a ’67 Cooper S that he sold shortly after he got married, but he said it was a big mistake. Err, selling the Mini, not getting married!
This one – which he calls “Shorty” – was one of his first two Minis, and was just a shell when he adopted it.
There’s some sort of unwritten rule that nobody’s allowed to own just one Mini – and Jason’s been bitten by the bug too.
While working on this one, he bought a pink Mini pickup (which he still has, and says he has “big plans” for it). He also picked up a ’62 panel van that he’s working on now. He also has a ’67 wagon, as well as a 59′ Morris Mini that he bought as just a rolling shell, and intends to fully restore it to original. While some of his creations are full custom, he says he likes “to play both side of the fence between fully custom and original.”
Here’s some specs on his first full-custom Mini, “Shorty.”
Once upon a time, it started life as a 1963 Mk1 Mini, “born of goodly parents,” you might say.
Then add the metal magic – all done by Jason: A 4″ chop-top, “suicide” (front opening) doors, totally “shaved” (including the seams, gutters, handles, lights, bootlid); a re-hinged bootlid that opens to the side, and flush-fitted LED hot-rod taillights. Inside the cabin, is his-own fabricated 10-point roll cage. Outside, he grafted in a Toyota 4Runner hood scoop, then topped it all off with a sunroof plucked from a 2005 (new) MINI.
The custom fiberglass bumper is Jason’s own hand-built creation. The custom fiberglass dash and door panels are also Jason’s work.
The exterior’s finished off with a Brandy-Wine “Kandy” paint he applied himself.
Under the bonnet, Jason jammed a Honda single-overhead-cam (SOHC) VTEC engine, with a ported and polished head, ultralight JUN flywheel, MSD Ignition, APEX VTEC controller, NOS injection, cold air intake, and full stainless header and exhaust.
Inside the cabin (er, cockpit?), along with his custom-built rollbar, there’s Cobra racing seats done in suede – with embroidered “Mini” logos. In-car entertainment (ICE) is powered by a 4,000-watt “earthquake” amplifier and twin 12″ DBX “earthquake” woofers. In the custom-built fiberglass dash is a full complement of Autometer gauges. In a nod to its original ’63 Mini feature, it has a push-button starter – but this one’s in the dash – not on the floor.
Wheels are Ultralight 13″ alloys, with MG Metro Turbo vented discs and 4-pot calipers in the front. Its suspension features Hi-Lows, front and rear.
Jason told us, “All the work on this car was done by me – in my garage here in Jacksonville. That includes all the way from rolling it over on its side to work on the bottom, to bending the roll cage, to fabricating the metal work, to applying the paint. (Although I did have a little help with the paint from a friend down in Ft. Lauderdale, as it was my first ‘kandy’ paint job). This was my first attempt at making these custom fiberglass parts, and I made molds of all the pieces so they can be reproduced for other Mini enthusiasts that may be interested in them.”
For more pics of Jason’s Mini, take a look at our “Not For Sale” section…
UPDATE, UPDATE, UPDATE: After posting Jason’s Mini, he dropped me a note:
“Even though my car is on your “Not For Sale” page…We all know everything is for sale – at the right price.”
Hmm…If you have the “right price” in mind, or if you’d just like more info, contact us and we’ll put you in touch with Jason.