Good Thing, Small Package: An XE Mini

I think that the month of July has gotten away from me, and in spectacular fashion.

During the winter, in Europe at least, everything goes into hibernation and hunting any sort of speed becomes a huge challenge. In the summer time, the complete opposite is the problem. The level of speed is just too damn high.

This is why I’m taking you back again to start of last month, as there’s still some interesting cars that I want to highlight from Players Classic. In fact, I still have stuff I really want to show you from the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the recent Formula Drift rounds; I swear, I’ll catch up eventually. Oh, and I still own the GTI, in case you had forgotten. And it’s still amazing, for what it’s worth.

2017 Players Classic Mini XE Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-2

I’ll start this brief look at this tiny car with a caveat of sorts: I’m not a Mini fan. I respect them, understand why their owners adore them, and I’m aware of their potential, but they sort of just passed me by. There was never a chance of this particular car passing me by, however.

If you want to know more about the red GSX-R powered Mini Minus, we covered that in a previous video feature.

2017 Players Classic Mini XE Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath EXTRA-1

This Ford Imperial Blue example, is maybe my favourite of the two awesome cars. As seen in the header image, the 2.0-litre Vauxhall C20XE is a tight squeeze in the front of the original length round nose Mini. So much so that the bonnet has been neatly shaped around the top of the engine, exposing the custom rocker and carbon fibre plug covers.

13-inch colour-coded Revolution split rims wrapped in Yokohama Advan A048s sit tight beneath the carbon Miglia arches. There’s a little bit of stretch, but it’s a setup that leans more towards function than style.

2017 Players Classic Mini XE Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-6
2017 Players Classic Mini XE Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath EXTRA-1

I think the interior is an absolute work of art. From the carbon fibre seats equipped with Schroth 4-point harnesses, the carbon dash, centre console, door cards and how they all perfectly wrap around the roll-cage is just sublime. It’s so clean and meticulously put together; I absolutely love it.

2017 Players Classic Mini XE Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-4

There’s the carbon fibre roof, too amongst what I’m sure are a thousand other tiny details that I’ve missed or are only known to the owner and creator.

2017 Players Classic Mini XE Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath EXTRA-2

While trying to learn as much as I can about the Mini before sitting down to write this, I came across numerous ‘opinions’ online that it’s not possible to fit this Vauxhall engine into the front of this car without extending the front of the car.

I guess it just goes to show, everything is impossible, right up until the time someone does it for the first time.

Paddy McGrath
Instagram: pmcgphotos
Twitter: pmcgphotos



Comments are closed.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

Finally another mini post! Me, my family and friends have owned many of these little go carts with varying amounts of power, once I have completed my current resto-mod, I would like nothing more than to build a type r or Hayabusa rwd Mini. Believe it or not theres quite a few here in England!


Its such a perfectly clean and well executed conversion I have admired this particular model for quite a while!!

Jack the Legend

If Moog can fit a honda type R in a mini, and Bad Obsession Motorsports can cram an entire Celica gt4 drive train in one, both without extending the vehicle lengthwise, i don't see why a vauxhall unit won't fit. I love how naysayers can look right at something and deny its possibility. This mini is ludicrously high quality. So many details, so much carbon, so much blue.


The extension people speak of is usually the clubman front end, not really an
Extension, more of a square front end


Is that just panels in the difference?


Is that English?


More minis please, Sirs.


Nice to see a Local car from my hometown originally, I remember when his Brother had it too, was still running an A-Class engine then though!


That carbon fiber dashboard looked so PAGANI. Functional ART!


Car belongs to Dougie McColm, its always been in his family, think an uncle bought it originally & both he & his older brother learned to drive in the Mini, it used to be another British Leyland shade of Blue before it was changed to the Ford Metallic Blue! Retro Cars (iirc also did a write up on the car a couple of years back) The detail work is absolutely amazing in the quality of the carbon etc.


I would love to read a proper feature on it, any idea which issue of Retro Cars? I did find a build thread on PH which occupied me for far longer than it should have.


Curious to know what tyres he'll use next as the A048 is annoyingly no longer road legal in the UK in that size!


Really? Is there any reason for that?


They are no longer E approved, same goes for the 175/50r13 Nankang track tyres. No other real options in that size out there. There are loads of minis and escorts using these tyres so not sure what everyone is going to do!


Apparently it's due to road noise. I have the last two 195/60/14s that are E-marked.


Paddy I can't seem to find the original magazine that I KNOW I have with the car featured but when I was online trying to find more information about any magazine features I DID find an extremely comprehensive build thread from the mini forum so I've attached that for your perusal, enjoy!!


You're a gentleman, thank you!


Paddy cheers for the article
Ive sent you some messages on Instagram if your interested


If I remember correctly the build costs were estimated at something like £50K when the car was originally built in 2011 or so, a lot of the carbon was only available due to where the owner was working at the time, (quite possible that the carbon parts would maybe be cheaper to make now as technology has moved on but a large percentage are one off so maybe the costs won't have changed too much in 5-6yrs). As we all know you don't do any build to make a profit as its not going to happen 99% of the time but when you end up with such an exclusive item who really cares!


Dougie McColm is the owner, lives just down the road from me. This car is really as amazing as it looks in the pictures! Great feature!


Thinking about a center driving position mini....well they said it's like a gokart right


It's been done by a guy here in Adelaide, South Australia. Supercharged, spaceframed, lengthened wheelbase, central driving position.

24's like I have to build one on my own,yet classic mini is rare in here not to mention expensive


Jebus El Chreest, I wanna bench press it.

All BS aside, thanks for some more classic mini coverage, love swaps on original Austins. The carbon is some next level shizz


This thing is so clean even the TIRES are shining! It's so beautiful!


"The level of speed is just too damn high". Yeah...yeah thats what the cops keep telling me. Lol

Peter van Koningsveld

Verbaas preparations did a full Group A Astra GSI powertrain and suspension swap into a mini shell... not as show worthy like the in this article, but very much more function


Cheers for the comments and the Feature on my car.
Couple of answers for you.
The Usual 16v conversions are done using a 100mm extended round nose front end, feel free to google, they look a bit Limo like and I certainly didnt want this hence the quest to fit it in a standard length round nose.
Yes you can get them into a clubman but hey hooo its a Clubman and not what my car originally was.
Ref the £50k build naaa sorry it wouldnt be me spending £50k on a mini, infact it was just under £15k.
One of the Mini mags 6 years ago said if you gave the car to a company to build then it could be a £50k bill hence where this figure came from.
But at the time it was built buy us in a garage with a handfull of mates so no to the £50k
Cheers for the comments anyway and great to see the car still gets the comments 6 years on and nothing has changed with it, it was build right the first time therefore nothings needed changing since all good..
As mentioned my full Build thread is on pistonheads under Carbon 72 Mini


I have seen this car in the metal a couple of times now and "immaculate" is the first word that has sprung to mind on both occasions.

These pictures are excellent, but they still don't convey just how well finished this car is!

Alan Carruthers

Second everything that's been said, met Dougie at the ace cafe many moons ago and inspired me to keep on with my mini build, it was sat next to the gsxr the year before at players and got a top 20 from Meguiars which blew my mind. I think the best part of this story is that Doug's car won car of the year the year it was featured in retro cars, stiff competition, incredible build