There is a rare moment when walking in the halls of a show, that a car stops you completely on your track and attracts you to see more closely. Jamie Hill’s Mini is such a showpiece. No doubt – the more time you spend around the details of this amazing build, the better.
I talked to a lot of people during my day at the dubshed last month, and there was one thing in common in most of this chat – a question asking if I saw ‘Logan Hall’s Red Mini Over’.
After spending a few years building online, I knew it was going to be something special when the Mini finally appeared in its entirety. Knowing the build would continue to attract attention during the show, I booked an hour in advance with Jem and his car during Friday night’s show set-up so I could shoot this feature.
Let’s start with the outside, where a backdate has transformed the look of this late-production 2000 Rover Mini into an Mk1 from the 1960s. The key to this transformation is the original car’s small rear lights, iconic starter slotted grille and sliding window set.
To enhance Clean Vision, the side repeaters have been shaved from the front guards, and the wipers, which now sit opposite the heated screen of an Evans Motorsport, are manipulated to free up valuable space by an extended wiper motor and Land Rover Defender extension. In the engine bay. The intricate wing mirrors come from classic mini racing expert Swiftune.
Exterior highlights are custom arches complete with 13 × 7.5-inch force racing 3-piece wheel billet aluminum hubs, all wrapped in Nankang AR-1 semi-slicks.
Jayme’s purpose for his mini is to use the ‘fast road’, but the reality is that it is capable of dealing with a track day, sprint or mountain climbing. This is evident inside the car, where an opening of deceptively thin doors reveals a race-grade interior.
The main features here are a Wishart motorsport fabrication welded roll cage designed to feature the national assembly and a pair of Cobra Monaco seats sewn with Jem’s personal ‘JH logo’. At the end of a custom steering column is a Momo wheel, an open KAD shifter and a woodwood paddle box. Door card, re-trimmed in classic vinyl, features billet door handle and trim.
Despite the classic look and style of this mini, Jayme has added some sophisticated technology to it, which once again shows how a project can evolve in an extended build time. With full custom wiring from GNE Motorsport, a DTAFast engine management system feeds the data to an AiM PDM unit hidden under the dash and transmits it to the driver via an AiM digital display. Sitting on the transmission tunnel, a 12-button CAN pad controls many of the car’s key operating functions.
Undoing the leather straps and removing the bonnet reveals the minute Staple food – Its engine. With nothing but essential accessories in a perfectly smooth bay, Jemme and his brother have worked at home in their ‘Pato Bread Engineering’ (PBE) shed.
The engine in the center of it has one of the most impressive glasses I’ve ever read. The titles in the Mini World are quite spectacular: 1,380cc, twin-cam, 16-valve.
This power plant, built by CC Minis in Lisbon, Northern Ireland, is an A-Series dream. Starting with a 1,275cc rover mill – just as the car is new – it has expanded to about 1,400cc for 73.5mm fake pistons. The block also includes a custom race-spec crankshaft, steel connecting rod, ACL race bearings and ARP fasteners.
Above, a BMW K1100 is matched with a twin-cam 16-valve cylinder A-Series block, and for extra performance it goes through a full port and polish. If that’s not enough, the bike’s individual throttle bodies are carried and now breathed through an ITB foam filter.
Around the engine bay, there is no end to the detailed attention. Engine mounts were custom-machined from billet aluminum, while the PBE logo was laser-engraved on top of the oil catch cans.
At full size, the mash-up engine is much taller than the original A-Series, but it still sits below the standard bonnet profile for a well-thought-out front subframe change.
The Mini’s original 4-speed gearbox transfers power to the front wheels, though it has been significantly upgraded with a straight-cut gear kit, MG Metro Turbo Final Drive and a QF Limited Slip Differential. The mix also includes MED drop gear, a billet flywheel and an AP racing clutch.
Having power is one thing, but being able to really use it is another. But of course Jayme has covered this aspect too. The use of high-end equipment from well-known suppliers within the Mini World of Competition was the core of the construction, and why you get custom-built Protek Shock at four corners, as well as the addition of KAD Control Arms, Classic Minis Japan Ball Joint and Owens Motorsport Ball Joint Dropper. Hidden behind the wheels is a KAD disc brake setup on the front and an operated drum on the back.
Builds like Jayme Hill’s Mini remind us of how good a general idea can be with time and patience. Leaning on many historical styles and combining them with modern technology, I think you will agree that the result is nothing short of spectacular.