And the covers just keep coming…

Mini World Summer 2008 issue has another of my Minicos bodykits on the cover.

This stunning Turbo wide arch car, with bright yellow paintwork, is a car that you find hard to miss.

I designed the Minicos kit to overcome the difficulties many customers experienced with the Fortek kit, which seemed very popular, but with less than 10% (our figures) of all Fortek kits sold ever being fitted, it seemed that customers were just not able to fit the kits.

The concept was to turn the race car kit that the Fortek was, into something a little more suited to the road (Fortek never had skirts, or rear bumper originally), and at the same time make it a little easier to fit.

This project was a complete success with great sales, and we estimate that around 75% of all kits are fitted, which is an astronomical increase.

The skirts were derived from Escort Cosworth items, as were the front and rear bumpers, although they were smoothed out of all recognition to form more rounded bumpers that compliment the rounded bubbly shape of the Mini, and that of the Fortek arches. The kit was launched in 1999 and I wrote at that time:-

“We have recently spent much time and money addressing some of the shortcomings of the traditional Fortek kit. By reducing the width of the bodykit by some 3/4″ it allows the use of 7 x 13 wheels, and 175/50/13, although disc front brakes, and rear spacer drums are required.

The kit has been fundamentally re-designed so that the front arches, sideskirts and rear arches are in one piece. This cuts down around half of the fitting work that would otherwise be required. The other fundamental change involves the use of a return on the rear of the arches to provide a positive fixing point. The kit still required blended fixing, but the returns and new design means that fitting is very straightforward.

The basic purity of the design has been retained by some artistic license has been sought. The most obvious change revolves around the front and rear bumpers, which are totally different from the original. They are very rounded, are as wide as the arches (unlike the original), and the front is secured under the grill. There are no ducts or vents in order to carry through the smooth, curvy, lines of the arches, although the customer could easily cut these out if required. The skirts are heavily modified Escort Cosworth items shortened in length.

We anticipate that this new kit (available early October 1999), will supersede the original Fortek kit due primarily to its ease of fit. Our fitters whom have to fit kits every day, to go on the car quickly and firmly have designed it from the outset. We are the only manufacturers for the Fortek - Cosworth Style.”

The customer remarks in the feature that the kit was a “bitch” to fit - the 10 foot long side panels have removed around 90% of all the alignment work required to fit this kit (as compared to the Fortek) but the huge side panels mean that quick work and two assistants are often needed in order to install the panels.

This is by far the easiest wide arch (should that be ultra wide arch) Mini kits on the market to fit, although that does not mean that it is quite. If you order these kits please bear in mind the time it takes to fit, and prepare.

The car in the feature looks great, and I am always proud to see our kits on the covers of magazines, and even though it is a remarkably regular event it is one we always appreciate. Although the kit is the most visually striking part of the car, and (other than the colour) most likely the first thing you will see as this car passes, it is only a small part of the project, and customers always put a huge amount of effort (and money) into producing cars of this quality.