The Kimini 2.2

Details the on-going construction of a from-scratch, home-built, carbon shell, mid-engine Mini.

************* THE BOOK IS NOW AVAILABLE! *************
Go here for more information.

Design          Books, Catalogs, Design Ref         Tools/Workshop        FAQ

Build Diaries        Videos        Other Builders         E-mail

To me, the best web host is one you never notice. Lunar Pages has done a fine job with great reliability, pricing, and support. I'm not sucking up - if I like a product I say so. If you need a low priced, extremely reliable web host with lots of bandwidth, please use this link. Not only do they now offer free domain names,they just upped monthly bandwidth to 2500GB and storage to 350GB! Very cool.

This site was built to contribute something to the extreme lack of information about one-off, home-built cars on the Web. If this site helps you with your project, or sparks interest in building your own car, great!

It can't be stressed too much how important it is to have an understanding spouse. If it weren't for my dear wife's support none of this would have happened. And thanks to my parents for passing on the "builder gene" to all their kids. And finally a huge thanks to everyone at work who've offered knowledge and advice: Alan, Armen, Cecil, Joe, Lee, Ray, Ron, and Sumant. Many of "my" ideas came from them - thanks a million guys. So on with the story...

The Dream:

I've always liked the passion and nostalgia of the early aviators who flew from town to town, landing in fields at night and sleeping under the wing of their planes, and the amateur auto racers in Europe who drove their cars to events, raced, then drove home. Those days are gone, and Lord knows there has been no passion in automobiles since the early 70's, yet I still dreamed of recreating a little bit of that passion.  To build a sports car and drive it to the time trials at Laguna Seca Raceway, near San Francisco. During race weekend, I’d sleep in the campground and run the car during the day, and maybe even wear one of those British hats to boot! 

Since I always liked small quick sports cars I started looking at kits to see what was available. But first I had to answer the question, "What is the ultimate sports car?" What do I *really* want? I felt then, as now, that there is no more elemental sports car than a Lotus Super 7. There were many kits but I eventually decided on the Rotus. Well... great car, not so great company (out of business now.) In fact, it seems like kit car companies go out of business all the time. There was an ad for a new company that I immediately called, and their phone was already disconnected. Worse, in an apparent effort to recreate a classic sports car, some manufacturers accurately design in the same lousy suspension the originals had. Why? No one thinks the kit car *is* the original, so why copy all it's bad points? And how about getting a kit car through emissions testing. Anyway, I had pretty much given up on ever building a kit car, or any car for that matter. (My real dream was to make my own car from scratch, but it seemed like such an overwhelming project, not something that I could do myself. The main sticking point was dealing with making a mold and not wanting to deal with composites.)

But the dream of building a car, better yet, building it from scratch, never went away.  Yes it seemed so overwhelming, so intimidating, and so expensive.  Could I do it?  I didn’t know how… where would I start…, I didn’t have a big garage, and I was sure it must be expensive.   There were lots of reasons not to do it.  But a dream can be persistent, and it never went away completely… 

In 1995 I started a new job as a HW/SW engineer at an aerospace firm.  There I met coworkers who were really car crazy.  Some came from the ex-factory Nissan GTP race team, others were designing their own cars, one building a V8-powered motorcycle, another a sport bike-powered 3-wheeler, and yet another designing a car/airplane you drive to the airport, push a button, the wings pop out, and you take off!  But I digress…  So one day I was talking to a coworker about sports cars and mentioned that the only kit car I liked was the Rotus. He looked at me oddly and said, "I designed that car." What?! Talking further, he said he was taking a mold off an old Mk I Mini (and adding HUGE fender flares) as part of designing his own ultimate autocross terror.

And there it was right in front of me... a solution to all my issues I had against building a car. Slowly things started taking shape, and I realized that meeting these guys could be very expensive, and educational. As I starting thinking about the whole project seriously, I realized that while I really liked the Super 7, and I still do, I felt it would look downright ugly with a complete roll cage. I still wanted something very light, small and quick, and while the Mini wasn't my first choice, it worked out that it was actually better. The decision was made, a Mini with a big engine it would be. (The actual engine selection is detailed in the Design link, but if you must know now, it's a Honda Prelude VTEC 4-cylinder.)

So, where to start? Click on one of the links below (same as at the top.)


Read how it all evolved, parts chosen, decisions made.


Tools I've made, or recommend.


Questions answered.

Build Diaries

Weekly updated build diaries, 1996 to present.

Videos Videos of construction and testing.

Other Builders

Cool projects others are working on.

Future Projects

What might be next...


Contact me.