I have just found some photos that hadn’t previously been uploaded anywhere. They were taken back on 26th September 2007 when I went with Ian Wyatt and his beast Mini “LYD” up to Curborough Sprint Track in Staffordshire for the filming of Minifilms Ultimate Mini Engine Swap DVD. These were shot on the camera I had back then; a Canon EOS 350D + 18-55mm kit lens… A cracking lil camera! This has also inadvertently inspired a whole new section on the blog named “From the Archives” where any old shoots that weren’t ever public or blog posts from the previous blog will be posted from time to time! Click for more “From the Archive” posts!
Ultimate Mini Engine Swap takes no prisoners, and those who love their original Mini A-series engines probably won’t be a fan! The DVD takes a closer look at all the established engine swaps (Watson’s VTEC, Z-Cars bike, Vauxhall twin-cam) while also looking at some other conversions that make complete sense (that’s sarcasm by the way) – Rover K-Series, Suzuki Swift and Vauxhall 8-valve. This is where LYD comes in. She was selected for the DVD because she was rather special. Apart from looking ridiculously good with a stance a livid bulldog would be proud of, the main feature was a Vauxhall 2L 8V (20SEH) engine from an Astra GTE shoehorned under the bonnet on a custom subframe.
The driver who took each of the Mini’s around the sprint track wasn’t the Stig but it was the Stig’s Mini driving cousin (disclaimer: not actual cousin)….Bill Sollis, a professional race driver and Champion of the 2006 Mini Miglia series (I think….please correct me if I’m wrong). Either, way he’s fairly qualified to talk cool stuff about Mini’s and rate them hence why he was driving each car, assessing the various merits of each conversion.
Here’s Ian after a hard day being a film star.
Short Video of LYD being hammered down the straight at Curbourough by Bill Sollis.
Along with LYD there were 4 other highly modified Ultimate Mini’s on his day of filming. A lairy orange and green A-Series turbo, a black, rear engined Suzuki Swift engined one and a revvy K-Series Twin Cam VVC engined Mini owned by Toby Shoobridge who’s video of LYD was above. Check out his other Youtube videos for his Mini in action.
You can buy Ultimate Mini Engine Swap from Minifilms by clicking the cover here to the right. Tis only a Fiver, get on over and check it out !!