Thursday, April 2, 2015

10k: Lambo Orange: 1972 Mini, Suzuki Swift Turbo Power

Buying a car from a reputable shop (or plaid-clad British flippers) is no more of a safety guarantee than buying any other car. How many "mechanic's specials" on craigslist are in similar or worse condition than any other car listing? Reliable or not, shop-built creations are always entertaining. Find this 1972 Mini with turbocharged Suzuki Swift GTi engine for sale in St. Louis, MO (but listed in Los Angeles and elsewhere) for $9,500 via craigslist.

Few tech specs are available in the craigslist posting. The engine is the G13B, an all-aluminum 1.3-liter DOHC 16-valve four-engine that came from the Suzuki factory with 101 horsepower. Fortunately, the Google machine came up with a more verbose listing in Miami from a few weeks earlier. This is where things get fuzzy.

“Having to post mini for sale in other states since rednecks around here dont get this car???? I am selling my 1972 mini that I built in 2006. Has suzuki swift gti turbo engine. all factory forged internals that have been ceramic coated/low friction coated. tons of "real" carbon parts including intake manifold, dash, seats, hood, bumpers, trunk lid and more. Has custom made limited slip diff which was made in australia, digital race dash, centerforce clutch, hid lights, custom oil cooler/oil filter, custom made exhaust manifold which is ceramic coated, all new wiring harness, new fuel pump, all new fuel lines/press regulator, sds engine management with rc 440cc injectors, all new carpet, stereo hook up is 1/8inch into what ever media player. srs 3 piece race wheel, yoko race tires, 4 pot calipers, race rotors and hawk blue pads. boosted up with race gas(140 octane) it made 348 hp with 287 torque!!! paint is VERY GOOD with a couple small nicks here and there that will be touched up and you wont know they where there. color is lambo orange with gold pearl. engine will need piston rings which comes with sale along with new head gasket. passenger side suspension will need a tweek also. rack might need to be tightened up?? also steering wheel is all carbon along with steering column. shift lights are built into steering wheel like f1 car!!! engine and all parts are very easy to work on. all connectors are modern and fresh. wiring is super easy and engine comes out in an hour. this car is fast!! its 11:1 compression with 25 pounds boost so when its all set up it hauls ass!!! it gets all the looks and wins all the trophys anywhere. I never get out fabricated!!!! Selling to fund other projects. if you have any questions feel free to call, email or text. also has clean us title so reg is easy!!! and comes with front splitter which isnt in picture"

The G13 is sturdy, but is it 25-psi-on-an-11:1-static-compression-ratio sturdy? What numbers does it make on measly 110 octane fuel? I know we're all illiterate rednecks here, but curious minds want to know.

Many of this car's components are one-off carbon fiber pieces, including the gorgeous intake manifold and swoopy steering column. Even with the larger-than-stock engine and turbo plumbing, the curb weight should be near the original Mini's 1,300-pound mark. With 348 horsepower, that's a power:weight ratio of one horsepower per 3.74 pounds of car. Forget Mustangs - that's more competitive than the Porsche Carrera GT.

I'm about 90% sure I've seen this at a car show. The steering column's shape, the liberal use of carbon fiber, and the circus-clown engine dressing are hard to forget. I asked the guy standing near it what it was like on the road. He said, "I don't know - I'm too scared to drive it much." At the time, he was probably referring to the high likelihood of getting crushed in a splintery mess of carbon fiber and resin by a distracted latte-sipping Lexus GX470 driver. But given the car's performance cred, I would be scared too - scared of torque-steering into a wall, or the Arch, or the wrong part of St. Louis.

Can you trust the workmanship of this car? Probably. St. Louis-based Axis Power Racing performance parts bearing their name in some of the lightest Miatas, Subarus, and BMWs across the country. Their website is a ghost town and they don't exist on any social media outlets, but owner John Kamler insists that they are still in business. So while the vehicle itself won't let you down, buying additional parts may be a complicated procedure. But don't let that keep you from gripping the tiny steering wheel and humiliating the  Lamborghini driver in the other lane.

See another classic that's had its stock output tripled? Email us at

PhiLOL actually likes the tuna here, but abhors structural rust. Save the manuals.


  1. Wow! That'd take a boatload of money and time to reproduce. Looks like crazy fun. Too bad you couldn't go a mile without a ticket. Can anyone say "respray in white"? I knew you could!

  2. Some things are unavoidable: 11 to 1 compression, 25lbs boost, new head gasket. If it was mine, though it won't be because I've already owned three BMC minis, I'd dial the boost way down first thing.


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