The idea was hatched in 2009 when the MiniWorid team came up with the plan of building a new project Mini as the basis for our Keeping Your Mini Alive spin-off mag. During discussions, the name 'Bogus' kept popping up as being our most exciting ever project Mini. Bogus was an integral part of the magazine right from the early days of MiniWorid. It was the magazine's first real project car and was put together by the original MiniWorid team. For me, the main thing about Bogus was its stunning engine, being one of the first cars in the UK to be fitted with a KAD 16-valve head, but initially the car had an ill-fated Oselli-tuned 5-port.
Part of the car's charm, and a reason for its popularity with our readers, was that it was notorious for breakdowns and was often seen at the side of the road during a Mini run. People liked the car for being that little bit different, myself included, and loved seeing it out and about and on the MiniWorid stand at shows. Despite being a performance Mini, Bogus was still used and enjoyed and even did the Italian Job with Bill Sollis and was a favourite with the editorial team until he was stolen from outside our then staff writer's home in south London in November 1994. So the challenge was set to build a car in the spirit of Bogus, hopefully without the breakdowns. Project Bogus 2 was underway.
The MiniWorid team started looking for a potential donor car for the new project, but although we had a wish list, we still hadn't totally formalised a complete plan. The car had to be quick but slightly different. A few people suggested ditching the A-series and going down the Vauxhall or Honda route, but we were keen to stick to our A-series roots. We decided that a KAD 16-valve head would have been cool but it would have meant copying the first car too closely. It had to be different.
After a few conversations between the MiniWorid team and Mini Sport's Chris and Daniel Harper, a plan was hatched, along with the idea of Mini Sport doing all the mechanics and bodywork as a showcase to their skills. It was decided that a Mini Sport 7-port head would be fitted, which is a re-worked version of the Scandinavian crossflow type fitted to MiniWorid Art Editor Paul Wiltshire's Project 45. Paul's Mini runs on twin Webers so we had to find an alternative system. We wanted something different and decided that fuel injection was perfect for the project and would bring the all-new Bogus screaming into the 21st century. The team had also discussed the possibility of competing in the Downton Ex-Works Club Series which gave the project a direction. One thing was still missing - a car.
After some hunting around Stephen Colbran came to the rescue with an SPi MOT failure going for reasonable money. Stephen and I collected and delivered the car to Mini Sport in Padiham. The following day we set about surveying the car further with Mini Sport and helped strip the interior, as it would no longer be needed. This car was on a diet. We wanted a stripped-out, functional look.
About a month later I got the call to say the shell had been painted by Mini Sport's bodywork expert, Basil Unsworth, and that the build could begin. So I headed oop north to Padiham to spend a memorable month covering the process for KYMA6, working alongside the Mini Sport team. On arrival I saw the car sitting in the spray booth with its wet paint still curing. It looked absolutely awesome. There is definitely a buzz you get when you see a freshly sprayed car just waiting to be put back together, and I really don't think it was just the paint fumes.
Before rolling the shell back over the road to the main assembly bay, the colour-coded Safety Devices cage was squeezed into the shell. Great care was taken by Basil, Dom and Michael to not scratch the fresh paint - not a job for the faint hearted. Once installed, the shell was rolled to an assembly bay to begin the suspension build.
When Bogus 2 was purchased it was obvious the shell had been played about with. The *
No need for an Osteopath after using this comfy Cobra Suzuka Pro seat
Torquey 7-Port 1380 is ideal for zooming up steep, tight and twisty tracks, accompanied by the fantastic whine of the Mini Sport straight-cut drop gears
offside front quarter was an unusual shape for starters. We also had concerns over the crazed paint in front of the rear arch which turned out to conceal a lot of filler. What amazed us was the need for an entire new floor. I'll be honest, I thought it was overkill when I was told a new floorpan was being fitted, but then I saw the pile of rust which Basil had kindly kept out of the bin to show me. It could have been patched, but replacing the entire floorpan was quicker and less costly in the long run. Of course a DIY mechanic may choose the less drastic option but when professionals are on the case, time is money. It was also agreed that a steel front would also go back on for safety rather then the GRP flip-front it came with.
With Bogus 2 now sitting in the main workshop it was Michael Anderson's turn to shine as the build began. My last Mini project took me about five years. This car had a month on bodywork and three weeks in assembly altogether, plus a week waiting to tie up with other suppliers on parts. I think that's very impressive. More impressive than that is Michael's attention to detail. Everything was thought about and reasoned before each task was performed. I know this comes with experience, but it was educational to me. Michael stuck to the brief and budget constraints to tailor the car to our needs perfectly.
With the rolling shell sorted we turned our attention to the 1380cc engine, which was built by Daniel Harper, Mini Sport's Engineering Director. The build went to plan and was on a pallet heading for the shell within a day. By the next morning the engine was in the car. I enjoyed seeing how the experts take on a task. Some of the points raised by Daniel whilst putting the engine together showed his exceptional engineering knowledge and how open he is to new ideas.
Jenvey kindly provided the throttle bodies to hook up the Canems ECU, and once in place, it was obvious that they looked the business. One key reason for choosing injection and mappable ignition was that we wanted the car to be fun to drive. If running on twin Webers the engine would have felt lumpy with the 286 cam profile and you would have needed a heavy right foot to pull away and keep the revs up. With injection it's all smoothed out and, most importantly, it pulls from very low down, ideal for sprints and traffic light drag racing. Longer throttle bodies would have been preferable, but looking at how this set-up keeps everything neatly under the bonnet, it makes so much sense. In the end the torque is more than enough to be starting with.
David from Canems headed over from Scunthorpe in his hot pursuit vehicle (ask him if you meet him), to connect up the ECU harness and work with Michael and Daniel on mapping the engine on the Mini Sport dyno for a run-in session and initial set-up. Everything went quite smoothly, with only minor adjustment needed on the spacing of the crank sensor, as without it the car had a massive backfire at high revs. This is because »
"This car was on a diet. We wanted a stripped-out, functional look"
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