Ready To Tailgate: 2007 Mini Cooper Pickup

A 2007 Mini Cooper “pickup” isn’t exactly what most of us think about when we think of Barn Finds. It’s not a dusty or dirty old car that is sitting neglected and forgotten in a barn or garage somewhere in the woods. But, this is a pretty interesting vehicle and an anonymous reader sent in this tip so here we go. It can be found listed here on eBay in  Ortonville, Michigan with bids of over $5,000 but the reserve isn’t met yet.

Most of you will instantly recognize this car as a former Red Bull advertising vehicle. A lot of us have seen them zipping around for years and this one is missing the Red Bull can, obviously. and it also appears to have had the former Red Bull can mounting points removed which is nice. These rolling billboards typically came in silver with colorful advertising wraps and those were usually, or always, removed as were the giant cans. It isn’t really a pickup, but more of a pickup-looking conversion with a refrigerated rear compartment and a pull-out gas grill.

I may have told the story about how our brand new 2011 Mini Cooper was by far the worst car that either my wife or I had ever owned and hopefully ever will own. We got a lemon for sure, they couldn’t all have been that bad of course. Back to this no-bull Mini. They come up for sale every now and then but you’ll never find one with the can and graphics for sale, just like you’ll never find one in turbo S form with a 6-speed manual, they were all non-turbos and automatics.

The interior looks like it’s pretty much base-spec Mini Cooper, a remake at least in spirit by the fine folks at BMW. Vinyl seats, no fancy colors or extras other than the automatic transmission. This is the ultimate tiny mullet car, though: business in the front and party in the back! Load those coolers up, pitch your tent, fire up the grill on the pull-out drawer, and you’ll have the most fun of anyone in the campground as everyone gravitates over to your campsite.

The engine is a base-spec non-turbo, which would be a 1.6L inline-four with around 120 horsepower. The seller says that it runs great and with the hot stereo in the rear and 4 powerful speakers, you’ll be either the life of the party or the most hated person in your neighborhood. Would any of you drive this former Red Bull Mini Cooper party-mobile?


WANTED 1970 AMC Javlin sst/4speed Looking for rust free car in the mid west area. Contact

WANTED 1970-1976 Pontiac Trans Am Must be 4 spd. Like big block. I can fix motor or tranny. Needs to be somewhat sound other than that Contact

WANTED 1959/1960 Pontiac ANY parts car Contact

WANTED 1965 Ford Falcon sedan delivery Drag car Contact

WANTED 60s – 70s TUK TUK Tuk Tuk Looking for a Thailand taxi (tuk tuk) Please give me a shout if you have one for me Contact

Submit Your Want Ad


  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Don’t bet on your car being the only lemon. First Mini for us was an ’03 and by 50K miles the drive train was still strong but the headliner fell out, 3 our of 4 wheel bearing hubs failed and the AC compressor failed. AC fix entailed pulling the entire front end of the car apart to remove and replace. Onward to the present 2011 turbo S… Electronics are so vast that constant warning lights come on when nothing’s wrong, Computer interface is through the turnsignal lever and takes forever to to do anything with, the outside plastics came apart, and one of the hydraulic lifters collapsed. Wife uses it as a local area grocery cart. Wouldn’t strike off far from home on a bet. Pretty much an over electrofied and complicated piece of junk.

    Like 7
    • angliagt angliagt Member

      You had all those problems with the ’03,
      but went out & bought another one?
      I’ve heard of way too many expensive repairs
      on these.

      Like 9
      • local_sheriff

        Hey; he wanted the retro-version of a British legend – sounds like that’s exactly what he got. Those descriptions sound very much like issues I remember the adults would mention when Leyland, Austin and Morris from the 70s were discussed when I was a kid. I also remember Lucas – major British supplier of vehicle electronics – go under the nick ‘Prince of Darkness’…

        Funny how close to the real deal BMW managed to produce the new Mini

        Like 2
  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    Nice looking car though…. Bought it to replace the ’03 we lost in the ’17 hurricane.

    Like 3
  3. bobhess bobhess Member

    …. Forgot about the left CV joint seizing up. Wasn’t from no lube, just got damaged from the initial installation. It’s on it’s 3rd Turbo electric water plump. Can’t wait to see what’s next. That said, the silver car is kinda neat.

    Like 2
  4. Mitchell Gildea Member

    When the definition of minitruck isn’t what you initially thought

    Like 1
  5. bobhess bobhess Member

    angliagt…. Bought the ’03 to fit on our open trailer that we tow behind our motor home. Trailer was built to haul our AH Sprite race cars so needed a street car that was short enough to fit on it. Hurricane Irma wiped out the ’03 and the ’11 was the only replacement in good condition we found. Wife is happy with a small car to run around locally and the rear seats fold forward to almost turn it into a Mini pickup. Bought it used for 5K over what the insurance company gave us for the ’03. Fits our needs and we’ll just keep upgrading it until it’s up to 100 percent. Wouldn’t buy a new one on a bet.

    Like 2
    • angliagt angliagt Member

      Didn’t want to sound mean – I was just curious.

      Like 2
  6. bobhess bobhess Member

    Smartcar only other one that fits the trailer but never considered one for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the large aftermarket parts supply for the Minis.

    Like 3
  7. Little_Cars

    I ordered one and waited for my zipper-bagged prize in 2002. It was everything I could hope for. The only problem I had was from the factory run-flat tires which started sounding like truck tires and affected the enjoyment of driving on certain road surfaces. Picked out a set of sticky Falken tires in the same profile and my MINI was a fantastic performer. Even did a few laps around a gymkana at an empty airport with it. The expense of servicing at BMW dealerships was an eye-opener. Bought a second MINI, a loaded Cooper S convertible, when they came out but left that one with the ex-wife. This former Red Bull car would be fun to have for a minute, but totally useless as a hauler and maybe even a tailgating vehicle. Just like my MG Midget. LOL

    Like 5
  8. Turbo

    It these weren’t such lemons I would be interested just because of the novelty of it and they handle like they are on rails. I have a friend who has owned several. I haven’t talked to him about it in over 2 years, but he was buying the ‘certified used’ and stated that was the only way to buy them. IIRC, there was a 50 dollar deductible on any repair. He had some electronics go out and they had to replace the whole instrument cluster. It would have been 5 grand but it was 50 bucks. He has had two other major repairs over the years that were also covered for 50 bucks each. I think they even gave him a loaner.

    Like 2
    • Stan Marks

      Seems we’re getting bombarded, on TV, with reverse loan ads & a lot of warranty insurance on used cars.
      I normally stay away from these. Especially from the car insurance ads. Those policies are not cheap. They can run upwards of a few $1000 or more. If you ever contact one of these companies, the price is always negotiable.
      Your friend was smart, with his money-pit mini.

      When I purchase a car, new or used, I forgo those extended warrantees. Stealerships make out like a bandit. Same with finance charges, rustproofing, sealant & fabric protectant. Those addendum stickers, next to the factory window sticker, is nothing more than a rip-off.

      Like 2
      • Little_Cars

        Right on, Stan Marks. I’ve been disappointed even though I enjoyed the experience of buying new. DID NOT enjoy the finance department on the back end adding detailing, lifetime rotation and balance of tires, and a dealer-specific special zipper case full of car washes and scotch guard protectant. The name on the dealership? Darryl Waltrip, part of the Hendrick Automotive Group. Gotta win somewhere after retirement. hee hee

        Like 2
  9. mikec

    All recent minis seem to burn oil at an alarming rate – my daughters have 4x between them.

    Like 1
  10. Little_Cars

    That’s painting a pretty broad stroke regarding oil burning. Are they caught up on maintenance and by a qualified shop? Computer working and diagnostics performed at regular intervals? Just like anything BMW or BMC if you aren’t prepared to service at intervals stated in the operator manual you will suffer from breakdowns, oil loss and poor gas mileage. I’ll admit I pampered my 2001 which was/is 90% different than this one from 2007. I’ve also noticed the demographic buying the MINIs used typically rag them out assuming they are just another VW Beetle. Treat it like a BMW and you’ll enjoy the ride. Just my .2c worth.

    Like 4
  11. Spud

    I had a 2002 S and it was a fun, well-performing, car. Back then, it was also a novelty with a community of owners who seemed to virtually all know each other online; and a company that had a sharp sense of humor (“I killed the clown, but kept his car!”) and style. But, agreed with what’s said here about it being a BMW (unfortunately not assembled by the BMW home team…and hence the quality issues) and therefore requiring BMW-level maintenance. Back then, you could only get them serviced at MINI dealers which one quickly discovered operated at BMW-level pricing. Mine lasted almost 8 years and 100K miles. I traded it in for a “real” BMW and haven’t look back once.

    Like 4
    • Little_Cars

      Somewhere I have a print of all of us Nashville MINI owners descending upon the movie cineplex next to the dealership to watch a private screening of “The Italian Job” remake when it came out. It was quite a community gathering and some of the best statements were made by vanity tags on some 50-60 Mini Coopers all in a row in front of the theater. They also had British-themed picnics at the dealership which is where we first saw the convertible and put a deposit on one. 2004-2005 maybe?

      Like 2
  12. Javier Huerta

    Your Mini wasn’t a lemon, it’s just the way Minis were. My 2003 left me stranded 3 times, something no other car has ever done to me. In the end, the dealership refused to service it, claimed the warranty had run out, and I had to call BMW Germany and complain. They finally took the car in, and one month later, they clamed the chassis was bent and that they had to fix it.

    I didn’t wait to see if it was fixed. I sold the car immediately.

    My 2011 Mini wasn’t any better. I drove it for 3 months and sold it. The engine sounded as if no oil was reaching the engine. And indeed it wasn’t. Mini told me it was because my car was parked on an incline. The suggestion was parking it somewhere else.

    Never. Again.

    Like 3
  13. Kralik

    I got just under 100K miles on a 2012 Clubman S. Had to get rid of it when there were nearly monthly $1000 repair bills for one thing or another, and the engine developed a misfire. I ended up buying a non-S 2013 model from the dealer, because it was the only non-automatic they had. Pretty sure this will be my last MINI. And angliagt, before you ask, I apparently have a personality defect which draws me to Minis and British cars in general. ;) Having said that, I’m not sure German cars are much better these days.

    Like 1
  14. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    I owned an ’08 Cooper S, manual. Lots of fun and handled like it was on rails.

    At 100K, it needed a water pump, which I replaced myself due to sticker shock from the stealership. That gave me cold feet about owning yet another German car (owned several Audis beforehand), so traded it in ’13 for a Charger V6. That car is still my daily driver (even in winter with snows mounted) with 146K and not a single repair issue. Lots of recalls, though.

    Like 4
    • TCOPPS TCOPPS Member

      How do you like the Charger’s AWD in the winter?

      • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

        I don’t have an AWD model, I have RWD. I’ve always gotten beefy Firestone winter tires and they go through snow really well. The last couple of seasons I’ve thrown some sandbags in the trunk and that helps traction a bit. I’ve never gotten stuck with it (traction control helps by preventing you from spinning the tires too much), but if I had to do it again, I would get the AWD.

        Like 2
  15. Exceed Floor and Home/ Haig Haleblian

    Wow! In sharp contrast to the comments, I’ve owned a Liquid Yellow/White 03 S since new. With 106k, the original clutch is getting close to the end of its life. Other than replacing the turbocharger, timing belt, Harmon Kardon pre amp, right xenon headlight at around 60k and normal wear items along with a Mobil 1 oil change every 3k, the car has been the best dd I’ve ever owned. I equate the S to my long gone 83 GTI for smiles per miles. It’s been such a great car I bought an 06 GP. Now that’s one hot ride that flies under the radar. I’m tempted on this pickemup.

    Like 1
  16. Fran

    My saying about mini is. “It was my first mini and my last BMW I will own.”

    My 03 s had many problems including a whole instrument cluster that went berzerk.

    Like 3
  17. Tony Hill

    I bought new JCW in dec 2004 still have it 145000 km later. Love it no problems might have wheel bearing going,

    Like 1
  18. bobhess bobhess Member

    Hated losing our ’03. We had just got all of the 50K gremlins fixed and the engine was still running like a sewing machine. Have close friends with ’02s through ’05s who have had few problems. Can’t win ’em all.

    Like 1
  19. CJinSD

    Bought a new 2003 Cooper with an ex girlfriend. For yours to have been a lemon, the average production model would have had to have been better. It wasn’t.

    Like 2
  20. JoeNYWF64

    More grey than i would ever want. & that frig would be too much of a tempation for my brother in law to hawl the brewskies around all the time. & stop & take too many “refreshment” breaks. lol
    I am impressed that this may be the ONLY frameless side glass car since the late 80’s!!! that does NOT have an ugly triangular plastic piece (holding up the glass?) at the front of each door.
    Even the new vette still has THOSE …

    Like 1
  21. Little_Cars

    Noted your comment regarding frameless glass, JoeNYWF64. On my 2002, the glass actually dropped as you open the door so it wouldn’t snag on weatherstripping and then closed tight when you shut the door. Great for a hot day in the parking lot because you could activate that partial lowered position from the key fob. Nice fit and finish on my 2002, never any leaks. I opted not to order the full-length sunroof however.

    Like 2
  22. Stan Marks

    Mini’s are money pits.

    Like 2
  23. chrlsful

    reminds me of the rural traveling large practice vets round here. They go farm to farm in p/u w/almost ‘utility bodies’ but smoothed out in Doc style (glass bodies) that fold out’n Transformer style equip their health arts~

    Similarly – this would not wrk 4 me…
    (but is cool none the less)
    Thanks for the show but I’ll take the ‘clubman’ every day (as DD).

    Like 1
  24. Exceed Floor and Home/ Haig Haleblian

    I went to $6k on this one figuring it was cheaper than an atv. It it had three pedals I would have gotten serious.

    Like 1
  25. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: this Mini Cooper sold for $6,400.

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.