Flathead V8 Powered 2003 Mini Cooper?!!

And now, for something completely different, the world’s (presumably) only vintage Ford flathead V8-powered Mini Cooper! Hopefully, the new owner negotiates an evening of conversation with the builder of this crazy mash-up of new meets old before inking the title. It would be a shame to draw a crowd every time you get gas and not know the birth story of this wild and crazy creation. The concise post on Facebook Marketplace matter-of-factly lists off parts as you might itemize your late Uncle Ernie’s possessions. The Leesburg, Florida hot rod could turn your driveway into the talk of the town for $12,000. Thanks to reader Rocco B. for spotting this cleverly executed hot rod. Sometimes you just have to let the crazy out!

The 1952 Ford 24-bolt “flathead” V8 should displace 239 cid (3.9L) and rests in a West Texas Speed front sub-frame. These motors made around 100 HP new, and you can bet this one hits harder than stock. Discs up front and rear drums on a Camaro live axle handle deceleration.

Only the T5 five-speed manual gear shifter and license plate bezel bring the rat rod vibe into the otherwise all Mini interior, which already touts vintage styling of its own. Kudos to the builder for sourcing a manual gearbox, and one with overdrive, two smart steps that will let the new owner enjoy this unique ride rather than rendering it a neighborhood curiosity.

Presumably the rear suspension features bump stops that preclude a quarter panel collision with the meaty rear tires. Check your local laws regarding how much tire can protrude beyond the bodywork. To my eye the body rides too high on the frame, but this arrangement avoided massive reconstruction of the Mini’s body. The new owner could enjoy it like this a while, but a channel job and tubbed rear would bring a more finished look while showing off the vintage V8 by getting the induction above the hood. Are you on board with this Anglo-American hybrid?


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  1. Harvey Member

    Wow,what a great idea and looks like a great job.I never thought of this combo:-)

    Like 15
  2. Cadmanls Member

    Why, looks like someone took a challenge.

    Like 6
    • Mike Tuttle

      …or lost a bet…

      Like 11
  3. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    As much as I like Flatties, not sure it works here.

    Like 11
    • Rick

      It’s a nice change from yet another small block Chevrolet.

      Like 5
  4. bobhess bobhess Member

    Asked The crew chief if she wanted her car modified like this one. No answer and she walked away shaking her head.

    Like 19
    • Gerard Frederick

      Smart Crew Chief – good taste too!

      Like 4
    • S.T. Alexander


  5. Don

    Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should 😬

    Like 18
    • Bill Potts

      Looks like the owner had Frankenstein in mind. Holloween soecial

      Like 2
  6. Jack M.

    If you tubbed those wheels under the body would there be enough room left for a differential?

    Like 3
  7. John

    Is that a C Bucket?

    Like 4
  8. Sam Shive

    two words ………. love it

    Like 9
  9. Kiwi Glen


    Reminds me at the front of the Goodbye pork pie mini, in the movie they sell the front clip to get cash for gas

    I could recreate something similar in about a hour removing the hood off my triumph speed six

    Like 1
  10. Mike

    Looks like a lot of beers were held.

    Like 6
    • Danny V. Johnson

      I’m sure the beers were more than just held. All I can say, about that, is WHY?

      Like 4
  11. Autoworker

    Can you picture one of Ed Roth’s Monsters sticking out of the roof with a big 4 speed shifter ? I like it !

    Like 9
  12. Johnny C.

    Definitely one of the stupid-est looking things ever built!

    Like 5
    • Tort Member

      Now or when it left the factory?

      Like 9
  13. Mark

    This mini is an eye sore.

    Like 6
  14. its1969ok

    It was probably cheaper to do that build than repair whatever was broken on it.

    Like 9
  15. fran

    WOW, cool car…and much more dependable than the factory version.

    Like 1
  16. Howie Mueler

    How cool and dumb at the same time.

    Like 4
  17. Troy

    Florida license why am I not surprised.

    Like 4
  18. Fred Veenschoten

    i sure hate all the ads on here. every link i click takes me to an ad rather than the true destination. yes i’m yelling!!

    Like 2
  19. Tracy

    Mini is not my personal taste but I have thought of doing something similar. A Ford 312 Y Block (not a Why Block) into a modern-ish body instead of a modern engine into an older body which you see most of the time now.

  20. DeeBee

    Drugs were definitely involved in this build! Just say no, kiddies!

    Like 4
  21. Randy

    Wow, that engine alone would be almost worth the price!!!

  22. Geoff Archer
  23. Morley Brown Member

    Perfect. It is always, always about HOT RODDING

    Like 4
  24. John

    Should have powder coated the frame. Patina doesn’t work here. A glaring fail.

    Like 3
  25. Randy

    I think I would be tempted to turn into a mini PU truck for hauling my Honda S90!

  26. geid Member

    Years ago I came across a wrecked 77 Toyota Hilux. I cut away all the trash and started with 2 seats, a frame, and a strong 289 w/4 speed toploader. Salt treated bed. 15-gal keg for fuel, no top and just front fenders with headlights. I discovered a glitch in the VA state inspection laws that required windshield wipers but no windshield–and you could put the sticker anywhere, like a helmet, as long as it was visible. I’m a PITA, so I did it, enjoyed being a fool while I could.

    Like 4
  27. Ralph

    So if your gonna go to the trouble and effort to do something like this, why not use a V8 with some guts and power? The standard MINI engine had probably more horsepower stock than this old flathead. If my ride is gonna look ridiculous, it better have some good numbers in the hp/torque engine dept.

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