Electric Federal has taken a fresh look back at the enduring legacy of original Mini with a video interview with Heritage Garage's Graham Reid, one of the foremost experts on classic Minis. As Electric Federal points out, it's important to remember that the Mini did not start out as a performance car. It was built in response to the Suez Canal crisis of the mid-50s, which had a similar effect on British gas prices as OPEC did on American prices in the 1970s – rationing and rapid price jumps.
Through the years, Minis have grown from their budget roots to become seriously competent performance machines. As Reid says, a 150-horsepower Mini on the right track should have no problem outpacing a contemporary Porsche 911.
For some time now, classic Mini owners have been dropping Honda engines under the tiny hoods of their classics. With up to 250 horsepower pulling a car that tips the scales at barely 1,200 pounds, the upgraded Mini is "a real sleeper," Reid says. Interestingly, Reid doesn't mention another increasingly common swap in the Mini community - Suzuki Hayabusa-powered Coopers.
Modern Mini owners, you haven't been entirely left out – we're glad to see that Reid isn't a Mini enthusiast that discounts the newer models launched under BMW. In the video, a Chili Red R53 Cooper S sits right alongside a classic model in a similar color. Check out all the fun in the video below.