David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/13/18 11:21 a.m.

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Story by David S. Wallens • Photo Courtesy Mini

Rarity, improved performance and a nod to the past usually add up to a price premium. Oddly, though, we’re now seeing reasonable prices on the one-year-only Mini Cooper S with the John Cooper Works GP Kit. Despite the name, this wasn’t a kit added by the consumer or the dealer; it was fitted at the factory.

The model served as a final sendoff for the original “new” Mini, which admittedly has a better reputation than the follow-up model. Only 2000 copies were built, with just 415 coming stateside.

The Works GP picked up where the standard Cooper S left off. An improved supercharger, intercooler and engine management system boosted output from 168 to 214 horsepower. While the original Mini release didn’t claim that it helped performance, a low-restriction, twin-pipe exhaust also came standard. Top speed was listed as 146 mph.

A limited-slip differential, a feature not found in the rest of the Mini lineup, was also fitted. Other performance niceties included stiffer suspension components, larger brakes and reduced weight-88 pounds lighter than the standard Cooper S, thanks in part to losing the rear seat and some sound-deadening material.

The Works GP was hard to miss, too. A special aero package added a deeper air dam, lower side sills and a roof spoiler. The four-spoke wheels were also unique to the model.

Then there was the sole offered color scheme: a silvery Thunder Blue matched with a silver roof and red mirrors.

The model originally fetched more than $31,000, nearly $10,000 more than a standard Cooper S. So far this year, two have sold via Bring a Trailer: One brought in $17,505, the other $21,250.

The Works GP arrived to rave reviews. That R53-chassis Mini Cooper S reignited a love affair with small, yet potent, performers. The Works GP only added more fuel to the fire. -David S. Wallens

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8/13/18 2:44 p.m.

Reasonable prices seem less odd if you know owners of first generation "new" Minis who encountered high repair costs after 60K miles or so.

8/13/18 4:52 p.m.

"Despite the name, this wasn’t a kit added by the consumer or the dealer; it was fitted at the factory."  = Fake News.....  The cars were not fitted at the factory in Oxford England ! 

Originally each of the cars were just a standard 2006 S models, clad in pepper white then shipped from Oxford England to the Bertone Factory in Italy...which is where this original and first GP was born !  

8/15/18 11:39 a.m.

In reply to gray_raven :

Seriously?  He didn't say it was fitted in Oxford.  And you even said it was installed at the Bertone Factory.  

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