The Staff of Motorsport Marketing
The Staff of Motorsport Marketing Writer
8/23/17 1:34 p.m.

story and photos by Robert Bowen

Building a car from scratch—from the wheels up—is not for the faint of heart. Still, some people relish the challenge. They find inspiration in that blank sheet of paper. To them, there’s nothing better than saying “to hell with the rules” and bolting together whatever parts make them happy.

With no production frame, engine or suspension to work around, they can concentrate on the creative aspects of car design without letting tradition get in the way. These people build what they want—and inspire the rest of us with their creative possibilities.

Kurt Bilinski is one of these people. By training he’s an engineer, a group often inclined to go at most things their own way. This trait certainly helps with his most recent endeavor.

His silver Mini, dubbed Kimini in a nod to his wife, Kim, is a radical little car that follows no rules. It’s street legal, but doesn’t look like it. It’s also a mix of technologies—part kit car, part resto-rod, part autocrosser and part prototype racer. In the end, it’s just plain cool.

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Two_Tools_In_a_Tent New Reader
8/23/17 2:54 p.m.

Say . . . that IS cute !

HapDL New Reader
8/23/17 4:20 p.m.

Those rear tires are screaming for more camber!

kb58 Dork
8/23/17 4:29 p.m.

Hah, there she is again - my Kimini, which now resides in Texas with her current owner. During the photo shoot, Robert had me drive slowly back and forth down a street as he tried to get "the shot." We ended up getting chased off by a homeowner who thought we were either casing the neighborhood, or racing, me going maybe 20mph tops - the secret being a slow shutter speed. The other thing I remember is that my wife made me wear a "nice shirt" for the shoot and that it was hot as hell.

I must - again - give GRM a huge thank you for deciding to not only putting Kimini in GRM, but on the cover. I'll forever remember that as a high point, guys.

FWIW, I gave a guy a ride in it at Streets of Willow and he later said it handled so well that it deserved more power. That nagging comment ate at me for years until I build Midlana, basically the same layout under a "Super 7" body. The dead-stock engine in Kimini was dead reliable, but wanting more power for Midlana, I installed a 430-530 hp turbo engine. That engine... well, I found this which describes it fairly accurately:

… a turbo engine is like having a cokehead pornstar girlfriend. There’s going to be unparalleled excitement and thrills, but a lot of unexplainable downtime and a likely violent ending that leaves you broke and insane…
Kreb UltraDork
8/23/17 4:38 p.m.

"Broke and insane". Hmmm, that explains a lot.

CyberEric Reader
8/23/17 4:59 p.m.
HapDL wrote: Those rear tires are screaming for more camber!

That's exactly what I was thinking!

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