November 27, 2022

For Colt Powell, the stance scene is life, and he’s inviting extra Mini house owners to hitch the motion together with his bagged Mini Cooper S R53.

Function from Efficiency Mini. Phrases: Ben Birch.  Photographs: 24seven Pictures.

Anybody who loves modified automobiles will agree that the formulation of huge lows and dished rims is an absolute winner and makes virtually something on wheels immediately cool. Get your stance on level, and the remainder of a construct takes care of itself, however get it improper, and it doesn’t matter what different superb mods you could have, you’ll nonetheless be driving a lemon.

The worldwide stance neighborhood takes this idea to its absolute Nth diploma, turning out slammed showstoppers by their 1000s from Japan to California and now, Portsmouth, England.

Colt Powell developed an obsession with this scene even earlier than he may drive, and, impressed by YouTube stance featurettes and present experiences, he was decided to personal and construct a automotive that might maintain its personal among the many perfect.

Quick-forward to this photoshoot, and it’s clear he’s not solely nailed that goal, however he additionally has an actual expertise for aesthetics, even at this early stage of his automotive modding CV.

“I didn’t precisely have a exact spec listing in my head,” admits Colt, “however I had a imaginative and prescient of the general finish end result, which was BBS split-rims, air suspension and only a actually clear unfussy look.”

When requested why he selected a Mini and particularly a Cooper S R53 (take a look at our purchaser’s information) as the bizarre foundation of a stance automotive, Colt explains, “My dad had a Cooper S in Electrical blue once they first got here out, and I beloved it as a child. They’re very underrated, and the very fact they’re not generally stanced was a bonus for me because it meant the automotive can be extra distinctive.”

The primary section of modifications truly included coilovers, a stripped rear and OMP bucket seats, which is, in fact, a way more regular method inside the Mini scene. An affordable set of ‘stance’ wheels – Japan Racing JR26s – heralded the sharp flip away from conference, nonetheless, and these shiny deep-dished hoops have been complemented by absolutely color coding the outside trims and becoming an Aero rear bumper and facet skirts.

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Interior shot of  bagged Mini Cooper S R53

The color coding of the black plastics, specifically, instantly made the entire automotive seem a lot smoother and cleaner, extra bling present automotive than a typical R53 Mini B-road blaster. Colt has since taken this smoothing idea additional by becoming a GP1 bumper and filling within the entrance quantity plate recess.

It’s very paying homage to the previous American scorching rod approach, Frenching, the place they smoothed all the things from lights to aerials and quantity plates. “It’s truthful to say I’m fairly impressed by the Individuals,” agrees Colt, “They go above and past with their automobiles, and may discover limits with out restriction.”

With the bodywork trying box-fresh, the wheels and stance actually wanted to be introduced as much as the identical customary. Colt did strive a set of Porsche Twist wheels, however they didn’t have the affect he was searching for, so he determined to chunk the bullet and at last spend money on his dream set of wheels. “This took some time,” he laughs, “BBS RFs don’t develop on bushes, so I scoured motoring advertisements from throughout Europe to discover a set.” He ended up importing these from Italy after stumbling throughout an advert on Gumtree, in a BMW 5×120 fitment. Colt needed them in that PCD as he deliberate to purchase a BMW sooner or later and will then merely swap the wheels between the 2 automobiles as and when required.

As quickly because the wheels landed within the UK, he despatched them off to Wheel Distinctive to rebuild to his spec – initially in a 9”-width and massive destructive offset all spherical, however as soon as the Mini to BMW PCD adaptors have been fitted, it was clear they’d should be pared again a bit. “After a number of dummy tries and a little bit of swearing, I ended up admitting defeat and sending them again to Wheel Distinctive. Ultimately, due to the PCD adaptors, we needed to compromise at 8.25”-wide on the entrance and a 9” on the rear,” says Colt who, in a super world, would have fitted 10s all-round!

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Whereas the wheels have been off being made, the unsuspecting Mini was pushed to Automobile Audio Safety for a quite fairly set up of an Air Raise 3P air suspension equipment. Colt selected this specific product as a result of it’s absolutely adjustable, together with camber-adjustable high mounts, which he knew he’d have to get the BBSs to suit up entrance. He had all the time envisioned the suspension air tank to be colour-coded and to take a seat half-sunk right into a false ground, and Automobile Audio Safety actually delivered on his imaginative and prescient.

Wheel shot of  bagged Mini Cooper S R53

Getting the stance excellent nonetheless took a little bit of fiddling round, with a lot arch-trimming and big dollops of destructive camber dialled in on the entrance high mounts, and the rear adjustable arms maxed out to get the fitment excellent.

Lots of you could be questioning how the bagged Mini Cooper S drives after what appears a fairly excessive train in type over operate. “It truly drives extra comfortably now than it did when it was static on coilovers,” explains Colt. “Okay, it isn’t going to win any races, however I’m proud of the way it drives and actually over the moon with the way it seems.” However doesn’t he miss that razor-sharp R53 go-kart dealing with? “In no way,” he laughs, “it’s stance over dealing with for me, it’s a highway automotive in any case.”

For sure, Colt’s curiosity in engine tuning hasn’t been a high precedence, though the automotive now has many of the supporting mods wanted to benefit from a lowered supercharger pulley and tune sooner or later.

The inside, in the meantime, is sorted, as he managed to beg his very sort and loving dad to ‘donate’ his pair of Recaro Sportster CS seats, which he had purchased to go in his GP2, and a really funky Vertex steering wheel completes the image.

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Colt has completely loved constructing and displaying the automotive, particularly at locations just like the Gamers Present, and he has constructed an incredible community of buddies over the previous few years. “I don’t assume I’d have met half the folks or made half the chums who’ve helped me construct it if I used to be concerned in a special scene,” he provides, “I can completely advocate the stance neighborhood pretty much as good, enjoyable folks.”

Evidently, his ardour for the varieties of automobiles he grew up fantasising about is stronger than ever. A lot in order that he has now purchased his subsequent challenge to accompany the Mini quite than exchange it. “It’s a BMW E38 7 Sequence,” he smiles, “it’ll be on hydraulics, with these BBS RF wheels however rebuilt as 19s, so can be fairly wild… I’ll by no means promote the bagged Mini Cooper S R53, although, because it’s created so many eternally recollections for me.”

In a world of ultra-high-end Porsche, BMW, Mercedes, and VIP Japanese stance builds, it’s good to know {that a} humble R53 can maintain its head excessive with a bit of fine style, planning, the fitting elements, and a mind for element. Who is aware of, perhaps Colt’s bagged Mini Cooper S R53 will encourage a number of extra of us on the Mini scene to come back stancing?

Rear shot of  bagged Mini Cooper S R53

Tech Spec: Bagged Mini Cooper S R53


1.6-litre supercharged Tritec, GTT intercooler and GTT consumption, Milltek non-resonated exhaust system


Six-speed guide gearbox


Air Raise Efficiency 3P air suspension equipment



Wheels & Tyres:

8.25×17” (entrance) and 9×17” (rear) customized BBS RF three-piece wheels with 185/35 (entrance) and 195/40 (rear) tyres


Recaro Sportster CS JCW Seats, Vertex steering wheel, JCW carbon gear knob, customized air tank set up and rear seat delete/false ground


GP1 entrance bumper with crammed and smoothed quantity plate recess, Aero facet skirts and rear bumper, all physique equipment and trim color coded