Proper Copper | Jun. 3 - 7

7:35:00 PM GRIPSET Co. Founder 0 Comments

Justin Anthony J. - 2003 Mini R53 Cooper S

GRIPSET is so thankful to all of you, and your support. This weeks feature comes from one of our enthusiastic supporters, helping us get this feature out. She was down, from the start to undertake this task, so on behalf of Gripset, Faryl Loew, WE THANK YOU FOR THIS WEEKS COLLAB.

A car, is a car, is a car? not to us! Not in this lifestyle. We all wish to travel from A to B, but in a different manner. Modifying cars is our nature, our culture, our mark of existence. It's our matrix inside of a revolving mass and so much has evolved in it as we onset forward, it's a must we shine a light on our motivations. The mini cooper is one of those evolutions, in that world. It began as a concept in hopes of battling a fuel shortage of the 1950s UK, and it's fuel rationed economic status. The original design was 10ft. long, 4ft wide, and 4ft tall, hence it's suiting label ''mini.'' By the 1990s the mini was a renowned car, with a legend as successful rally car. How fitting to this feature and the cars heritage that it would once again share a similar history in the world of its new owner. This mini is standing proof that the doers do, the followers follow, and the innovators go H.A.M. To see what makes this mini unique  read on, as achieving perfection would not come easy for this 'PROPER COPPER' mini, it was not served on a silver was seized by the visions of J.Anthony.

 The Motivation
 I grew up around the car scene, but not the car scene that most of our community is accustomed to. My uncles and cousins were big into autocross. I loved it! But at that time, I was still too young to drive so I really never grew into ''their'' scene. Finally, when I turned 16, I bought my first car, well my parents did. LOL, an Acura RSX.  Although it was not a type S I still enjoyed the 5-speed transmission. I attended a couple of meets here and there and did a couple of small mods. Car got totaled during a snowstorm, end of that story. My next car was a 2001 BMW 330ci; I guess this is where you can say that things started to get serious. At this time, I started to see the car scene evolve into non-sense, lowered vehicles with wheels that cost more than a 16 year old’s annual salary. It did not make sense at first, but all I knew was that I LOVED the way it looked. It may not have been practical but it was beautiful. I bought my first set of coilovers and wheels, and then lowered the car. Although I was satisfied with my BMW, I felt that slammed bimmers were too common in the euro stance scene, so I sold it and bought my current build, a 2003 Mini Cooper S.

I wanted to keep a European car but be different at the same time. A Mini Cooper was a perfect fit. It’s not that often than you come across a well stanced Mini with a nice set of shoes. As soon as I purchased the Mini, it was basically pure instinct to order coilovers and wheels. So I ordered a set of BC coils and Stance Encore wheels. Unfortunately, I was very unhappy with the car’s stance. I wasn’t nearly as low as I was hoping. I proceeded to contact BC once again and their solution was to provide me with the very first extreme drop kit for a Mini Cooper. I loved the new custom suspension and was very satisfied with the outcome, but this was just the beginning of my plans. After attending a successful H2oi in September of 2012, I knew I had to come out with something different for the next show season, so of course I had to order a new set of wheels, Three Piece Ronal SX wheels. 

I rocked the same suspension set up with the Ronals for about three months before I realized that new wheels weren’t enough. I need to do something else, I thought. This is where my car underwent a complete transformation, which would leave a mark in the car scene today. I became the first enthusiast to bag an R53 Mini Cooper S. With complete fabricated air struts and a unique Antique Bronze vinyl wrap, my Mini was screaming to get into her first show. After going air and changing the color of my car, I couldn’t help but buy a new set of wheels again, so I found these rare three piece ARE wheels from Canada to add the finishing touch.


Custom AirBag it front air struts | Airlift aos medium rears
Accuair 5 gallon tank | 400c viar compressor
Autopilot v2 management | Adjustable Ireland Engineering camber plates
Alta adjustable endlinks | Megan Racing control arms | Drilled and slotted rotors

Three piece AREs | 16x8 4x100
195 40 16 Yokohama S Drives front | 205 40 16 Falken 512s rear

Antique bronze vinyl wrap | John Cooper Works aerosport front grill
1st generation projector headlights | Shaved and cut front and rear fenders
Craven Speed Short stubby antenna | Craven Speed rear wiper delete | Complete shaved trunk

Complete wood grain vinyl dashboard | VAC motorsport quick release
VAC motorsports short hub | Nardi deep dish steering wheel | John Cooper works shift knob

Rebuilt supercharger | Madness cold air intake | Invidia high performance exhaust 

Future Plans
Corbeau Seats |Rear seat Delete w/ Air trunk set up
15% Pulley | Open Headers | New wheels soon

Shout Out
All of this could not be possible without the help from my friends at “Sticky Garage” in Hicksville, NY. They are a bunch of devoted fanatics that do everything from fabrication to complete vinyl wraps.

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