TWINI TWOUBLE

L E T T E R O F T H E M O N T H U N I Q U E C A R S

GM Bastin Email

JUST BEEN reading the fabulous article in issue 400 called ‘Mini Twini”. It is fantastic to read about the exploits of these adventurous engineers who tackle such motoring oddities. You should include more such articles as these cars are truly ‘Unique Cars’ and for the fact that people build them to be used and enjoyed.

Apart from the creations by John Cooper – most likely the original Mini Twini and Prototype 4WD Twini Mokes offered up to the Army for trials – stories have popped up over the years detailing other people’s twin engined Mini creations variously called ‘Twini’, Twiny’ or ‘Twinnies’ but all trying to overcome the difficulties of synchronising both engines, gearboxes or clutches. This is the first time I have ever heard of anybody solving some of their design issues by reversing the engine and together reversing the direction of rotation. Stroke of genius.

I seem to remember reading a story many years ago about a guy who built one, perhaps in South Australia. He solved this issue by equipping his particular Twini with a pair of Mini-Matic Auto gearboxes.

Easier to synchronise the two engines if the gearboxes take care of themselves.

When I read the Unique Cars article I decided to Google ‘twin engined cooper’ and came up with a very recent example.

This one is a 2002 modern example of the Cooper S which somebody decided to turn into a twin engine competition car. The owner and creator of this ‘Monster Twini’ was explaining in this YouTube video, the construction method and issues to none other than Jay Leno. Jay completed the interview by taking the vehicle out on the tarmac for a blast and Jay’s final comment was about making a road legal example.

Awesome. This 2002 example of the Twini was apparently easier to create than an original concept. Firstly no Carburettors to synchronise, secondly the gearbox operation is via cable so the creation of a longer cable run to a rear engine was simple. The throttle was simple because it’s a ‘drive by wire’ system and the clutch used a duplicated master cylinder. Just think of a modern ‘Twini for the road’ – 3.2 litre, 8 cylinder, quad cam with twin superchargers – a real Monster Mini.

Lastly in the Double Trouble breakout there’s mention of a very rare Mercedes AMG A38, stating that only four of these German Twinis were built and that one each went to Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard. I gathered that the writer was unaware that one is included in the Lindsay Fox collection at Melbourne Docklands.

Perhaps you can ask Mr Fox to lend you his rare AMG A38 for a road test. It would be awesome to compare this modern German built version with the classic Mini Twini example. A story of Old and New.

Great magazine, keep up the good work and find us some more stories that evoke the memories from decades ago or illustrate the efforts behind some truly inspiring and challenging ‘Unique Cars’. Also keep Morley’s Garage coming; its great value!

ED Glad you enjoyed reading the article as much as we did putting it together, GM. Great to get the information about the Fox car. We‘re on the case.

Oh, you’re not Morley’s brother-in-law by any chance.